Glima is a wresting Scandinavian martial art dating back to Viking times. Greco-Roman wrestling should be well known. Vikings were known to associate with the Roman Empire -- see the Varangians.

Is there any cross pollination between Glima and Greco-Roman wrestling?

I am mostly looking for primary sources, although an analysis by a practitioner of both would be most welcome.

  • You come up with some really detailed historical questions...makes an interesting site.
    – mutt
    Jul 14, 2017 at 16:42
  • By anthropological nature of the origin and practice of both civilizations there would be some influence from Vikings Glima in the Greco-Roman version. I doubt much would be the other way around except on an isolated basis as Vikings tended to be independent tribes versus a centralized empire like the Roman and Greek ones. As far as the actual moves themselves and which came first and introduced which I have no clue and thus can't answer this one, but the anthropological influence is there and as you mention the Viking spiritual side and thirst to prove themselves I'm sure they competed.
    – mutt
    Sep 5, 2017 at 21:42
  • Note that ancient wrestling in Rome and Greece is not the same as modern "Greco-Roman" wrestling, which originates in the mid-1800s in France, and which gained its misleading name as marketing. Jul 23, 2020 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


I just watched a video to see Glima wrestling in action.

Looks like it requires a lot of upper body strength and more time standing than in ground control. Plus, at least one big difference. No pin or tap. Just escape to win. Interesting. I learned something new today.

Here's an article with more information, The Gripping History of Glima, featuring an old web page showing how the internet looked in 2020.

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