GETTING CURIOUS | What Were The Very First Olympics Like? with Professors Sarah E. Bond and Joel Christensen


On the eve of the Tokyo Olympics, we’re turning our attention to another era of athletic competitions: the ancient Olympics. Professors Sarah E. Bond and Joel Christensen join Jonathan to discuss these early games and what they reveal about ancient Greek and Roman politics, religions, gender roles, and more.

After you listen, make sure to check out Dr. Bond’s first appearance on the show: Would I Have Been The Toast Of The Ancient Mediterranean?

Sarah E. Bond is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Iowa and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Her book, Trade and Taboo: Disreputable Professionals in the Roman Mediterranean, was published with the University of Michigan Press in 2016. Follow her on Twitter @SarahEBond.

Joel Christensen is Professor and Chair of Classical Studies and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at Brandeis University. He also runs the blog and the associated Ancient Greek and Roman (and Cats) Twitter account @sentantiq. He has published introductory books on Homer with Elton T. E. Barker (Beginner’s Guide to Homer, One World, 2013) and Erik Robinson (A Commentary on the Homeric Battle of Frogs and Mice, Bloomsbury, 2018) and recently completed The Many-Minded Man: the Odyssey, Psychology, and the Therapy of Epic with Cornell University Press (2020).

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Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness