Sport & Spectacle in Ancient Rome: Chariot Racing, Charioteers, and Sports Fans by Dr. Sinclair Bell
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Lower Meeting Room at the Geneva Library, 127 James Street, Geneva, IL.
For most, the topic of sport in Ancient Rome conjures images of gladiators battling to the death on the sands of the Colosseum. This, of course, is primarily the result of contemporary film and television, such as Russell Crowe’s Oscar-winning performance in the critically acclaimed Gladiator. However, the popular belief that gladiatorial combats were the premiere spectacle of Rome and that these events attracted the biggest audiences and the most partisan fans is only one of many misperceptions surrounding the history of sport and spectacle of Ancient Rome. Please join the Geneva Library Foundation and its guest, Professor Sinclair Bell, as we explore the true passion of Roman sport fans: chariot racing.
Despite the Colosseum’s deserved notoriety, the Circus Maximus in Rome – the original and largest venue for chariot racing – was many centuries older and considerably larger. In addition, chariot races drew the largest crowds and most fervent fans in Rome and throughout the Roman Empire, and continued to do so centuries after the gladiatorial games faded away. Professor Bell’s presentation will explore the circus games’ activity and setting, their star performers, spectators and fans, and the central importance of the circus games for Roman society as a whole.
Sinclair Bell is a Classical Archaeologist and an Associate Professor of Art History at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches courses in Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art and architecture. His work has taken him around the world, excavating Etruscan and Roman sites in Italy and Tunisia and interning in museums in Germany and Greece. Professor Bell studied Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford, the University of Cologne, and the University of Edinburgh, where he received his Ph.D in Classics in 2004. Since then, he has given nearly fifty lectures and published nine books and more than thirty scholarly articles, book chapters and reviews about the art and archaeology of ancient Italy.
The evening will include an introduction of the Geneva Library Foundation, the presentation, and a Q&A session. This is a free event.
The Geneva Library Foundation was established in 2005 as a charitable organization to provide support for current and future library materials, services and facilities. It is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. With a goal of raising $1 million by 2016 and $2 million by 2021, the GLF is committed to providing a substantial, permanent, and stable source of funds to support the Geneva Public Library.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Peter Evans – (630) 220-3689, firstname.lastname@example.org