Have I ever mentioned that I’m very competitive?
It’s a character trait that I don’t notice much these days, since I mostly work on my own; but it came up again the other day. I was talking to someone who’s writing a book about Tacitus, and somehow I ended up challenging him to a Tacitus Contest.
I’m not even entirely sure what that would be…!
I don’t think that being competitive is in itself a negative trait – it drives athletes to succeed, after all. But as anyone who’s ever watched me run would tell you, I’m really not an athlete. And in my case competitiveness is quite unfortunate. You see, I also worry about other people a lot, and I hate the thought of them losing and being miserable. So I like to challenge people – but then I don’t actually want to beat them.
Nobody’s been willing to play Scrabble with me in years.
I was thinking about that this week. At the same time I’ve been corresponding with quite a few students around the world who’ve found themselves quarantined, isolated or displaced due to the coronavirus situation; and then of course there’s been the weather in the UK, which has limited people’s mobility. All over the place, it seems, people are stuck and fed up right now. So for this week’s post I thought I’d put my competitive streak to good use and throw a few Classics quizzes at you, to help pass the time if you’re stuck somewhere you’d rather not be. Feel free to boast about notable successes in the Comments!
From Gaia to Medusa (check out the comments under the answers!) – How Stuff Works
Unfortunate Fates – How Stuff Works
This one’s supposed to be hard, but actually it’s just excruciatingly painful – GoodReads
Which under-rated goddess are you? – How Stuff Works
Which Roman emperor are you? [it seems I’m Trajan…] – Quizony
Literature: Fact or Fiction? – Encyclopedia Britannica
Ancient Rome quiz [to prove whether you’re Super Smart. Pleased to report that I am] – Quizly
How much do you know about Socrates? – OUP Blog
Famous Romans [This one’s fun!] – Sporcle
How long would you have survived in Ancient Rome? [Slightly worrying: it seems I’m already dead] – How Stuff Works
From quizzes to competitions
I’ll take this opportunity to mention (again!) a couple of competitions which are currently open, for anyone who might be interested.
The Global Undergraduate Awards are also open now, to any undergraduate or recent graduate who has achieved a First in an essay and who wants to compete against the rest of the world! The good thing about this competition is that you don’t have to write anything new. Here’s some more information.
This week’s links from around the classical internet
Vindolanda Eco HQ – BBC
Roman dagger identified – Live Science
Elgin Marbles fraud claim – ART News
Comment and opinion
Give Iris her body back – The Washington Post
(Fake) Myth Musicals – Idle Musings
Teaching Metamorphoses Book 1 – Medium
Teaching Pygmalion ethically – Ad Meliora
Wonderwall in Latin – In Medias Res
Roman souvenirs – Latin Now
Black Athena – Neos Kosmos
Promethean Problems – Eidolon
On not reading Homer – Sententiae Antiquae
Tragedy in tough times – Eidolon
Podcasts, video and other media
Marcus Aurelius – The Good Life
Claudius: Waiting in the Wings – I, Podius
Online open house on Homer’s Thebes – Kosmos Society
Wherever you are in the world right now, I hope you’re keeping safe. Take care!