September 17, 2010

Marathon: A battle and a race saluted

Several Emory departments have joined forces to commemorate the 2500-year anniversary of the Battle of Marathon, in which a small Greek force won an unexpected victory over the much larger Persian army at the ancient Greek city.

The idea for a weekend symposium, Sept. 24 and 25, “Immortal Light: The Battle of Marathon and its Athenian Legend” originated with Carlos curator of Greek and Roman art Jasper Gaunt, Bonna Wescoat in art history, and Sandy Blakely, head of the program in Ancient Mediterranean Studies. Soon the program had expanded to include a race, and numerous other Emory departments and community partners.

“Dolichos @ the Carlos,” a 2.62-mile race through the campus will commemorate the legendary  run  of Phidippides, approximately 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory, giving both name and distance to the modern marathon.  Runners receive a t-shirt, and winners receive gift cards from Phidippides Running Center.

“Since a marathon, 26.2 miles, was more than we could do, we moved the decimal point,” explains Carlos education director Elizabeth Hornor.

Get more information on the race, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, and register at Alumni on campus for Emory Homecoming Weekend can participate by registering with the Emory Alumni Association.

The symposium, hosted by Emory’s Departments of Classics and Art History, the Program in Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and the Carlos Museum, begins Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. with a keynote address by Andrew Stewart, professor of Greek art at the University of California at Berkeley. The symposium continues on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. with seven Emory faculty members speaking on the importance of the battle and its electrifying impact on the society and artistic production of the time.

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