Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Nike Wins: Martia Dementia 2019 Recap

A bas relief of Nike at Ephesus
(courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
From the very beginning of Martia Dementia 2019, the Greek gods proved themselves to be all-powerful, handily beating their hero, author, and politician rivals. Caesar was no match for Ares, Augustus was no match for Poseidon! The Olympians seemed like they might go all the way to the finish, with Zeus as a particular favorite, until Nike, goddess of victory, proved true to her name. Among the mythological creatures, the chthonic entities were the ones to beat: Python and Cerberus vied in a close contest, with Cerberus winning. The three-headed hell hound, however, ultimately bowed his head in defeat to snake-tressed Medusa. While Medusa made a valiant effort in the championships, she couldn’t quite overcome Victory herself, who was crowned with the Martia Dementia 2019 laurels. Sadly, some early fan favorites didn’t make it far, but perhaps they’ll find some success next year.

Thank you to all who participated this year in Martia Dementia—your enthusiasm is what makes this contest a success! And now, let’s recognize our bracket winners. This year’s contest resulted in a tie for first place: with fifty-four correct picks, Michael Mangel and Will Joseph, both of New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL), crushed the competition. Each will receive a first place $100 book prize. Our third place winner and recipient of a $25 book prize is the Frontier Regional School (Deerfield, MA) Latin II class, which submitted a bracket with 49 correct picks under the aegis of student teacher Becka Pomeroy. According to Becka, the key to success in Martia Dementia is to have a big class (and then, of course, encourage them all to vote!). Congratulations to our three winners!

The award for most abysmal bracket goes to David Jaffe, Latin teacher at Belmont High School (Belmont, MA). His poor showing—only eleven correct picks—resulted from some intricate and rather involved methods of selecting winners for each round. Here, David explains his strategy:

My first priority was to contrive funny match-ups: Taraxippoi vs. Nessus, Ovid vs. Augustus, Scylla vs. Charybdis, etc. But there was really no question that in the end I had to have Homer win. Sure, he's a blind old poet who probably never existed—but have you read the Iliad? That's not the work of a loser. I wasn't actually trying to get most abysmal. I do, however, generally prefer more obscure characters, or those who seem like more of an underdog, so in hindsight I'm not really surprised.

There you have it—your Martia Dementia 2019 winners! 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 hash tag #MartiaDementia or give feedback in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

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