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Фрагмент английского 1996 года издания книги А.З. Мелик-Шахназарова "VARAZDAT OLYMPIONIK FROM ARMENIA"

... The moment the pugilists had been preparing for the entire Olympiad had come at last. Each participant in the Games had followed the orders of the Hellanodikai during the training in Elis, and each one had made a sacrifice to Zeus, Hermes the Protector and other gods in the hopes that he would be the one Nike would crown with victory. And now the time had come for each pugilist to demonstrate his skill.

The first to fight were Ikkos the Carthaginian and Damaret of Crete. With their left arms extended before them, they slowly circled around the center of the ring, now and then striking each other heavy punches with their right fists. The fight lasted quite a long time and appeared to be even. Only the blood seeping from Damaret's ear gave any indication that Ikkos' punches were more frequently reaching their target. In fact, a keen eye would have noticed that the Carthaginian was taking almost all of his opponent's punches on his left shoulder, which he managed to raise in time, while the fighter from Crete was letting most of the punches through. Almost all of them were falling on his head, temples and jaw, since the rules forbade body strikes.

The fight came to an unexpected end. After the next punch from Ikkos, Damaret fell to his knees and remained there for a long time as though trying to decide whether to continue the fight or surrender. The resonant voice of a small boy from somewhere high in the upper rows of the stands put an end to his indecision, "Raise your finger, Damaret! The Carthaginian is stronger!"

The Cretan brought his fist to his face and, hesitating a little longer, raised his index finger. This meant surrender. The ago-nothetes came up to Ikkos and raised his right arm high in the air to announce the winner. The spectators from Carthago and Tunisia enthusiastically cheered the first victory. The other spectators were also satisfied with the outcome of the fight, which had been performed in the classical style and brought victory to the more skilled.

Two more rounds were fought on the white sand of the arena before the announcer called for Philon of Constantinople and Varazdat, a foreigner. The Byzantine was almost a head taller that his opponent. He also had long arms, and this is a great advantage for a pugilist. He strode confidently out into the arena, burning with impatience to begin the fight. However, an attentive eye would have noticed a certain hastiness in Philon's movements, which betrayed his apprehension. Was this because Philon knew of Varazdat's victories at the contests in Delphi? Or was he bothered by the crowd's sympathy for the foreigner?

"Go on, Varazdat! Philon is no fiercer than a lion!"

Varazdat was already standing in the center of the arena and paid no attention to the shouts from the stands. On a signal from the Hellanodikes, he took up his position and raised both arms. And the amazing thing was that he held both arms in almost the same position, on a level with his chest. Philon cautiously approached him with his left arm extended, while his right, clenched tightly into a fist at his chin, was poised to strike at his opponent's jaw. As he encroached on Varazdat, Philon occupied the center of the arena and began to circle slowly around its axis, watching the foreigner intently. He dealt two or three punches from the right at full swing which cut cleanly through the air and made Varazdat circle faster around the Byzantine. The fighters were keeping their distance from each other. With his extended arm, the Byzantine tried to reach the left arm of his opponent. But Varazdat stubbornly avoided this, keeping his distance and holding both arms bent a little higher than his waist. And although his face was unprotected, Philon could not reach it. Every time he tried, the foreigner dodged back from his opponent's fists with lightning speed. A mocking cry sounded from the stands, "Don't be so timid, foreigner!"

Varazdat's stance was so unusual that some spectators decided he was not sufficiently well-versed in fighting conduct. Laughs could be heard from the stands. And although the audience appreciated Varazdat's mobility, many of them followed his movements with obvious disapproval, since they seemed to be doing nothing to bring victory.

"Go on, Philon!"

This cry, probably from a Constantinoplian, was taken up by his compatriots, and Philon, who had tried unsuccessfully a few more times to reach Varazdat's head with his right fist, began to go for his opponent with increasing determination. His movements became more resolute and confident. Varazdat continued to wait. He easily dodged Philon's punches, stepping back just enough so that his opponent's fists in their rough leather sphairai did not reach his face.

"It's a game on the edge of an abyss," whispered Demeter. As she watched the pugilists, she involuntarily squeezed Fatu's hand so tightly that the girl cried out in pain. Not realizing what she had done, Demeter looked at her servant, smiled guiltily at her and then anxiously looked at her brothers.

But their faces showed no anxiety. They were both skeptically, but very intently, watching the fight.

When Philon once again dealt a flying punch at the place where an instant before the foreigner's face had been, Varazdat, who had dodged back, made a small springy jump towards his opponent, who had no time to turn around. The foreigner's strong legs threw his body, just like a catapult, to meet the Byzantine. His left fist, catching up with his body, flew like an arrow at Philon's chin. The latter stepped forward under the momentum, as though not feeling any pain, ready to meet punch for punch. But suddenly he stumbled and fell backwards onto the white sand...

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