The Monmouth College

Department of Classics


the Twenty First Annual
Bernice L. Fox Classics Lecture



Olive-Tinted Spectacles:
Myths in the History of the Ancient and Modern Olympics


Dr. Mark Golden

Professor of Classics
at the
University of Winnipeg

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
7:30 P.M.
Highlander Room
The Stockdale Center
Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois

The 2004 Athens Olympics brought new reminders of the links between our modern games and the ancient Olympic festival and of the foundation of the modern games by the French baron, Pierre de Coubertin, in 1896. As it happens, however, many of these links are imaginary or misleading and the modern games were first conceived and celebrated by Greeks before Coubertin's birth.

These facts are well known to specialists but still fail to make any impact on contemporary media or popular culture. The reason? We use the past mainly to provide lessons or make arguments about the present. The result is not only bad history but a limitation on our choices of action today.

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