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Pottery: The Plastic of the Ancient World

I know you might be wondering, how is pottery like plastic? Well, it’s cheap, moldable, sturdy, and lasts almost forever.

The “lasts forever” bit is a big factor in why archaeologists love pottery. Unlike food, cloth, or wood, it doesn’t rot away after 2000 years underground. All Greek and...

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Jan 13, 2016
Dr. Lea Stirling,
Department of Classics, University of Manitoba

The Myth and Making of Sarcophagus 847: The Abduction of Proserpina

One of the most strikingly beautiful works in the Olympus collection is the marble sarcophagus fragment depicting the Abduction of Proserpina. However, it’s difficult to understand this piece without knowing its mythological and cultural context. Who are these characters? How can we understand...

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Jan 11, 2016
Amber Leenders
Student, Department of Classics, University of Manitoba

Fly Me to the Moon: Lucian’s A True Story

Imagine a sci-fi adventure that combined elements of Star Wars, Star Trek, The Wizard of Oz, and Pinocchio. What if I told you a man wrote such a story in ancient Greek almost 2,000 years ago? Lucian, who lived in what is now the southeast corner of Turkey, wrote A True Story in the 2nd...

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Dec 2, 2015
Dr. Conor Whately
Assistant Professor, Department of Classics, University of Winnipeg

Doing a Dig in Greece

After seeing all the works in the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Olympus exhibit, I was reminded of an archeological dig that I went on last summer. By examining the large statues, along with the pottery and other artefacts, I came to thinking about all the work and labour that not only went into the...

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Oct 25, 2015
Sarah Brereton
Student, History of Art, University of Winnipeg

“Man is the measure of all things.” Protagoras

I have recently seen two exhibitions which prominently feature Greek sculpture: Defining Beauty at the British Museum and Olympus at the WAG. Both focus on the human body. Human form, especially the male body, was prominently displayed in Ancient, Classical and Hellenistic Greek culture. Within...

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Aug 6, 2015
Dr. Serena Keshavjee
University of Winnipeg

Greek Comedy – Not just for laughs

From July 15 to July 26, Winnipeggers gather together to celebrate the Fringe Festival. A unique celebration of the dramatic arts, the Fringe is a community-centred event that brings people together to enjoy an art form with ancient roots: the art of dramatic performance. This popular modern...

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Jul 21, 2015
Evan Taylor
University of Winnipeg

The Trojan Women and Euripidean Tragedy


Live theatre originated in Greece in the 5th century BC, and given the popularity of modern events such as the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, it clearly continues as a staple of public entertainment today. Sung rather than spoken when performed, classical Greek theatrical productions were...

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Jul 15, 2015
Royce F. Murray
Pursuing his BEd at the University of Winnipeg

From Sappho to Springsteen: A Timeless Formula


There's a certain feeling you might get looking at the Greco-Roman collection on display right now at the WAG.

When you come face to face with a statuette of Zeus, buck-naked and hurling a thunderbolt, I expect that its beauty or craftsmanship may not be the first things that cross your mind....

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Jul 8, 2015
Jesse Hill
University of Winnipeg alum pursuing his MA in Classics at the University of Toronto

Happy Canada Day, barbarians

As we celebrate Canada’s birthday on July 1st, enthusiasts of the Olympus exhibition at the WAG may be surprised to learn that there was no comparable day for the ancient Greeks. This is because there was no nation of Greece in antiquity, at least not in the sense that Canada and modern Greece...

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Jul 1, 2015
Dr. Pauline Ripat
University of Winnipeg

Of Burials and Bones: Tales Told by the Dead


Quite simply stated, anthropology is the study of humans from past and present contexts. Anthropologists tend to be slow and methodical in their work, which belies the impression of instant resolution and interpretation left by popular television series like Bones or CSI. We definitely shrink...

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Jun 26, 2015
Val McKinley, Dr. Amanda Blackburn, and Jodi Schmidt
University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba

What if ancient Greece was made out of LEGO®?

Imagine being alive during the ancient Greek empire. You watch artisans shape stone, clay, and metal into works of art and buildings of immense size and importance. You leave your beautiful villa to take in a chariot race or visit the temple of the all-mighty Athena. Perhaps you feel like...

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Jun 19, 2015
Billy, Chris, Kevin, Kristen and Melinda
Manitoba LEGO Users Group

Spartan Women in Ancient Greek Athletics

These days women are all over sports, most recently exemplifed by the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015. In ancient Greece, the pursuit of athletics was almost for men. Only men could receive a formal physical education (at venues called gymnasia), and only men could participate in the great...

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Jun 12, 2015
Royce F. Murray
Pursuing his BEd at the University of Winnipeg

Why the butt-end of the spear?

This bronze butt-end of a spear, known as a sauroter to ancient Greeks, was found at the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia, home of the ancient Olympic Games. It was among hundreds of pieces of armor and weapons, including helmets and greaves (protective shin armor), that were left as offerings at...

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Jun 11, 2015
Dr. Mark Lawall
University of Manitoba

Thanks Dr. Scholl

I had the privilege of getting a sneak preview of the Olympus exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery with Dr. Andreas Scholl, the Director of the Collection of Classical Antiquities, National Museums in Berlin. I learned so much! Here are ten intriguing facts he shared with us that I know the...

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May 22, 2015
MaryLou Driedger
Winnipeg Art Gallery

How did a Panathenaic amphora get to Libya?

This vase (amphora) was once filled with olive oil and awarded to the victor of the 4-horse chariot race of the Greater Panathenaic Games, held every four years in Athens. The number of amphorae given to each victor depended on the prestige of the event. We do not know exactly how many jars...

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May 8, 2015
Mark Lawall
University of Manitoba

The Search for Ancient Art

Berlin MuseumWith architect Michael Maltzan (left) in front of the Altes Museum, Berlin. 

It helps being in the right place at the right time, especially when you’re scouting for great exhibitions for the WAG. This was my fortune a couple of summers ago when I was in Berlin, meeting with museum colleagues...

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Apr 18, 2015
Dr. Stephen Borys
WAG Director & CEO