Reliving Legends: The Olympics Then and Now

Enjoy the Winter Olympics this year?  Join us and special guest Dr. Thomas Scanlon to learn about the Games’ ancient roots!   Peer into the history of the ancient Olympics and the events surrounding them, as well as the religious and cultic aspects of the games and how they related to sport.  Of particular interest will be the topic of sport and gender in Greek athletics – learn about the women’s Games for Hera at ancient Olympia that took place at the same stadium as the men’s games, with its own special running events and its own ideology for women.  Hear about Dr. Scanlon’s latest theory regarding the site at Olympia, how the religious space related to the athletic space, and how athletes lived the legend of Homeric heroes and were boosted by Homer’s epic.  And of course, find out how the ancient Games compare to the Olympics we now celebrate today, in terms of the economics and politics behind them, the role of gender in both, professionalism vs. amateurism, and more!

TomScanlonDr. Tom Scanlon received his Ph.D. in Classics at Ohio State University in 1978, and is the current Department Chair and Professor of Classics and Comparative Ancient Civilizations/Literature at the University of California.  His teaching interests encompass most areas of Greek and Roman literature and culture, including courses on religion, gender, mythology, ancient sports, and most genres of Greek and Latin literature.  Dr. Scanlon is the author or editor of publications such as Oxford Readings in Sport in the Greek and Roman Worlds and Eros and Greek Athletics.

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