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Marathon2500: “War and Sports" with Professor Thomas Scanlon

Reading Odyssey, Inc.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (EDT)

Marathon2500: “War and Sports" with Professor Thomas...

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Teleconference/webinar free ticket Ended Free  

Share Marathon2500: “War and Sports" with Professor Thomas Scanlon

Event Details

"War and Sports"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
2:00 PM ET/ 11:00 AM PT (90 minute lecture and Q&A) 

Both sport and battle were "contests" for the Greeks, agones, in their terms.  We will here look at the fascinating and puzzling legend(s) of Pheidippides (or whatever his name was), ancient long-distance messenger runners ("day runners" hemerodromoi) as a class, ancient footraces in the stadium, perhaps a bit about the Olympic truce (on the theme of sport and war), the Marathon Race in the modern Olympics, and modern long-distance running.  The common thread is the Greek and our own contest culture.

Department Chair of Comparative Literature, and Director of Comparative Ancient Civilizations at the University of California, Riverside, Tom Scanlon's research is on Greek and Roman sport, and Greek and Roman historical writing; his  teaching interests encompass most areas of Greek and Roman literature, language, and culture, including courses on ancient sports, religion, gender, and mythology.

Location: Teleconference from anywhere in the world
Free registration:


People around the world will get a chance to participate in the celebration of the battle of Marathon, thanks to a cultural campaign initiated by the Reading Odyssey, a New York not-for-profit. The Reading Odyssey and Marathon2500 chairman Paul Cartledge of New York University and of Cambridge University will recruit the world’s best Hellenic scholars and sports historians to deliver eight lectures on the cultural, intellectual and athletic legacy of the Battle of Marathon. The talks will be given before live audiences, webcast online and archived for viewing or listening on demand. Lectures will begin in September 2010 and run through June 2011. To multiply their impact, the Reading Odyssey will work with thousands of universities, colleges, high schools, museums and sports organizations to create satellite listening centers.

Whole lecture series - free registration/information:

Herodotus free phone/web-based reading groups:

Individual lectures (from fall of 2010 - spring 2011):

Paul Cartledge, Cambridge/NYU, Tue Sep 28 @5:30pm ET, "The Context and Meaning of the Battle"   

Peter Krentz, Davidson College, Tue Oct 12 @ 7pm ET, "The Battle Itself"

Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution, Wed Nov 10 @ 1pm ET, "Life of a Soldier—Greek and Persian"   

Thomas Harrison, University of Liverpool, Tue Jan 18 @ 1pm ET, "The Persian Perspective"

Dean Karnazes, world-renowned ultramarathoner, Wed Feb 9 @ 1pm ET “The Battle and Modern Sports”

Thomas Scanlon, UC Riverside, Tue Apr 5 @ 2pm ET “Sports in the Ancient World”   

Robert Strassler, Independent Scholar, Tue May 10 @ 1pm ET “Herodotus and the Invention of History”,

John Marincola, Florida State University, Wed Jun 8 @ 4pm ET “Epilogue: What happened after the Battle" 

Thomas Scanlon Biography

Thomas Scanlon (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is a Professor of Classics. His areas of research specialization are Greek and Latin historical writing, Greek athletics, Greek religion, and Greek and Roman gender and sexuality. His main publications are 4 books: Eros and Greek Athletics, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). Spes Frustrata: Hope in Sallust (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1987). Greek and Roman Athletics: A Bibliography (Chicago: Ares, 1984). The Influence of Thucydides on Sallust (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1980).  Three books are forthcoming: Greek Historical Writing (Oxford: Blackwell); Oxford Readings in Sport in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Oxford: OUP); and, co-edited with Alison Futrell, The Oxford Handbook of Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World (Oxford: OUP).

Professor Scanlon has also been co-founder of a B.A. dergee and program at UCR on Comparative Ancient Civilizations, and the intercampus Ph.D. program UC Tri-Campus Graduate Program in Classics (UCI, UCR, UCSD).  He has appeared on the History Channel programs, Blood and Glory in the First Olympics and Greek Gods and Goddesses, and on the PBS's The Real Olympics.

Have questions about Marathon2500: “War and Sports" with Professor Thomas Scanlon? Contact Reading Odyssey, Inc.



Reading Odyssey, Inc.

The Reading Odyssey, a global non-profit, aims to reignite curiosity and lifelong learning. Through partnerships with scholars, we run reading groups and lecture series for intellectually curious adults.

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