Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lucan Wins: Recap of Martia Dementia

Lucan Wins: Recap of Martia Dementia
The End and Future of Martia Dementia

An image of the final
Marita Dementia bracket
Euclid learned all too well last weekend, which marked the conclusion of the 2015 Martia Dementia, that all good things come to an end. His Cinderella story included a narrow victory over the No. 1 Seed Plato, a marginal triumph over Aristophanes, and pivotal victory over the increasingly popular Xenophon. Some believed that the No. 10 Seed Aeschylus, advancing to the Elite Eight, might stop him, but no, that honor went to Lucan. Lucan, the prolific writer of many titles and epigrams. Lucan, who beat the esteemed Apuleius just a day after upstaging Augustine, and who even pulled out a few tricks from his De bello civili for a victory over the heavily favored Vergil. Lucan beat Euclid 13-2 to take home the glory, thus winning Martia Dementia. Many narratives sprouted from the bracket as voting created conflict between these authors of antiquity, and many surprises came as dark horses produced upset after upset; Hesiod, a four seed, was the highest ranked author to advance past the Elite Eight! These narratives, and the success of Martia Dementia, all happened thanks to our participants.

An image of Marie's
final bracket.
The initial response to Martia Dementia was overwhelming, but thinking that the number of participants would match this was a dream, though it soon became a reality as bracket after bracket began to flood my email. With that, I would like to thank all the teachers, professors, friends, students, and everyone else for their participation. I would also like to take time to acknowledge and congratulate the following for their success in this year's competition. First, to our in-house winner, Marie Bolchazy who, though not in the running for prizes, put up enough points to take second place. Now, to Sabrina Epstein of the Bullis School who, with only three picks remaining after the Round of 32, never gave up hope, I say congratulations for having the most abysmal bracket! To Evelyn Beckman, also of the Bullis School, to whom I am partial for also going with team Ovid, I would like to say congratulations for picking up 48 points and taking third place! To Inna Kunz, whose faith in Lucretius allowed her to just squeak by with a 49-point effort, I would like to say congratulations for finishing in second place! Lastly, I congratulate Thanh Tran who, with 128 points and a near-perfect bracket, won this year's Martia Dementia by a landslide! 

If you were disappointed in how your bracket went this year and wish to prepare for a better outing next time, Tran shared her winning strategy, making it seem easy, saying, "I basically chose the authors whom I liked best in each pairing if not entirely at random." Still, a little more effort and a little outside support helped to make a winning bracket: "I may have asked a lot of my students to vote for my bracket." So there you have it, the winning strategy: a little randomness and a lot of votes.
This Attic red figure vase, found in the University
Museum, University of Pennsylvania, shows Hercules
wrestling with the Nemean lion.

Looking forward to next year's Martia Dementia? Already counting down the days? Want to see a favorite author who did not make this year's cut? Would you rather see gods and goddesses versus heroes versus beasts? Perhaps you prefer political bouts? Tweet @BCPublishers what and who you would like to see, and include the hash tag #MartiaDementia or give feedback in the comments below. Did you have questions or comments about how this year's competition went? Were you able to find ways to incorporate Martia Dementia into the classroom, or do you have ideas of how you might next year? Comment below; I would love to hear from you!

-Connor Hart