Presenter: Bob Simmons, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL
Description: The Olympics (summer and winter) come up every two years, and their mystique never wanes. Their ancient origins provide an opportunity to demonstrate the continuing relevance of the classical world in a fun way. This session will lay out techniques for doing a variety of ancient Greek Olympic events, all of which are different enough from contemporary methods of doing comparable events that they tend to be both a challenge and a lot of fun. Participants will learn how to carry out various running events (including one in armor), long jump (with weights), discus, javelin (including the leather strap wrapped around it), chariot racing, boxing, two types of wrestling, and pankration (much like professional wrestling, but without the ring). They will learn ways of acquiring the materials to make these events work at different price points. And they will receive a bibliography of primary and secondary sources on these events.
Date of recorded webinar: August 2023
Bob Holschuh Simmons is the Minnie Billing Capron Professor of Classical Languages and Chair of Classics at Monmouth College, where he has taught Greek, Latin, and a host of classical-world classes since 2014. He earned a BA from St. John’s University in Minnesota, where he grew up; an MAT from Minnesota State University; and a PhD from the University of Iowa. His first book, Demagogues, Power, and Friendship in Classical Athens: Leaders as Friends in Aristophanes, Euripides, and Xenophon, was released in 2023 by Bloomsbury Press. He has received the Outreach Prize from the Society for Classical Studies, awards for excellence in outreach and teaching from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, and awards for service and advising from Monmouth College. He has taught a Sports in Greece and Rome class five times at Monmouth College and three times to grade-school students at a College for Kids; he has done workshops on, or demonstrations of, the ancient Olympics for audiences of all demographics; and Olympic sports have been central parts of the Classics Days he has put on five times at Monmouth and four times at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.