A few hundred feet behind the iconic Minerva statue—who is the Roman goddess of wisdom—some other “Romans” gathered on UNC-Greensboro’s Stone Lawn on Saturday for the sixth annual Classics Day. The young, the old and the in-between all came out for the day, including classes of high school and middle school students in Junior Classical Societies, Latin Clubs, et cetera.
Despite the chilly wind, members of the Classical Society wore togas and Centurion garb throughout the day for the plethora of activities.
One of the most popular activities was the “gladiator battles.” People could line up to fight with soft baseball bats and painted wooden shields. “Gladiators” chose from a series of shields including an octopus, horse, and face shield.
In the tradition of these battles, mostly young men lined up to knock their sticks around. Also reminiscent of gladiator days gone by were the eager sounds of the onlookers, gleefully entertained by the simple violence. Pockets of girls giggled at the silly spectacle, and the boys in line could hardly hold themselves back from the brutal foray.
When the Roman Comedy began, someone in the crowd said, “I just want to fight again.”
But that should not mean that the comedy was not worth watching.
Granted it was hard to hear the actors most of the time, but some laughable parts of Pseudolus’s Act I came through.
The general plot has to do with a man’s true love being sold into slavery, and there was some dancing and a barrage of insults to go with it. Also, there might have been something about chickens.
After the comedy, the Greeks took the stage for the tragedy of Antigone.
The plot of Antigone centers on a family with some incest-y background (Oedipus), and the decision of Antigone to give funeral rites to her publicly shamed brother in defiance of the new ruler’s edict. Eventually Antigone hangs herself, though no Classical Society members were harmed in the presentation of the play.
If watching Greek tragedy was not your proclivity, you could head over to the ancient pottery table to play with various colored powders and paints and decorate a small glass bottle.
Also included in the days festivities were a series of Roman combat drills and formations, Olympics and more gladiator battles and the day finished with chariot races that were not quite on the scale of Ben-Hur.
To sum up the work that it took organize the event, and the merriment that went along with it are the words of the Greek tragedian Aeschylus, “Happiness is a choice that requires effort at time.”
Categories: Features, Human Interest, Uncategorized
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