Catching Up With the Ancient Olympics

Another thing my email box has been filling up with over the past while are articles and blog posts dealing with the ancient Olympics in some capacity, so just in case you’re trapped inside on a rainy day like I am today, here are a few things to occupy your time:

The newest item is kind of interesting; it’s an article about which ancient empire would have cleaned up at the Olympics this year (follow the links inside the article to the page that’s compiling this (the Romans, ca 100 A.D. apparently would be sitting sixth):

Possible comparandum for the foregoing:


There has been some coverage of the associated arrival of the Motya Charioteer in London:

A couple of editorials trying (vainly, I think) to use ancient precedent to comment on modern society:

Some general items:

This one I only include because it suggests ancient Greeks ran clockwise … I thought they ran in straight lines?:

Comparing Olympic art, ancient and modern:

An interview with Chris Carey:

Self-explanatory … by David Potter:

Self-explatory … by Roger Pearse:

Self-explanatory … at the Ancient and Modern Olympics blog:

And last, but not least, some Pindarica:

Also Seen: Greek Roots

We don’t often see newspaper articles acknowledge the contribution of ancient Greek to the English language — especially in a Canadian newspaper … a taste in medias res of an item in the Globe and Mail:

[…] In the unlikely event that you are asked to strip naked in a gym by a philologist, don’t freak out. The word “gymnastics” descends from its Greek parent gumnazo, which means “train naked” and comes from the word gumnós – “naked.” In ancient Greece, exercises were often performed in the nude, and at one time Olympic track meets were run in the buff because it was believed that the sun was soothing to the nerves of the back. While in practice sessions, the modern gymnast performs calisthenics, vigorous exercises to improve muscle tone and fitness. This term blends the Greek stem kalli, which means “beauty,” with the Greek word for strength, sthenos.

The Greek word for contest is athlon, and this has bequeathed to us four Olympic sports: the decathlon (10 events), the heptathlon (seven events), the pentathlon (five events) and the triathlon (three events). The pentathlon, in which contestants compete in shooting, fencing, swimming, riding and cross-country running, has an interesting history. The choice of these sports was based on the legend of a warrior who, having to convey a message to the rear of the fighting forces, had to battle on horseback with his pistol and sword. However, because his horse was killed in the struggle, he had to swim and run to complete his mission. […]

… we appear to have been given license to tell people to strip naked; use it responsibly! 😉

iTunes U for Classicists and Those Who Aspire to Be

I’ve been meaning to blog about some of the online, free courses (I’m not concentrating here on individual lectures, although there are a couple below; I might do more individual lectures some other time … I’m trying to figure out the best way to present them) which are proliferating at iTunes U which should be of interest to readers of rogueclassicism … here’s a few that I’ve come across lately:

LaTrobe University offers:




University of Warwick:

… and not so much a course as a conference which was held at the Yale Divinity School (wish we had more conferences on iTunes … the technology isn’t that difficult!):

… and a lecture from UCL that did catch my eye:

… just a taste, perhaps. After all these years iTunes still hasn’t created a facility to alert you to things you might be interested in this sort of area (as opposed to alerting you when the latest Lady Gaga release is out)