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The Sense(s) of Athletics in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Virtual conference
April 28th-29th 2022


Participation in physical activity, whether in today's world or that of antiquity, is inherently interconnected with the senses. Yet, there has been very little use of sensory approaches/methodologies within the context of ancient physical culture. This conference brings together for the first time the respective fields of sensory studies and the study of athletics in the ancient Mediterranean world with the intention of initiating discussion and debate among researchers from a wide variety of research backgrounds.

The full conference program including abstracts is available here.

Conference Schedule

Day 1: Thursday 28th April 2022

14:10: James Lloyd (University of Reading): ‘Grunts and groans, trills and tribrachs: the use of the aulos in Archaic and Classical Greek athletics’, followed by the performance of a replica aulos

14:55: Matthew Evans (University of Warwick): ‘Undefeated by heat: Greek athletes and thermal experience’

15:35: Armin Unfricht (University of Graz): ‘‘[…] grovelling together in the mud, wallowing like swine’ (Luc. Anach. 1). The Aesthetics and Pragmatics of Oil and Dust in Ancient Wrestling and Pankration’

16:05: Marina Prusac-Lindhagen (University of Oslo): ‘The Aesthetic Perfection of ‘The Boxer at Rest’ — Athletic ethos and sensual pathos’

16:45: Keynote: Paul Christesen (Dartmouth College): ‘The Hyperfit and the Hyperreal: How Athletics Shaped Greek Aesthetics’

Day 2: Friday 29th April 2022

14:10: Georgios Mouratidis (University of St Andrews): ‘“…obtained by sweat and labour his glorious reputation”. Ponos and the educational value of pain in the Greek gymnasium’

14:40: Hara Thliveri (University of the Peloponnese): ‘Athletes: Death and Commemoration’

15:20: Jamie Marvin (UC San Diego): ‘Virtuous Voyeurism: Emperor Julian on advantages of gymnastic competitions’

15:50: Aitor Blanco Pérez (Universidad de Navarra): ‘“Crowned by his (imperial) hands”: Agonistic mobility and emperor’s accessibility for athletes in the Roman period’

16:30: Rocío Gordillo Hervás (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville): ‘The dark side of the games: nocturnal rites in the Greek agones during imperial times’

17:00: Keynote: Jo Day (University College Dublin): Senses, Skills and the Ancient World

Registration and further information

The virtual conference is open to all upon registration. Please fill out the registration form to receive the Zoom joining link.

If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact the organiser Matthew Evans at Matthew dot evans dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk.