The Olympic Torch, Then and Now

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Dr. David Gilman Romano
Senior Research Scientist, Mediterranean Section
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

“In ancient Athens, it was important that the torches be kept lighted, since if the torch went out the team was disqualified. Although the torch relay was a running event it was not a part of the regular program of athletic contests celebrated at the Panathenaic Games in Athens which was itself a festival in honor of Athena and held on her birthday. It was a civic event rather than a religious event of the Panathenaic Games.”


• Expert on the ancient Olympic Games
• Doctor of Classical Archaeology