Opening Ceremonies will take place the evening of the first day of Olympiad. All participants in the Olympiad, including attending family members, friends, and coaches, are encouraged to attend (participating students are required to do so). The Opening Ceremonies will feature pomp, pageantry, and lots of important announcements and information regarding the week ahead. Directly after the Opening Ceremonies, there will be a barbecue dinner for all attendees.
The Olympiad program will conclude with the Closing Ceremonies on July 30, where the last awards will be distributed, including the overall Individual Championship for each division. Light refreshments will be available during the Closing Ceremonies as well.
Great Trading Game
The 2023 International History Olympiad version of the Great Trading Game transports players back to the early Roman Empire. While the Roman upper class looked down on trading in favor of land ownership, trade between different regions of the Empire as well as trade with countries outside of Roman control was becoming more important. Protecting trade routes became an important function of the Roman army and navy. While much of the trade was with the city of Rome itself and the transfer of goods was sometimes in the form of tribute instead of trade, the structure of the game features trade between agricultural (wheat, wine, olive oil and ham) producing Provinces of the Empire and luxury (ivory, spies, silk and jewels) producing Countries beyond the Empire’s borders.
This game oversimplifies history in many ways. The Roman Provinces (Germania, Gaul, Greece, and Egypt) and the Foreign Powers (Axum, Parthia, China, and India) are represented in the game only as simplifications of their complex cultures and economies. Moreover, the timeline is condensed, and the game focuses on a few commodities. Nevertheless, the game demonstrates the interdependence of the Provincial and Foreign economies. It will give players a sense of the challenges facing trading partners throughout history. Players will deal with the twists and turns of history, while exercising and expanding their diplomatic, tactical, and negotiating skills. Knowledge of Roman history and a bit of luck will also play a minor role in determining the winner of The Great Roman Trading Game.
International History Olympiad co-founder David Madden credits Sid Meier’s Civilization series of historical strategy computer games with driving his interest in history, dating back to the original version of the game in the mid 1990’s. For over 25 years, games in the Civilization series have been both enlightening and addictive, and we are delighted to feature a competition using Civilization at the Olympiad.
The version of Civilization that we play will be determined in advance of the Olympiad and then be announced here, but it will most likely be Civilization VI. Unlike in past years, competitors will be asked to bring their own laptops and compete using those. If requested, laptops may be kept for safekeeping with Olympiad staff.
Students who are interested in competing in the Civilization competition might also be interested in competing in a separate Civilization scenario tournament. The historical scenario in question will only be announced at the Olympiad at the start of the competition. As with the Civilization tournament, students wishing to compete in the Civilization Scenario must bring their own laptop for this event.
If you have an interest in journalism, here’s your chance to cover the Olympiad! Whether on our website, Youtube channel, newsletter, or other social media sites; in media outlets at the host city or back in your hometown; or for the international press, we’re looking to spread the word about all of the great accomplishments of the competing students at the Olympiad! Our staff will advise based on journalism guidelines, and then you’ll have a chance to be part of the story as you cover it. Students in the Press Corps will each have a specific responsibility based on their interests and skills (e.g. photography, social media, copy writer, public relations, etc.). We will also have dedicated press conferences with students and staff that will be streamed on Facebook Live, along with certain matches. That will allow friends and family to follow your accomplishments in real time!