Classics Day Festival

Every other year the Monmouth College Classics Department hosts the Classics Day Festival. Our next Classics Day will take place in fall 2021.

We hope you can join us then!


We have a program for tomorrow's Classics Day! I'm pasting below all that there'll be to do, and the times when things will be happening on the main stage. See you tomorrow between 1 and 4 PM on Monmouth's campus for Classics Day!

Greek, Roman, and Macedonian Military
Olympic sports:
Akon (Javelin)
Olympic Diskos (Discus)
Halma (Long Jump)
Running Events:
Combat Events:
Wrestling (Pale)
Boxing (Pyx)
Chariot Racing
Roman Gladiators
Language Trees:
Ancient Greek
Hindi and Henna
Ancient Timekeeping and Science
Ancient Technology: Construction, Food, Writing, and Art
Brains: Ancient vs. Modern Conceptions
The Ancient World in Virtual Reality
Riddle Me This! Puzzles
Greek Vase Forms
Roman Stone Carving
Making and Writing on Papyrus (University of Illinois)
Italy Today
LGBT in the Classical World
Ancient Greek & Roman Clothing
Need Advice? Ask a Greek Natural Philosopher!
Make a Catapult!
Origami! Xiphos Swords (Greek), Koi Fish (Japanese), and Laurel Leaf Crowns (Greek and Roman)
Call Me Meddy: A Bilingual (Spanish/English) adaptation of Euripides’ play Medea (Rockford University)
Ancient Coins
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
Ancient Games: Senet, Latrunculi/Petteia, and Tabula
Classical Scavenger Hunt
Classical and World Mythology

Schedule for the Main Stage
12:55-1:00 PM: Bagpipe Invitation to the Trubeck Amphitheater
1-1:15 PM: Welcome and Introduction to Classics Day
1:15-1:35 PM: Monmouth College Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Justin Swearinger
2:00-3:00 PM: “Call Me Meddy,” an English/Spanish adaptation of Euripides’ Medea, written and performed by Rockford University students and faculty, led by Dr. Yoandy Cabrera
3:00-3:45 PM: Greek, Macedonian, and Roman Military Demonstration


Classics Day VI is next weekend--Sat., September 30, from 1-4 PM! Here are a few updates on the event:
• FOOD! There will be an excellent Greek meal, available between noon and two (while supplies last—we have purchased 100 meals) free of charge for participants in Classics Day and people planning to take in the event.
• Here is the event page for Classics Day, set up by the Emilee Renwick, Creative Director in our incomparable Office of Communications and Marketing:
• Emilee also documented a recent Sports in Greece and Rome class that served as a preview of the sports part of Classics Day:
• Here is a podcast that the Duane Bonifer, Associate VP of Communications and Marketing, recorded with Bob Holschuh Simmons and senior Classics Day Leadership students Rahm Pandey and Jan Abel about the upcoming Classics Day:
• We once again have more than 50 separate events and demonstrations that visitors can take in, plus dozens more informative posters. Most recent additions:
o Conceptions of the brain: ancient vs. modern
o Need advice? Ask a Greek natural philosopher!
o Ancient games: Senet, Petteia, and Backgammon
o Demonstration of techniques of Greek, Macedonian, and Roman militaries
o Representatives of the following languages (alphabetically): Arabic, Bengali, Greek, Hindi, Latin, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Sanskrit, Twi, and Urdu.

For K-12 schools that have some distance to travel, we have some funds available to help you get here. Please direct message me through this page to discuss options.

See you next weekend at Classics Day!



Classics Day VI is happening in just three weeks! Here's the event's flyer. The Leadership team is busily working to make this the best Classics Day yet. We hope you can be there--all are welcome, free of charge. More updates in days to come.


Classics Day VI will be on Sat., Sept. 30, from 1-4 PM at Trubeck Amphitheater on Monmouth College's campus! Lots more information to be posted soon. We look forward to seeing you for this 50+-event Classics Day!

An Instant Classic 04/14/2022

Coverage of Classics Day V's award for Outstanding Promotional Activity by Monmouth College 's Barry McNamara! Enjoy.

An Instant Classic Monmouth College’s Classics Day V earns honor for outstanding promotional activity.


This morning, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South announced the Monmouth College Classics Department's Classics Day Festival V (2021) as the winner of 2021-22 Award for Outstanding Promotional Activity. Thank you to the twelve tremendous Monmouth College Classics Day Leadership students who brought Classics Day to life: alphabetically, seniors Mel Fairand, Olivia Matlock, Mik Moore, Elisa Riedesel, CeCe Rodriguez, Bob Storey, and Brie Stumbo; junior Todd Fowler; and sophomores Jan Abel, Rahm Pandey, Larissa Pothoven, and Sam Stoyanoff. (Please tag yourselves if you’d like.) Thanks also to Prof. Vanessa Marie Campagna and the dozens of students, other faculty, and community members who merged their spectacular Fusion Fest with Classics Day, and the scores of other students, alumnae/i, faculty, staff, and community members who contributed to Classics Day in a host of additional ways. In the fall, members of the Classics Day Leadership class asked who else in the nation was putting on an event in the field as elaborate and impressive as ours. The answer, it seems, is “no one.”


While this year's Classics Day was a great success in general (pictures to follow in the next week or so), one of its specific accomplishments is that the Greek Nescafe frappes that Tin Cup served, at our request, were such a hit that the shop is going to add them to its menu! Those who couldn't get enough of them at Classics Day will now be able to get their fix at Tin Cup!

After serving 225 of this special request beverage at Monmouth College Classics Day and receiving overwhelming requests to add this to our menu, Tin Cup has added the Greek Nescafé Frappe.
Thank you Monmouth College for asking us to participate in this fun event.
See you soon!


Due to the weather, Classics Day V will be taking place in the Huff Athletic Center tomorrow, Saturday the 2nd, from 1-4PM. All activities and scheduled events, including the Fusion Fest shows, will still occur.

We will have Greek food, provided free of charge, from 12-1:30 while supplies last, along with Greek Nescafe coffee made by Tin Cup from 1-4 while supplies last, also free of charge.

At the event, there will be a raffle for a $25 gift card to the bookstore and other possible prizes upon completing a scavenger and earning different awards throughout the day.

We hope to see you there!

-Olivia Matlock and the Classics Day Leadership class

1853 Podcast -- 2021-22 -- Episode No. 4 09/20/2021

Here's an interview that College Communications ace Duane Bonifer did with Classics professor Bob Holschuh Simmons about the coming Classics Day (Oct. 2 from 1-4 PM on Dunlap Terrace). Give it a listen! And thanks, Duane!

1853 Podcast -- 2021-22 -- Episode No. 4 Classics professor Bob Simmons (pictured) on Classics Day V, set for Oct. 2; and Rep. Cheri Bustos delivers fifth-annual Wiswell-Robeson Lecture (9:31).


Seniors Brie Stumbo, Olivia Matlock, and Mel Fairand are hard at work this afternoon organizing clothing, helmets, and a range of other materials for CLASSICS DAY! Lots of people are focused on making this an exceptional event again on Oct. 2 from 1-4. Join us that day on Dunlap Terrace!


Times for Classics Day V: 1-4 PM on Saturday, October 2. More details to come in due time! We look forward to seeing you at Classics Day V, on Dunlap Terrace, in the middle of Monmouth College's campus.


New date for Classics Day V: Saturday, October 2. Many details to come, but expect the same sort of immersion into the classical pasts of a whole bunch of nations and peoples, some of the same things that have made previous Classics Days so fun (lots of sports; lots of crafts; lots of chances to wear, touch, and use the wealth of physical materials we have), and many things that are new for this iteration of the event. Join us! And contribute an event, if you would like!


We are so proud of Prof. Bob Holschuh Simmons for receiving this year's Outreach Award from the Society for Classical Studies for his work on Classics Day! This is a HUGE honor from the SCS, our field's principal organization in North America. It's hard to put it better than this statement from the award committee: "We recognize and applaud Professor Robert Holschuh Simmons for the scope and scale of his vision with Classics Day, for his ability to bring students into the work of outreach, and for his ongoing commitment to inspiring audiences of all ages so that they might engage with Mediterranean antiquity in vivid, imaginative, and meaningful ways." Please visit this link to read the full report from the committee on Prof. Simmons' excellent work: Congratulations, Bob!!

Classics Day 09/02/2020

For people hungry for some Classics Day content as we wait out this pandemic, here's the Classics Day page on Monmouth College's newly revamped web site! Check it out!

Classics Day Classics Day, held every other fall, brings hundreds of guests from around the Midwest to campus. The day focuses primarily on ancient Greece and Rome. But it also features demonstrations, exhibitions and representatives from other cultures, time periods and geographic regions, such as ancient Egypt...


After much consideration, Monmouth College Classics has decided not to offer a full-scale Classics Day V this coming September 26, but to postpone it until Fall 2021. The COVID-19 situation has left matters for the foreseeable future so uncertain, at a time when some factors that would determine the event’s success need to be put into place immediately, that we thought the most prudent move would be to postpone the event until a time when we hope matters will have settled down, and when we can put on this event at the level of excellence of the first four Monmouth Classics Days.

To the many of you who have come to previous Classics Days and helped to bring them to life, we are very sorry. Next year, we hope.

We are open to doing something on a much smaller scale than a normal Classics Day, on Sept. 26 or some other fall Saturday. If anyone would like to communicate with me about bringing groups here for a “Classics Fun Day,” or something of the sort, when we’re all out of lockdown, we would love to do that. We could possibly even take a portion of our show on the road for such a purpose. We will all need some levity when we get to the other side of this pandemic.

Thank you for your understanding and for your support of the first four Classics Days. Keep following this page for updates.


Good news about some funding that Prof. Bob Holschuh Simmons secured for our next Classics Day (Fall 2020)! We're grateful for the Illinois Humanities Council and everyone else who supports our efforts to bring Classics to life.

Congratulations to Prof. Bob Holschuh Simmons, who was recently awarded a Community Action Grant of $2100 by the Illinois Humanities Council for Classics Day V, in Fall 2020. These grants are typically provided to around 20% of applicants, so this award is a tribute to the impact that Classics Day has had on public humanities in this state. Well done, Bob!


Classics Day at Monmouth College is a biennial event, and thus it will not be taking place in 2019. Its shapers have long been planning ways to make Classics Day V, in Fall 2020, even better than the previous four, though. Stay tuned for announcements of the date of that event! And thank you for your interest in Classics Day at Monmouth College.

Monmouth Classics Day 2018 11/19/2018

We had a fantastic time putting on Classics Day for our community and all our visitors! Please enjoy these pictures and relive the magic! For more pictures, go to Monmouth's Flickr page:


A good turnout last night to watch Percy Jackson under the stars on a chilly Friday night in downtown Monmouth for the second-to-last event in "Classics Week in Monmouth." Last one: today's Classics Day, from 1-4 PM, with a Greek meal preceding from 11:30-1, all on the Monmouth College Quad. See you there!

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 09/28/2018

The third event of Classics Week was a big success. Rose Katsenes spoke tonight at Pattee Auditorium on the topic “Clothing in the Ancient World, or, How to Dress for Success in 200 BCE.” Great turnout, vibrant and informative talk.


Welcome to the official Classics Week! Make sure you check out all the events happening around Monmouth that lead up to the big day, Classics Day, September 29th, 1-4 on the quad of Monmouth College. This event is open to the public with a traditional Greek meal being served prior to. Big thanks to the College of Communications and Marketing Office for helping promote our event.
Here's the link to all the activities happening in Monmouth this week! fil:///C:/Users/olivi/Downloads/_Classics%20Week%20in%20the%20City%20of%20Monmouth_.pdf

Photos from Classics Day Festival's post 09/22/2018

More from our recent shipment of replica material from the classical world: gladiatorial equipment! We got a Thraex helmet, fasciae (leg wraps), greaves (shin guards), a trident, and a net (the latter two for a retiarius, or net-fighter). See it and try it out at Classics Day, Sat., Sept. 29, from 1-4 PM, with Greek meal preceding from 11:30-1!

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 09/18/2018

Monmouth Mayor Rod Davies proclaimed Sept. 24-29, the week leading up to and culminating in Classics Day, "Classics Week in the City of Monmouth."

Thracian helmets for Classics Day 09/17/2018

Today's recently-arrived piece of the Classics Day collection that will be available for visitors to try on on Sept. 29 from 1-4 at Monmouth College: Thracian helmets, worn by many of the soldiers of Alexander the Great and his father, Philip II of Macedon.

Thracian helmets for Classics Day 2 new photos · Album by Robert Simmons

Corinthian helmets for Classics Day 09/16/2018

Classics Day just received a huge shipment of materials for use on the big day, Sept. 29 from 1-4 PM on the Monmouth College Quad. I will post pieces of our new acquisitions little by little over the next few days. Day 1: Corinthian helmets, variants of which were worn by soldiers all around Greece throughout the classical period. You can try them on at Classics Day!

Corinthian helmets for Classics Day 4 new photos · Album by Robert Simmons


Hey everyone! If you have an Instagram, go check out the official Classics Day page to keep up to date on all the behind the scenes work of our team!

Timeline photos 09/11/2018

On Labor Day, students in Prof. Hagen’s course on Labor, Class, and Slavery in Antiquity made these wonderful terracotta loom weights for the warp-weighted loom that will be on display at Classics Day. Now they’re all fired and ready to go on the loom. Thanks again to Prof. Janis Wunderlich for all of her help in the ceramics studio!


Among the many preparations that the Classics Day Leadership class is making for Classics Day, Maddie Baker and Michele Bolling have been organizing our huge collection of classical clothing. See and try some of it on at Classics Day!


Students are busy preparing for Classics Day, Sept. 29 from 1-4 on the Monmouth Quad! Here, Prof. Bob Holschuh Simmons' Sports in Greece and Rome class students work on the ancient style of long jump (as documented on Monmouth College Instagram) in preparation for teaching it at Classics Day.


Students in Prof. Bob Holschuh Simmons' Sports in Greece and Rome class at Monmouth College continue their training for Classics Day, this time mastering the 3/4-turn of the ancient Olympic discus. They will be ready to teach all visitors the technique at Classics Day, Sept. 29 from 1-4 on the Monmouth College Quad!


Students in Prof. Bob Holschuh Simmons' Sports in Greece and Rome class are in training to put on a host of different events at Classics Day on Sept. 29, from 1-4 PM. Here are some of the students in the class practicing the hoplitodromia, a race in armor, that was carried out in the ancient Olympics and other Panhellenic games. Thanks to Dean of Students Laura Hutchinson for the picture!

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 08/11/2018

Please welcome Dr. Alana Newman, who joins us from Edinburgh University in Scotland, to the Classics Department! She will be teaching, among other things, the Egyptian Archaeology and Archaeology Lab courses that will be represented at Classics Day. And she will be using the Canopic jars that are pictured as part of both the Egyptian Archaeology course and that course's Classics Day activity. Welcome, Dr. Newman! And thank you, donors on Scots Day of Giving, through whose generosity we were able to purchase these Canopic jars.


Prof. Adrienne Hagen ground some wheat flour on our new grinding stone. Come to Classics Day on Sept. 29th to try it for yourself!

Photos from Classics Day Festival's post 07/11/2018

Prof. Adrienne Hagen has been weaving on her ancient-style warp-weighted loom, using warp weights that she has improvised. Students in her "Labor, Class, and Slavery" class this fall will learn to weave on this loom, and some of them will demonstrate its operation for visitors at Classics Day (Sept. 29 from 1-4 PM!), and let those visitors try their hand at the weaving as well.

"College For Kids" - Monmouth College News 06/26/2018

Classics Day preview! The College just posted pictures of College for Kids, and Prof. Simmons' "Sports in Greece and Rome" class gets a lot of coverage (see the top and bottom of the first page of pictures and the top of the second). Pictured are gladiatorial combat, chariot racing, discus, javelin, and upright wrestling. Thanks, Jeff Rankin, for the great visuals!

"College For Kids" - Monmouth College News Engaged, insightful area students try new things during summer enrichment program

Photos from Classics Day Festival's post 06/08/2018

More acquisitions for Classics Day (and, prior to that, Prof. Adrienne Hagen's "Labor, Class, and Slavery in Antiquity" class), all of them for ancient-style weaving: combs, spindles, whorls (clay, pewter, and antler), distaffs, a diz, cards for tablet weaving, and some raw wool from Finn sheep. Everything was handmade by Shannon Field, a farmer and craftswoman in Virginia, except for the pewter whorl. Thank you again, donors on Scots Day of Giving!

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Our Story

Classics Day is a fun, interactive, and educational event that allows people of all ages to engage with a variety of ancient cultures. We focus primarily on ancient Greece and Rome but have also hosted demonstrations and exhibitions on ancient Egypt, Classical Japan, and the indigenous peoples of our local region, as well as other cultures, time periods, and geographic regions. Our next Classics Day will take place in fall 2021. We hope you can join us then!



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