Ancient Blaseball

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COMMUNITY LORE

The remainder of this article contains lore created collaboratively by the Blaseball community.

The historic bounds of Blaseball are unknown. However, certain records and myths have come to us from the ancient world suggesting that societies across the globe have been participating in the cultural event of blaseball for thousands of years.

Ancient Greece

Blaseball is said to have been brought to Greece from the East by Cadmus in his search for his sister, Europa. As such, Thebes is believed to have been the first Greek polis with a blaseball team, Αἱ Ἐλαῖαι (Hai Elaiai, 'The Olives'). This mythical origin may account for Thebes’ portrayal in ancient literature and legend as a city of tragedy and mishap. Attic tragedy recounts a tale of how the god Dionysus, enraged that the king of the city would not acknowledge his divinity, transformed many of the citizens into his own ecstatically possessed Blaseball team and forced them to play. This event resulted in tragic bloodshed and the death of the king, struck down by the pitch of his own god-possessed mother. There is much debate between scholars as to whether this myth records a trace of real historical events.

By the fourth century BCE, the Theban Blaseball team was known as the Ἱερὸς Λόχος, (Hieròs Lókhos, ‘The Sacred Band’).

The earliest mention of Blaseball in the Greek literary record comes from the Hlomeric Epics. In book 23 of the Iliad, Achilles organises a series between the Achaeans during the funeral games in honour of his dead lover, Patroclus. The game features a vast array of unfair blessings and weather events bestowed by the gods on their favoured teams. Linguistic evidence suggests that certain oral formulae present within the text date back to the Mycenean age, if not earlier. This may reflect the splort’s introduction to Greece during the Bronze Age, possibly via traders from Mesopotamia or the Levant.

According to myth, Heracles played in the Hellenic League, where he was the first to introduce using a club to hit the blaseball.

It is also rumored that during the 580s BCE, a player bearing a strong resemblance to Jessica Telephone was the star of the Lesbos Battleaxes.

Ancient Rome

It is possible that Blaseball was introduced to the Romans either by the neighbouring Etruscan peoples or by Greek settlers in the south of Italy. The Etruscans seem to have incorporated the splort into their traditional funeral games, and tomb paintings from Tarquinia indicate that it was a particularly bloody affair.

The Romans seem to have organised a fiercely competitive inter-provincial league throughout the timespan of their Empire. An epigram in the poet Martial’s De Slpectaculis records that Jessica Telephone batted in the first match played in the newly built Flavian Amphitheater.