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knocked out

Homer describes a boxing match between two Greeks, with a mule as the prize for the winner and a mug for the loser:

'A huge fine-looking fellow called Epeius, who was a champion boxer, put his hand on the sturdy mule and said: "Come on, the man who wants to carry off the mug. The mule is mine and nobody is going to knock me out and take her. I'll tell you what I mean to do. I am going to tear the fellow's flesh to ribbons and smash his bones."

The only man who dared to take up the challenge was Euryalus. His cousin Diomedes helped him on with his shorts, and bound on his hands the oxhide thongs.

When the two men were dressed they stepped into the middle of the ring. They both put up their mighty hands and fell to. Fist met fist; there was a terrible grinding of jaws; and the sweat began to pour from all their limbs. Presently Euryalus took his eye off his man, and the excellent Epeius, leaping at the chance, gave him a punch on the jaw which knocked him out. His legs were cut from under him and he was lifted by the blow like a fish leaping from the weed-covered sands and falling back into the dark water. His chivalrous opponent gave him a hand and set him on his legs. His followers gathered round and supported him across the ring on trailing feet, spitting clots of blood, with his head lolling on one side. He was still senseless when they put him down in his own corner. They had to go and fetch the mug themselves.'

Homer The Iliad, translated E.V. Rieu, Penguin 1950, page 430


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