Opening & Closing Ceremonies
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.
Running Combined is an event where students will first take a 50 question quiz on Roman History, and then based on their score, they will start at a closer or farther distance from the finish line of a running race (approximately 200 meters). The first to cross the finish line wins! This is a new event for 2023, and it will take advantage of our ability to use one of the most historic sports venues on earth in which to hold it: the Circus Maximus! This will be a once in a lifetime chance to run exactly where chariots swarmed in front of a cheering crowd of 100,000 fans two thousand years ago. The Circus Maximus is currently a public park that is a five minute walk from St. Stephen’s School, so this will be a great way to start the Olympiad in true Roman style.
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.
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.