Celebrate Like It’s 776 BCE: The Ancient Greek Olympics and Other Festivals

On Saturday April 28th the Department of Classics was delighted to host 40 members of the general public who attended a free Study Day on the Olympics and other festivals. We offered a programme of six talks on different aspects of ancient festivals, with plenty of time for questions. The audience, which ranged from school students to retired members of the University, and visitors from Italy, were very engaged with the topics. Their responses to the day overall praised the range and depth of the talks; everyone reported that they were entertained, informed, and stimulated. Guests also took the opportunity to visit the Ure and enjoy its outstanding collections.

The Departments thanks are due to the presenters, to Alice Le Page for help with publicity, to Nina Aitken for help with catering and signage, and to Philip Smither for help in the Ure Museum.

The programme was as follows:

  • Professor Ian Rutherford, How They Organised the Ancient Olympics
  • Dr Amy Smith, Nike: Victory at the Olympics and on Athenian Vases
  • Dr Emma Aston, Knocking on Hellas’ door: Thessaly, Macedon and pan-Hellenic participation
  • Dr Matthew Nicholls, Bread and Circuses
  • Dr Susanne Turner, In Cold Blood: Dead Athletes in Classical Athens
  • Professor Barbara Goff, The imaginary Greece of Baron Pierre de Coubertin