Series G, Episode 14 - Greeks
- The set is decorated with Greek statues, columns and pots.
- If you are a wealthy ancient Athenian and you want to avoid funding the navy the best way to avoid paying up is to find someone richer than you. Under Athenian law, if your property was worth 70 times or more than the average wage, you had to pay this tax, which was one of only a few in Athens. However, if you could find someone you thought was richer, they would tax them instead. This was tested by the challenger asking the richer person if they would like to swap property. If there was no swap, then the person challenged was deemed to richer and would instead be taxed, unless they could find someone richer.
- XL: If you were spending the weekend with your grandmother and were often the chance to take her to either a Greek symposium or a Roman orgy, probably the best one would be the orgy. Orgies were not sexual in Roman times. They were mainly huge, showy feasts. The orgy also provided entertainment for the whole family. Caligula at the time was more famous for having orgies which featured solid gold food and fish that was bright blue so it looked like it was still in the sea. Symposia tended to be wilder.
- If you see a Spartan with a new hairdo you should runaway, because the last thing a member of this warrior race did before going into battle was to cut their hair. Before the Battle of Thermopylae, the Persians made a huge mistake when one of their spies saw them getting their hair cut and claimed them being nancy boys by doing their hair.
- The proper thing to wear at the gym is nothing at all, because the word "gymnasium" comes from Greek "gymnos" meaning "naked". A "gymnasium" is "a naked place". However, they did wear a "kynodesme" which was a kind of leather pouch with a string bow that prevented your penis getting in the way of their training. Trainers would attract the athlete's attention by pulling on the string. Other gymnos related words include "gymnopedia" which was dances performed by naked boys at public events and "gymnologise" which is to debate naked.
- Baron de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympics, won a gold medal himself in the poetry event, which he entered anonymously. Up until 1948, apart from the sporting events there were also artistic events in the Olympics which also included town planning, sculpture, music and painting. The oldest person ever to win an Olympic medal was 73-year-old Briton John Copley who won silver in the etchings and engravings event. In 1900, a woman won gold for poodle clipping, trimming 17 poodles in 2 hours. The artistic events stopped because of amateurism. The people in these events carried on being artists and so on after the games, while those doing the sport had other work to do. Correction: The idea of Poodle Clipping as an Olympic event was actually an April Fool created by The Daily Telegraph.
- Olympics gold meals are made mostly out of silver (at least 92.5%), with only a tiny amount of gold (6g). The last ones to be made entirely out of gold were in 1912. If they were made out of 18-carat gold each gold medal would be worth
For information on the correction, see the QI Qibble Blog.
- Friday 5th March 2010
- BBC One
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Justin Pollard||Question Writer|
|James Harkin||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Katie Taylor||Executive Producer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|