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Friday, August 08, 2008

List Universe Tackles the Olympics

Want to know fifteen things about the Olympics that you probably didn't know? Well List Universe has you covered here. One of my favorites:
13. The last running race added to the Ancient Games (after the addition of two longer distance races) was the hoplitodromos - in which competitors would run 400 or 800 yards in full armor with shields and a helmet or greaves (leg armor). This was introduced in 520 BC. Runners would often trip over each other or stumble on shields dropped by other competitors. In the image above we see athletes competing in the hoplitodromos - in far more an orderly fashion than was likely.
I submit that we need to have something similar in today's world. Seriously. Wouldn't that be one hell of an event to see a bunch of folks in full ancient armor running down the track? I would want to see that every year.

On a side note, I have a question for all of you:
Do you ever wonder what the ancient Greeks and Romans would think of our seeming obsession with them? We make movies, write books, dress up, and even celebrate them. Do you think they are watching us up there and wondering what the heck is wrong with us?

I for one am curious what you all think.


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1 comment:

  1. I personally think the Greeks would be amused, astonished, a little embarrassed. Their astonishment would arise from what was probably relatively humdrum and everyday to them being portrayed as something so epic and exotic. They'd probably also be a little embarrassed--though that really isn't the right word. We probably portray them completely inaccurately with varying degrees of coolness than never quite matches up to who they were.

    Probably we get so many things wrong about them--not so much in terms of facts, but in terms of mindset and ideals--that they'd be all like, "That's not really what we meant..." Like despite Ancient Greek writings, it's impossible to know what an everyday Greek thought.