This post has been adapted from the Blog post entitled ‘The Olympics: One year on…’ posted on The Classical Association Blog on 23rd May 2013.

Last year Professor Chris Carey posted a fascinating Blog post entitled From the Ancient to the Modern: How have the Olympic games changed?‘  One year on, Prof. Carey sends the following update on the events and the resources generated by the various Olympic themed academic events that took place last summer.

In case anybody missed it, in 2012 the Olympics came to London after an absence of 64 years. Since it will probably be another 64 years before they come back, the opportunity to emphasize the ancient background of the games seemed too good to miss. So a number of organizations (Classical Association, the societies, JACT, Friends of the Classics, the British Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum and several universities) got together to produce a programme of events, exhibitions, debates, conferences and colloquia, public lectures. The biggest feature was a two day event at the British Museum consisting of a conference (Sport and competition) followed by public lectures by Mary Beard and Nigel Spivey. Topics ranged from fighting over control of the Olympics (Hans Van Wees), through Herodotos on Greekness and the games, Hazel Dodge on Roman chariot racing, to Alan Peatfield’s research on reconstructing ancient combat sports from vase paintings, plus of course Nigel on the archaeology and Mary on the Much Wenlock Olympics.

The idea was always to produce something lasting from the event. Almost all of the the lectures and the full videos can be found on the Hellenic Society’s YouTube channel.

The Classical Association have also pulled together a selection short film clips, texts and images to provide a teaching tool for schoolteachers and students and for general interest here.

Prof. Chris Carey

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