Wabash Alumnus Stephen Miller In Olympic Limelight
by Jim Amidon
August 24, 2004
It's been a wild few months for Wabash alumnus Stephen Miller, Class of
1964. The archeologist has been front and center leading up to and
throughout the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
Because Miller, a University of California-Berkeley classics professor,
is one of the world's foremost experts on ancient Greek games. He is
credited with discovering the site of the ancient games at Nemea, where
he has gone for the last 32 years to excavate the site.
He has been interviewed on "The Today Show" as well as NBC's coverage of
the Olympic Games. He was featured in The New York Times, and
recently his book Ancient Greek Athletics (Yale University Press,
$35) was reviewed in The New York Times Review of Books.
Among his many discoveries of the ancient games: the great equalizer was
that most athletes competed naked; winners were showered with gifts,
losers were sometimes flogged; and athletes often scribbled graffiti on
the walls of the tunnel where they filed prior to competition.
On August 20, Miller was named the ABC News "Person of the Week" on the
World News Tonight program.
Elizabeth Vargas wrote the Person of the Week segment:
"Every two years, at the time of the Nemean games, tens of thousands of
people would come here, and gather, and have their athletic and
religious festival," Miller said. "That, of course, is sort of the
predecessor to our United Nations and particularly to our modern
Miller's team has unearthed the stadium, complete with 2,300-year-old
starting blocks. He also discovered the remains of a bath house and a
"There's always the excitement," said Miller. "You never know what's
going to come out of the ground next. You know that you're the first
human being in 2,000 years to touch an object that was made by man in
your own past. That's a great thrill."
Miller is profiled in the upcoming issue of Wabash Magazine, due
out in late September.
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