Spring 2018

Sport and Spectacle in Ancient Greece and Rome

Listed in: Classics, as CLAS-126  |  Theater and Dance, as THDA-126

Moodle site: Course


Sarah E. Olsen (Section 01)


(Offered as CLAS 126 and THDA 126)  Olympics. Greek drama. Gladiators. When we think of ancient Greece and Rome, athletic competition and public performance loom large. In this course, students will learn about archaic Greek musical and athletic competitions, Classical Athenian dramatic festivals, and the gladiatorial spectacles of imperial Rome. We will examine the representation of performance and athletics in art and literature, using primary sources to explore contemporary attitudes towards these events and to understand their role within society. We will pay attention to the politics and aesthetics of “sport and spectacle,” using a set of ancient case studies as a springboard to broader conversations about the social import of performance, competition, and entertainment. 

Limited to 40 students. Spring semester. Professor Olsen.

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to students who pre-register and attend class on the first day.


Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018