|The Martia Dementia championship came down to myth vs. a historical peculiarity.|
Ultimately, the phoenix proved victorious over the poisonous ducks
and was crowned the 2021 winner!
In this year’s Martia Dementia, military commanders of the ancient Mediterranean faced a new set of challengers: birds of many a kind of feather (the mythological, the historical, and the dubiously described by Herodotus and Pliny). Surprisingly, the avian adversaries proved formidable from the very beginning. Aethon handily defeated Agrippa, the sirens bested Artemisia of Caria, and the sacred chickens of Rome were unusually resilient in a match with Jugurtha. Nonetheless, many of the ornithological oddities (cinnamon bird, hercinia, crocodile bird, caladrius) were easily eliminated by their military foes.
The championship round featured the quasi-immortal phoenix versus the poisonous ducks of Pontus, who put forth a valiant effort for a group of seemingly benign water fowl. The phoenix surpassed a number of figures in its quest for dominance, overcoming Marcus Aurelius, Leonidas, and Julius Caesar in the first three rounds. Continuing its blaze of glory, the phoenix went on to top fantastical feathered beings in the quarterfinals and semifinals: the griffin and then the sirens.
Meanwhile, the poisonous ducks of Pontus first had to get past Sulla, the powerful Roman general known for defeating the king responsible for their very existence. Lucky for them, their lethality knew no bounds, destroying Sulla and a number of other leaders on their way to the final round. However, the poisonous ducks couldn’t quite muster the destructive force needed to overcome the fierce, fiery phoenix. In the end, the phoenix was crowned the victor.
Thank you to all who participated this year in Martia Dementia, and many congratulations to our bracket winners! First prize goes to Abby Lee, a student at Saint Ignatius College Prep (Chicago, IL). With forty-eight correct picks, Abby clear and away crushed the competition. Charlie Razeghi of New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL) took second place with forty-four correct picks. Just like last year, third place was quite close: while several participants correctly selected forty-three game winners, only one had accurately predicted the outcome of the championship game. Congratulations to Keira Rosario, student at Gorham High School (Gorham, ME)! The most abysmal bracket was awarded to Akiva Sherin of New Trier High School, who only made eleven correct selections.
There you have it—your Martia Dementia 2021 winners! If you would like to see a final bracket, click here for an easy-to-view PDF. Once again, thank you to all participants, who helped make this year’s contest a resounding success. Have strong feelings about this year’s winners? Hope to see a particular ancient figure featured in next year’s contest? Tweet @BCPublishers what and who you would like to see and include the hashtag #MartiaDementia or give feedback in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!
–Amelia Wallace, Editor