Yes, Jesus’s arrival was the game-changer, and Christmas and Easter are holy days of a different class, but in the years B.C., the Romans already had a calendar as full of holidays as an Educate Together Sports Day is full of medals. And our Classics classes dutifully and enjoyably mark as many of them as they can! Saturnalia is the festa most linked with Christmas and was infamous for its bacchanalian excess and its subversion of the usual social order: slaves would even be served their dinner by their masters on this one day when the world turned upside down. We settled for the magister serving his discipuli the symbolically, mythically rich pomegranate and demonstrating the wonders of the Pythagorean Cup: an ingenious vessel that rewards moderation but punishes excess by emptying completely of wine (or cranberry juice, in this case) if filled too high. See some snaps from our Saturnalian parties below as well as some from Classics hijinks earlier in the term and our Young Classicist Symposium Award winners from last year. There is a new competition in the new year so stay tuned!
Young Classicists Symposium Winners