The title of his dissertation (1981) was “The Stadia of the Peloponnesos,” an architectural study of the ancient Greek stadium in southern Greece. Between 1982 until 2011 he taught Classical Archaeology and Classical Studies classes at the University of Pennsylvania including ‘Ancient Athletics’. His research interests include Greek athletics and the ancient Olympic Games, ancient Greek and Roman architecture and city planning, and computer applications in archaeology.
He has participated in archaeological fieldwork in Greece at Athens, Corinth, Gournia, Nemea and Mt. Lykaion. Since 1987 he has been the Director of the Corinth Computer Project, a long-term study of the city and landscape planning of the Roman city of Corinth. In 2004 Dr. Romano began a new survey and excavation at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion in Arcadia. This sanctuary was the site of the Pan-Arkadian Lykaion Games and the sanctuary includes a stadium and the only visible hippodrome in the entire Greek world. The Sanctuary of Zeus is located high on a mountain and is only 23 miles from the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. Learn more at Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project website.
His books include Athletics and Mathematics in Archaic Corinth: The Origins of the Greek Stadion, 1993; The Catalogue of the Classical Collections of the Glencairn Museum (With Irene Bald Romano), 1999; Mapping Augustan Rome (in collaboration with Lothar Haselberger), 2002. He is also an athlete, a long distance runner, as well as a former physical education teacher and track coach.
This special website is based on Boycotts, Bribes and Fines an article by Dr. David Gilman Romano which appeared in Penn Museum’s Expedition Magazine in 1985 “Exploring 5000 Years of Athletics.”
The Ancient Olympics: Athletes, Games and Heroes
Many of our present-day athletic events are modeled on those of ancient Olympics, and many of the words used in antiquity—like stadium, discus, and pentathlon—are still used today. Dr. Romano discusses the rituals and rules of the Olympics and explains the various events and customs of the five-day Olympiad. In addition, he focuses on the athletes and heroes and the rewards, scandals and politics that surrounded them!
This multi-faceted introduction to the ancient Olympics includes sculpture, vase paintings and contemporary scenes of athletic competition. The video, The Ancient Olympics: Athletes, Games and Heroes is intended for home viewing by the general public as well as for use in educational settings. With its interdisciplinary approach it presents material directly connected to Ancient History and Religion, as well as Classical Archaeology; in addition, it is of great value to anyone interested in athletics, ancient and modern.
The Ancient Olympics: Athletes, Games and Heroes video lecture by David Gilman Romano
Distributed by the Institute for Mediterranean Studies
1996 VHS; 55 minutes