Episkyros (greek: ), known also as epikoinos (greek: ), was an ancient greek ball game resembling mostly American football.
Episkyros was a game requiring high quality of teamwork oriented. It was played between two teams of 12 to 14 players each, using one ball.
The picture on the right is taken from the belly of the vase which is displayed at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece (Exhibition item: NAMA 873). It clearly shows an athlete balancing a ball on his thigh.
The logo of Episkyros, LLC has been influenced by this artifact.
UEFA has used this athelete as well as a decoration for its European Championship (commonly known as the UEFA Euro) trophy. The picture on the left shows Ronaldo holding the 2016 tropy, after Portugal defeated France in the final 1-0 in extra time. Notice the athlete who balancesthe ball on the thigh is displayed on the front of the trophy.
the motto of the Episkyros, LLC
“Mens sana in corpore sano” is a latin phrase meaning “healthy mind in healthy body”. Although there are earlier phrases with similar meaning, this particular phrase was written by the Roman poer Juvenalis in his Satire X. In the related section of the work (10.356
orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.
fortem posce animum mortis terrore carentem,
qui spatium vitae extremum inter munera ponat
naturae, qui ferre queat quoscumque labores,
nesciat irasci, cupiat nihil et potiores
Herculis aerumnas credat saevosque labores
et venere et cenis et pluma Sardanapalli.
monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare; semita certe
tranquillae per virtutem patet unica vitae.
The english translation is as follows:
You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Ask for a stout heart that has no fear of death,
and deems length of days the least of Nature’s gifts
that can endure any kind of toil,
that knows neither wrath nor desire and thinks
the woes and hard labors of Hercules better than
the loves and banquets and downy cushions of Sardanapalus.
What I commend to you, you can give to yourself;
For assuredly, the only road to a life of peace is virtue.
Episkyros considers physical and mental exercise as essential and necessary components for a person’s well being. For this reason, besides the physical training at the pitches, Episkyros offer a variety of intellectual activities to advance the youth’s theoretical education in soccer and scientific knowledge in STEM disciplines.
the motto of the Philanthropic Episkyros
Herodotus, the father of history, in his work The Histories recorded the warfare between the Persians and the Greeks starting at 494 BC and ending 479 BC while the former, a mighty empire at the time, were trying to take over Greece. In Book VIII, paragraph 26, we read:
Ἧκον δέ σφι αὐτόμολοι ἄνδρες ἀπ’ Ἀρκαδίης ὀλίγοι τινές, βίου τε δεόμενοι καὶ ἐνεργοὶ βουλόμενοι εἶναι. ἄγοντες δὲ τούτους ἐς ὄψιν τὴν βασιλέος ἐπυνθάνοντο οἱ Πέρσαι περὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων τί ποιέοιεν· Εἰις δέ τις πρὸ πάντων ἦν ὁ εἰρώτων αὐτοὺς ταῦτα. οἳ δέ σφι ἔλεγον ὡς Ὀλύμπια ἄγουσι καὶ θεωρέοιεν ἀγῶνα γυμνικὸν καὶ ἱππικόν. ὃ δὲ ἐπείρετο ὅ τι τὸἄεθλον εἴη σφι κείμενον περὶ ὅτευ ἀγωνίζωνται· οἳ δ’ εἶπον τῆς ἐλαίης τὸν διδόμενον στέφανον. ἐνθαῦτα εἴπας γνώμην γενναιοτάτην Τιγράνης ὁ Ἀρταβάνου δειλίην ὦφλε πρὸς βασιλέος. πυθόμενος γὰρ τὸ ἄεθλον ἐὸν στέφανον ἀλλ’ οὐ χρήματα, οὔτε ἠνέσχετο σιγῶν εἶπέ τε ἐς πάντας τάδε. “Παπαῖ Μαρδόνιε, κοίους ἐπ’ ἄνδρας ἤγαγες μαχησομένους ἡμέας, οἳ οὐ περὶ χρημάτων τὸν ἀγῶνα ποιεῦνται ἀλλὰ περὶ ἀρετῆς.” τούτῳ μὲν δὴ ταῦτα εἴρητο.
The english translation is as follows:
There had come to them some few deserters, men of Arcadia, lacking a livelihood and desirous to find some service. Bringing these men into the king’s presence, the presents inquired of them what the Greeks were doing, there being one who put this question in the name of all. The Arcadians telling them that the Greeks were keeping the Olympic festival and viewing sports and horse-races, the Persian asked what was the prize offered, wherefore they contended; and they told him of the crown of olive that was given to the victor. Then Tigranes son of Artabanus uttered a most noble saying (but the king deemed him a coward for it); when he heard that the prize was not money but a crown, he could not hold his peace, but cried, “Zounds, Mardonius, what manner of men are these that you have brought us to fight withal? ’tis not for money they contend but for glory of achievement!” Such was Tigranes’ saying.