Test Your Ancient Athletics in This Ancient Sports Quiz!

Which ancient civilization is known for inventing the game of Polo?

Persian Empire

Roman Empire

Mongol Empire

Aztec Empire

Polo, often referred to as “the game of kings,” was invented by the nomadic tribes of Persia (now Iran) as early as the 6th century BC. It was initially a training game for cavalry units.

The Ludi Romani was the first major festival dedicated to which Roman god, featuring chariot races and theatrical performances?





The Ludi Romani was the first major Roman festival dedicated to Jupiter. It began in 366 BC and included chariot races, gladiatorial contests, and theatrical performances as part of the celebrations.


Javelin throw

Discus throw

Long jump

Pankration was an ancient Greek martial art combining boxing and wrestling techniques. It was introduced into the Olympic Games in 648 BC and is considered a precursor to modern mixed martial arts (MMA).

In which ancient civilization were gymnastics highly developed and considered a method to maintain physical fitness?

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Ancient Egypt

Ancient China

Ancient Greece highly developed gymnastics, using exercises to maintain physical fitness. It was an integral part of Greek education and a significant aspect of ancient Greek culture.

What was the name given to the ancient Roman soldiers who were professional fighters on horseback?





Equites were members of a class of ancient Roman citizens who were professional cavalry soldiers. The term originally described Roman horsemen but evolved to signify a social class.

In ancient Mesopotamia, what was the Royal Game of Ur, discovered in the 1920s?

A chariot racing game

A board game

A wrestling match

A form of polo

The Royal Game of Ur is an ancient board game discovered in Iraq (ancient Mesopotamia) dating back to about 2600 BC. It is one of the oldest known board games in the world.

What was the primary material used to construct the balls used in the ancient Mesoamerican ballgame?





Rubber was the primary material used for balls in the ancient Mesoamerican ballgame, making these the earliest known rubber balls in human history.

Which ancient civilization is credited with the development of the first known team sport, resembling field hockey?

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Ancient India

Ancient Egypt is credited with developing a team sport that resembles modern field hockey, as evidenced by artifacts and carvings dating back to 2000 BC.

What ancient board game, still played today, originated in China over 2500 years ago?





Go is an ancient board game that originated in China more than 2500 years ago. It is known for its complex strategy despite simple rules and is one of the oldest games still played in its original form.

The ancient Olympic Games excluded which group from participating?





Women were excluded from participating in the ancient Olympic Games; however, they could own horses in the chariot races. The Heraean Games were established for female athletes.

In which civilization is the earliest known instance of a sport resembling soccer found?

Ancient Egypt

Ancient China

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

The earliest evidence of a sport resembling soccer can be traced back to Ancient China around 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, where a game called Cuju was played with a ball and two goalposts.

The ancient Olympic Games were held in honor of which Greek god?





The ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece, in honor of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. These games were part of a festival to Zeus and featured various athletic competitions.

What was the name of the Roman chariot racing circuit, which was the largest in ancient times?


Circus Maximus


Forum Romanum

The Circus Maximus was the largest chariot racing stadium in ancient Rome and could accommodate over 150,000 spectators. Chariot races were among the most popular sports of ancient Roman culture.

Which of these games, played in ancient Mesoamerica, involved a ball and rings positioned high on a court wall?





Ulama was a ball game played by ancient Mesoamerican cultures, notably the Maya and Aztec, involving a heavy rubber ball and rings mounted high on the court’s wall. The objective was to pass the ball through these rings.

In ancient Egypt, which sport was considered to be both a form of entertainment and a method of military training?





Archery was highly valued in ancient Egypt, serving both as entertainment and essential military training. Egyptians practiced archery for hunting and warfare.

The Panhellenic Games, a series of ancient Greek sporting events, did NOT include which of these games?

Olympic Games

Pythian Games

Nemean Games

Colossean Games

The Panhellenic Games included the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian Games. The Colossean Games, associated with the Roman Colosseum, were not part of this series.

Which ancient civilization is credited with the creation of the marathon as a sport?

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Ancient Persia

Ancient Egypt

The marathon as a sport originates from Ancient Greece, inspired by the legend of Pheidippides, a messenger who ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia.

What was the primary purpose of the Mesoamerican ballgame played by the Aztecs and the Maya?


Religious ceremony

Military training

Judicial process

While the Mesoamerican ballgame served various purposes, its primary role was in religious ceremonies. The game was often associated with myths and rituals, including human sacrifices to the gods.

In ancient Rome, what was a ‘gladiator’?

A chariot racer

A professional athlete

A combatant who fought in public spectacles

A political advisor

Gladiators were fighters in ancient Rome who engaged in armed combat against other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals in public spectacles to entertain the populace.

Which ancient sport is considered to be an early form of hockey and was played in Ancient Egypt?




Field hockey

Evidence from Ancient Egypt shows that a game similar to modern field hockey was played, involving curved sticks and a ball. Reliefs at Beni Hasan dating to 2000 BCE depict this sport.

Ancient couch potato?

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Getting there!

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Ancient gladiator!

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