Wednesday, September 16, 2020

MythOff Aquincum: Back to the Classics

We have not had a MythOff since February, due to the coronavirus crisis. Hence, when the Aquincum Museum invited us to bring MythOff to the museum's open archaeological park, we were more than happy to oblige. Last weekend was their Roman Festival, and we didn't only prepare with Greek and Roman mythology - but we even dressed for the occasion!

MythOff took place in the afternoon (following right after the gladiator combat). Since it was very hot outside, we abandoned the open air theater and set up under a large tree so that our audience could sit in the share. It turned out to be a great idea: it created a lovely atmosphere, and about 50-60 people stuck around to listen to myths for two hours. Voting was done by dropping pieces of pottery into urns, and the prizes were antefix replicas provided by the museum.

Here is how things went down: 

Round one: Life and death
The lineup opened with Hajós Erika. She told the myth of King Erysichthon, who disrespected the goddess Demeter, and was punished by eternal hunger. The other myth was that of Aeneas' journey into the Underworld, told by Gregus László.
Voting question: Which one would you rather take on: eternal hunger, or a trip into the Underworld?
Winner: Aeneas. People would rather go to the Underworld than go hungry.

Round two: Love
This was my round, and I got to tell a brand new myth from my repertoire: that of Dea Muta, the silent goddess, who saved a nymph from being raped by Jupiter, and then became the secret lover of Mercury. Nagy Enikő told the lovely story of Philemon and Baucis wishing to leave the world in their old age together.
Voting question: Which love would you rather choose, one that is rich but has to be kept a secret, or one that is poor but you don't have to hide?
Winner: Philemon and Baucis. People would rather not hide their love. 

Round three: Troy
Stenszky Cecília told the myth of Philoktetes, the unlucky archer whose story kicks of the fall of Troy. Dala Dániel joined her with the prequel to the prequel: the death of Heracles (a story which is depicted in a mosaic in Aquincum). 
Voting question: Who would you rather have as an archery master?
Winner: Heracles. More people would rather have an angry master than a stinky one.

It was amazing to tell ancient myths among the ancient ruins. We hope to do it again sometime soon!

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