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Comparing The Olympic Games Of The Past To The Present: A Website Review

1384 words - 6 pages

The two websites offered, The Penn Museum and PBS, both offer unalike perspectives on how to present information on the Greek Olympics and the Roman Empire. They also act differently as companions to the text, Traditions and Encounters by Bentley and Ziegler. Both of the websites however were interesting. I will elaborate on each websites content, helpfulness, reliability, graphics, and design below.
The Penn Museum site on the Olympic Games in Greece presents a well-organized home page that entices the viewer in. It compares, in the first few sentences you see, the similarities between the ancient Olympics and today’s Olympics. As a reader, I am already enticed to learn more because of the comparisons made, it feels relatable and relevant to me. It is organized into five sections, the games, the athletes, the women, the politics, and the commercialism. Bentley and Ziegler present information on the Olympic Games very differently. The information is a small paragraph within the books chapter on Greece; it does not go into any real detail but rather offers an idea of what the Olympic Games were. The paragraph simply states that the Olympics started in 776 BCE as a part of the PanHellenic festivals; it gives a short list of some events, and says that winners were heroes and it happened every four years. In contrast, the website has many details and small interesting tidbits of information that make the viewer want to read more. The first section, the games, focuses on where the games took place and some common misconceptions about the Olympics in regards to the marathon, nudity, and the Olympic flame. The next section, the athletes, discusses the athletes and amateur vs. professionals and prizes, and rewards. I learned that in ancient Greece, there were no amateur or professional athletes, material prizes and money were given, and in the Hellenistic period, athletes earned a pension so they could be bought and sold. The third section, the women, tells how unmarried women participated in the Hera festivals and watched the men while the married were barred from the festivals by penalty of death. The fourth section focuses on the politics of the Olympics, it discusses how the games were used to discuss political issues but they also caused conflict themselves. The last section discusses commercialism and compares today’s commercialism of brand names and cereal boxes to that of the statues of ancient Greece.
The PBS website on the Roman Empire at first appeared to be uninteresting looking, but once I actually read the homepage I was immediately intrigued to learn more. The homepage describes the empire as sophisticated and brutal, it describes the emperors in truth rather than glamorizing them; it discusses daily life, and concludes by saying Rome is more than a city and is still relevant today. This site, like the Penn Museum site, is organized into five sections, emperors, social order, writers, life in roman times, and religion. The textbook by...

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