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First Ever Greek-Style Gymnasium Unearthed in Egypt

First Ever Greek-Style Gymnasium Unearthed in Egypt

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A team of German and Egyptian archaeologists has unearthed the first Hellenistic gymnasium ever found in Egypt. Experts suggest that the gymnasium was used during the Ptolemaic period for training young Greek-speaking males in sports, literacy and philosophy.

Hellenistic Gymnasium Unearthed in Egypt

According to Ahram Online , a German-Egyptian archaeological mission, led by Professor Cornelia Römer, has uncovered the remains of the first gymnasium in Egypt dating back to the Hellenistic era, almost 2300 years ago. The discovery was made on the site of Watfa, approximately five kilometers east of Lake Qaroun in Fayoum governorate as the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities revealed in a statement on Monday. Watfa is the site of the ancient village of Philoteris, founded by King Ptolemy II in the 3rd century BC. Initially, it had around 1,200 inhabitants, two thirds of them Egyptians, and one third Greek-speaking settlers. “The archaeologists discovered remains of the first Hellenistic gymnasium ever found in Egypt on the site of Watfa, 5 km east of Qasr Qaroun in the north-western Fayoum," said the statement .

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A part of the gymnasium, which included a 200-meter-long racetrack. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Aymen Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities sector at the Ministry of Antiquities stated that the Greek-style gymnasium had a large hall for meetings, a dining hall and a courtyard in the main building, besides a nearly 200-meter-long outdoor racetrack. There were also once “generous gardens” all around the building.

The Greek Impact and Influence on Egypt

"The gymnasium of Watfa clearly shows the impact of Greek life in Egypt, not only in Alexandria, but also in the countryside," Römer said as Ahram Online reports . Furthermore, Römer explained that gymnasia were usually founded and funded privately by wealthy people who wanted their villages to be heavily influenced by Greek culture and lifestyle. There, young men coming from the Greek speaking upper-class were trained in sports, literacy and philosophy.

Men bathing in a public gymnasium. Gouache painting. ( CC BY 4.0 )

This is the reason according to Römer, why all major cities of the Hellenistic world, such as Athens in mainland Greece, Pergamon and Miletus in Anatolia, and Pompei in Italy, had such gymnasia. “The gymnasia in the Egyptian countryside were built after their pattern. Although much smaller, the gymnasium of Watfa clearly shows the impact of Greek life in Egypt, not only in Alexandria, but also in the countryside," Römer said via Ahram Online .

Alexander the Great’s Contribution to the Hellenization of Egypt

As Römer went on explaining, it was Alexander the Great who made Egypt part of the Hellenistic world, and made it an attractive destination for thousands of Greek-speaking settlers who wanted to enjoy a good and peaceful life in the Ptolemaic Empire. This gradually led to the foundation of new villages in the Delta and the Fayum. The local populations and the newcomers would live there together in harmony, while the villages hosted both Egyptian temples and Greek sanctuaries. “These villages also contained public baths, a feature common in Greek societies,” Römer said as Ahram Online reports , and also added that the Greek gyms were just a further extension of the Hellenistic culture.

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Athletes in a gymnasium. ( CC BY 4.0 )

First Building of its Kind

Inscriptions and papyri describing payments for parts of the main buildings conducted by wealthy residents of the villages and of the men who governed the institutions, were found in the countryside during the Ptolemaic period. However, Römer pointed out that the building at Watfa is the first of its kind to ever be found, noting the immense archaeological value and uniqueness of the specific discovery.

The German Archaeological Institute has been examining and excavating the site of Watfa for the past seven years. As the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities mentions, one of the most significant goals of the project‘s work is to educate Egyptian students about their country’s rich history and culture, in cooperation with a teaching program at Ain Shams University, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Remains of Hellenistic era gymnasium found in Fayoum

A German-Egyptian joint archaeological expedition, headed by Professor Cornelia Romer, unearthed the remains of the first gymnasium in Egypt dating back to the Hellenistic era, some 2300 years ago.

The discovery was made approximately five km east of Lake Qaroun in Fayoum governorate.

The gymnasium was used by Greek dignitaries living in Egypt who wished to preserve their Greek heritage through architecture. The gymnasium functioned as a learning center where young students from the upper class learned to read and write in addition to doing various sports activities, said Ayman Ashmawy, of the Ministry of Antiquities.

It also served as a venue for philosophical discussions, he added.

The gymnasium consisted of a large meeting hall with a number of statues, a dining hall, a courtyard, a 200-meter racecourse and a range of gardens surrounding the building – an ideal layout of a Greek learning center, Ashmawy noted.

Romer expressed joy at the discovery describing it as a great achievement. She added that the mission is continuing its excavations to find out more about the Greek presence in ancient Egypt.

A newly-discovered grave chamber or just empty space?

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Rosetta Stone found

On July 19, 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles east of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been �” for nearly 2,000 years.

When Napoleon, an emperor known for his enlightened view of education, art and culture, invaded Egypt in 1798, he took along a group of scholars and told them to seize all important cultural artifacts for France. Pierre Bouchard, one of Napoleon’s soldiers, was aware of this order when he found the basalt stone, which was almost four feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide, at a fort near Rosetta. When the British defeated Napoleon in 1801, they took possession of the Rosetta Stone.

Several scholars, including Englishman Thomas Young made progress with the initial hieroglyphics analysis of the Rosetta Stone. French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832), who had taught himself ancient languages, ultimately cracked the code and deciphered the hieroglyphics using his knowledge of Greek as a guide. Hieroglyphics used pictures to represent objects, sounds and groups of sounds. Once the Rosetta Stone inscriptions were translated, the language and culture of ancient Egypt was suddenly open to scientists as never before.


Geography Edit

The mainland and islands of Greece are very rocky, with deeply indented coastline, and rugged mountain ranges with few substantial forests. The most freely available building material is stone. Limestone was readily available and easily worked. [4] There is an abundance of high quality white marble both on the mainland and islands, particularly Paros and Naxos. This finely grained material was a major contributing factor to precision of detail, both architectural and sculptural, that adorned ancient Greek architecture. [5] Deposits of high-quality potter's clay were found throughout Greece and the Islands, with major deposits near Athens. It was used not only for pottery vessels but also roof tiles and architectural decoration. [6]

The climate of Greece is maritime, with both the coldness of winter and the heat of summer tempered by sea breezes. This led to a lifestyle where many activities took place outdoors. Hence temples were placed on hilltops, their exteriors designed as a visual focus of gatherings and processions, while theatres were often an enhancement of a naturally occurring sloping site where people could sit, rather than a containing structure. Colonnades encircling buildings, or surrounding courtyards provided shelter from the sun and from sudden winter storms. [5]

The light of Greece may be another important factor in the development of the particular character of ancient Greek architecture. The light is often extremely bright, with both the sky and the sea vividly blue. The clear light and sharp shadows give a precision to the details of the landscape, pale rocky outcrops and seashore. This clarity is alternated with periods of haze that varies in colour to the light on it. In this characteristic environment, the ancient Greek architects constructed buildings that were marked by the precision of detail. [5] The gleaming marble surfaces were smooth, curved, fluted, or ornately sculpted to reflect the sun, cast graded shadows and change in colour with the ever-changing light of day.

History Edit

Historians divide ancient Greek civilization into two eras, the Hellenic period (from around 900 BC to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC), and the Hellenistic period (323 BC to 30 AD). [7] During the earlier Hellenic period, substantial works of architecture began to appear around 600 BC. During the later (Hellenistic) period, Greek culture spread as a result of Alexander's conquest of other lands, and later as a result of the rise of the Roman Empire, which adopted much of Greek culture. [1] [8]

Before the Hellenic era, two major cultures had dominated the region: the Minoan (c. 2800–1100 BC), and the Mycenaean (c. 1500–1100 BC). Minoan is the name given by modern historians to the culture of the people of ancient Crete, known for its elaborate and richly decorated palaces, and for its pottery painted with floral and marine motifs. The Mycenaean culture, which flourished on the Peloponnesus, was quite different in character. Its people built citadels, fortifications and tombs rather than palaces, and decorated their pottery with bands of marching soldiers rather than octopus and seaweed. Both these civilizations came to an end around 1100 BC, that of Crete possibly because of volcanic devastation, and that of Mycenae because of an invasion by the Dorian people who lived on the Greek mainland. [9] Following these events, there was a period from which few signs of culture remain. This period is thus often referred to as a Dark Age.

Art Edit

The art history of the Hellenic era is generally subdivided into four periods: the Protogeometric (1100–900 BC), the Geometric (900–700 BC), the Archaic (700–500 BC) and the Classical (500–323 BC) [10] with sculpture being further divided into Severe Classical, High Classical and Late Classical. [1] The first signs of the particular artistic character that defines ancient Greek architecture are to be seen in the pottery of the Dorian Greeks from the 10th century BC. Already at this period it is created with a sense of proportion, symmetry and balance not apparent in similar pottery from Crete and Mycenae. The decoration is precisely geometric, and ordered neatly into zones on defined areas of each vessel. These qualities were to manifest themselves not only through a millennium of Greek pottery making, but also in the architecture that was to emerge in the 6th century. [11] The major development that occurred was in the growing use of the human figure as the major decorative motif, and the increasing surety with which humanity, its mythology, activities and passions were depicted. [1]

The development in the depiction of the human form in pottery was accompanied by a similar development in sculpture. The tiny stylised bronzes of the Geometric period gave way to life-sized highly formalised monolithic representation in the Archaic period. The Classical period was marked by a rapid development towards idealised but increasingly lifelike depictions of gods in human form. [12] This development had a direct effect on the sculptural decoration of temples, as many of the greatest extant works of ancient Greek sculpture once adorned temples, [13] and many of the largest recorded statues of the age, such as the lost chryselephantine statues of Zeus at the Temple of Zeus at Olympia and Athena at the Parthenon, Athens, both over 40 feet high, were once housed in them. [14]

Religion and philosophy Edit

Above: Modern model of ancient Olympia with the Temple of Zeus at the centre

Right: Recreation of the colossal statue of Athena, once housed in the Parthenon, with sculptor Alan LeQuire

The religion of ancient Greece was a form of nature worship that grew out of the beliefs of earlier cultures. However, unlike earlier cultures, the man was no longer perceived as being threatened by nature, but as its sublime product. [8] The natural elements were personified as gods of the complete human form, and very human behaviour. [5]

The home of the gods was thought to be Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. The most important deities were: Zeus, the supreme god and ruler of the sky Hera, his wife and goddess of marriage Athena, goddess of wisdom Poseidon, the god of the sea Demeter, goddess of the harvest Apollo, the god of the sun, law, healing, plague, reason, music and poetry Artemis, goddess of the moon, the hunt and the wilderness Aphrodite, goddess of love Ares, God of war Hermes, the god of commerce and travellers, Hephaestus, the god of fire and metalwork, and Dionysus, the god of wine and fruit-bearing plants. [5] Worship, like many other activities, was done in the community, in the open. However, by 600 BC, the gods were often represented by large statues and it was necessary to provide a building in which each of these could be housed. This led to the development of temples. [15]

The ancient Greeks perceived order in the universe, and in turn, applied order and reason to their creations. Their humanist philosophy put mankind at the centre of things and promoted well-ordered societies and the development of democracy. [8] At the same time, the respect for human intellect demanded a reason, and promoted a passion for enquiry, logic, challenge, and problem-solving. The architecture of the ancient Greeks, and in particular, temple architecture, responds to these challenges with a passion for beauty, and for order and symmetry which is the product of a continual search for perfection, rather than a simple application of a set of working rules.

Early development Edit

There is a clear division between the architecture of the preceding Mycenaean and Minoan cultures and that of the ancient Greeks, the techniques and an understanding of their style being lost when these civilisations fell. [4]

Mycenaean art is marked by its circular structures and tapered domes with flat-bedded, cantilevered courses. [9] This architectural form did not carry over into the architecture of ancient Greece, but reappeared about 400 BC in the interior of large monumental tombs such as the Lion Tomb at Knidos (c. 350 BC). Little is known of Mycenaean wooden or domestic architecture and any continuing traditions that may have flowed into the early buildings of the Dorian people.

The Minoan architecture of Crete was of the trabeated form like that of ancient Greece. It employed wooden columns with capitals, but the columns were of a very different form to Doric columns, being narrow at the base and splaying upward. [9] The earliest forms of columns in Greece seem to have developed independently. As with Minoan architecture, ancient Greek domestic architecture centred on open spaces or courtyards surrounded by colonnades. This form was adapted to the construction of hypostyle halls within the larger temples. The evolution that occurred in architecture was towards the public building, first and foremost the temple, rather than towards grand domestic architecture such as had evolved in Crete. [2]

Types of buildings Edit

Domestic buildings Edit

The Greek word for the family or household, oikos, is also the name for the house. Houses followed several different types. It is probable that many of the earliest houses were simple structures of two rooms, with an open porch or pronaos, above which rose a low pitched gable or pediment. [7] This form is thought to have contributed to temple architecture.

The construction of many houses employed walls of sun-dried clay bricks or wooden framework filled with fibrous material such as straw or seaweed covered with clay or plaster, on a base of stone which protected the more vulnerable elements from damp. [4] The roofs were probably of thatch with eaves which overhung the permeable walls. Many larger houses, such as those at Delos, were built of stone and plastered. The roofing material for the substantial house was tile. Houses of the wealthy had mosaic floors and demonstrated the Classical style.

Many houses centred on a wide passage or "pasta" which ran the length of the house and opened at one side onto a small courtyard which admitted light and air. Larger houses had a fully developed peristyle (courtyard) at the centre, with the rooms arranged around it. Some houses had an upper floor which appears to have been reserved for the use of the women of the family. [16]

City houses were built with adjoining walls and were divided into small blocks by narrow streets. Shops were sometimes located in the rooms towards the street. City houses were inward-facing, with major openings looking onto the central courtyard, rather than the street. [7]

Public buildings Edit

The rectangular temple is the most common and best-known form of Greek public architecture. This rectilinear structure borrows from the Late Helladic, Mycenaean Megaron, which contained a central throne room, vestibule, and porch. [17] The temple did not serve the same function as a modern church, since the altar stood under the open sky in the temenos or sacred precinct, often directly before the temple. Temples served as the location of a cult image and as a storage place or strong room for the treasury associated with the cult of the god in question, and as a place for devotees of the god to leave their votive offerings, such as statues, helmets and weapons. Some Greek temples appear to have been oriented astronomically. [18] The temple was generally part of a religious precinct known as the acropolis. According to Aristotle, "the site should be a spot seen far and wide, which gives good elevation to virtue and towers over the neighbourhood". [2] Small circular temples, tholoi were also constructed, as well as small temple-like buildings that served as treasuries for specific groups of donors. [19]

During the late 5th and 4th centuries BC, town planning became an important consideration of Greek builders, with towns such as Paestum and Priene being laid out with a regular grid of paved streets and an agora or central market place surrounded by a colonnade or stoa. The completely restored Stoa of Attalos can be seen in Athens. Towns were also equipped with a public fountain where water could be collected for household use. The development of regular town plans is associated with Hippodamus of Miletus, a pupil of Pythagoras. [20] [21] [22]

Public buildings became "dignified and gracious structures", and were sited so that they related to each other architecturally. [21] The propylon or porch, formed the entrance to temple sanctuaries and other significant sites with the best-surviving example being the Propylaea on the Acropolis of Athens. The bouleuterion was a large public building with a hypostyle hall that served as a court house and as a meeting place for the town council (boule). Remnants of bouleuterion survive at Athens, Olympia and Miletus, the latter having held up to 1200 people. [23]

Every Greek town had an open-air theatre. These were used for both public meetings as well as dramatic performances. The theatre was usually set in a hillside outside the town, and had rows of tiered seating set in a semicircle around the central performance area, the orchestra. Behind the orchestra was a low building called the skênê, which served as a store-room, a dressing-room, and also as a backdrop to the action taking place in the orchestra. A number of Greek theatres survive almost intact, the best known being at Epidaurus by the architect Polykleitos the Younger. [20]

Greek towns of substantial size also had a palaestra or a gymnasium, the social centre for male citizens which included spectator areas, baths, toilets and club rooms. [23] Other buildings associated with sports include the hippodrome for horse racing, of which only remnants have survived, and the stadium for foot racing, 600 feet in length, of which examples exist at Olympia, Delphi, Epidarus and Ephesus, while the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, which seats 45,000 people, was restored in the 19th century and was used in the 1896, 1906 and 2004 Olympic Games. [23] [24]

Structure Edit

Post and lintel Edit

The architecture of ancient Greece is of a trabeated or "post and lintel" form, i.e. it is composed of upright beams (posts) supporting horizontal beams (lintels). Although the existent buildings of the era are constructed in stone, it is clear that the origin of the style lies in simple wooden structures, with vertical posts supporting beams which carried a ridged roof. The posts and beams divided the walls into regular compartments which could be left as openings, or filled with sun dried bricks, lathes or straw and covered with clay daub or plaster. Alternately, the spaces might be filled with rubble. It is likely that many early houses and temples were constructed with an open porch or "pronaos" above which rose a low pitched gable or pediment. [7]

The earliest temples, built to enshrine statues of deities, were probably of wooden construction, later replaced by the more durable stone temples many of which are still in evidence today. The signs of the original timber nature of the architecture were maintained in the stone buildings. [25]

A few of these temples are very large, with several, such as the Temple of Zeus Olympus and the Olympians at Athens being well over 300 feet in length, but most were less than half this size. It appears that some of the large temples began as wooden constructions in which the columns were replaced piecemeal as stone became available. This, at least was the interpretation of the historian Pausanias looking at the Temple of Hera at Olympia in the 2nd century AD. [2]

The stone columns are made of a series of solid stone cylinders or "drums" that rest on each other without mortar, but were sometimes centred with a bronze pin. The columns are wider at the base than at the top, tapering with an outward curve known as entasis. Each column has a capital of two parts, the upper, on which rests the lintels, being square and called the abacus. The part of the capital that rises from the column itself is called the echinus. It differs according to the order, being plain in the Doric order, fluted in the Ionic and foliate in the Corinthian. Doric and usually Ionic capitals are cut with vertical grooves known as fluting. This fluting or grooving of the columns is a retention of an element of the original wooden architecture. [25]

Entablature and pediment Edit

The columns of a temple support a structure that rises in two main stages, the entablature and the pediment.

The entablature is the major horizontal structural element supporting the roof and encircling the entire building. It is composed of three parts. Resting on the columns is the architrave made of a series of stone "lintels" that spanned the space between the columns, and meet each other at a joint directly above the centre of each column.

Above the architrave is a second horizontal stage called the frieze. The frieze is one of the major decorative elements of the building and carries a sculptured relief. In the case of Ionic and Corinthian architecture, the relief decoration runs in a continuous band, but in the Doric order, it is divided into sections called metopes, which fill the spaces between vertical rectangular blocks called triglyphs. The triglyphs are vertically grooved like the Doric columns, and retain the form of the wooden beams that would once have supported the roof.

The upper band of the entablature is called the cornice, which is generally ornately decorated on its lower edge. The cornice retains the shape of the beams that would once have supported the wooden roof at each end of the building. At the front and rear of each temple, the entablature supports a triangular structure called the pediment. This triangular space framed by the cornices is the location of the most significant sculptural decoration on the exterior of the building.

Masonry Edit

Every temple rested on a masonry base called the crepidoma, generally of three steps, of which the upper one which carried the columns was the stylobate. Masonry walls were employed for temples from about 600 BC onwards. Masonry of all types was used for ancient Greek buildings, including rubble, but the finest ashlar masonry was usually employed for temple walls, in regular courses and large sizes to minimise the joints. [7] The blocks were rough hewn and hauled from quarries to be cut and bedded very precisely, with mortar hardly ever being used. Blocks, particularly those of columns and parts of the building bearing loads were sometimes fixed in place or reinforced with iron clamps, dowels and rods of wood, bronze or iron fixed in lead to minimise corrosion. [4]

Openings Edit

Door and window openings were spanned with a lintel, which in a stone building limited the possible width of the opening. The distance between columns was similarly affected by the nature of the lintel, columns on the exterior of buildings and carrying stone lintels being closer together than those on the interior, which carried wooden lintels. [26] [27] Door and window openings narrowed towards the top. [27] Temples were constructed without windows, the light to the naos entering through the door. It has been suggested that some temples were lit from openings in the roof. [26] A door of the Ionic Order at the Erechtheion (17 feet high and 7.5 feet wide at the top) retains many of its features intact, including mouldings, and an entablature supported on console brackets. (See Architectural Decoration, below) [27] [28] [29]

7 Earthquakes Held Special Status

Fault lines may have made for popular real estate in ancient Greece. It sounds counterintuitive or downright stupid, but in 2017, the University of Plymouth found fault lines running beneath several major Greek sites.

The Aegean region is fraught with these shakers, but their proximity to sacred structures may not be accidental. Some of the sites include the famous ancient cities of Mycenae, Hierapolis, and Ephesus. Another location is the Temple of Apollo, where the renowned Oracle of Delphi resided. The temple&rsquos subterranean chamber, used for divination, sits on a fault line.

Researchers believe that the ancient Greeks may have viewed earthquake-affected land as being special. It could have something to do with natural springs. Most settlements and rituals needed a water source, but it is also known that the Greeks revered those with unusual qualities. When springs leak from faults, they sometimes produce dangerous or hallucinogenic gases. [4]

Indeed, many of the springs in the Aegean are connected to earthquake lines. In that regard, it is likely that earthquakes played a bigger role in the placement of Greek buildings and cities than previously believed.


First appearance Edit

Scrooge McDuck, maternal uncle of previously established character Donald Duck, made his first named appearance in the story Christmas on Bear Mountain which was published in Dell's Four Color Comics #178, October 22, 1947, written and drawn by artist Carl Barks. His appearance may have been based on a similar-looking, Scottish "thrifty saver" Donald Duck character from the 1943 propaganda short The Spirit of '43. [8]

In Christmas on Bear Mountain, [9] Scrooge was a bearded, bespectacled, reasonably wealthy old duck, visibly leaning on his cane, and living in isolation in a "huge mansion". [10] Scrooge's misanthropic thoughts in this first story are quite pronounced: "Here I sit in this big lonely dump, waiting for Christmas to pass! Bah! That silly season when everybody loves everybody else! A curse on it! Me—I'm different! Everybody hates me, and I hate everybody!" [10]

Barks later reflected, "Scrooge in 'Christmas on Bear Mountain' was only my first idea of a rich, old uncle. I had made him too old and too weak. I discovered later on that I had to make him more active. I could not make an old guy like that do the things I wanted him to do." [11]

Recurring character Edit

Barks would later claim that he originally only intended to use Scrooge as a one-shot character, but then decided Scrooge (and his fortune) could prove useful for motivating further stories. Barks continued to experiment with Scrooge's appearance and personality over the next four years.

Scrooge's second appearance, in The Old Castle's Secret [12] (first published in June 1948), had him recruiting his nephews to search for a family treasure hidden in Dismal Downs, the McDuck family's ancestral castle, built in the middle of Rannoch Moor in Scotland. Foxy Relations (first published in November 1948) was the first story where Scrooge is called by his title and catchphrase "The Richest Duck in the World".

First hints of Scrooge's past Edit

The story Voodoo Hoodoo, first published in Dell's Four Color Comics #238, August 1949, was the first story to hint at Scrooge's past with the introduction of two figures from it. The first was Foola Zoola, an old African sorcerer and chief of the Voodoo tribe who had cursed Scrooge, seeking revenge for the destruction of his village and the taking of his tribe's lands by Scrooge decades ago.

Scrooge privately admitted to his nephews that he had used an army of "cutthroats" to get the tribe to abandon their lands, in order to establish a rubber plantation. The event was placed by Carl Barks in 1879 during the story, but it would later be retconned by Don Rosa to 1909 to fit with Scrooge's later-established personal history in Rosa's story The Empire-Builder from Calisota. [ citation needed ]

The second figure was Bombie the Zombie, the organ of the sorcerer's curse and revenge. He had reportedly sought Scrooge for decades before reaching Duckburg, mistaking Donald for Scrooge. [ citation needed ]

Barks, with a note of skepticism often found in his stories, explained the zombie as a living person who has never died, but has somehow gotten under the influence of a sorcerer. Although some scenes of the story were intended as a parody of Bela Lugosi's White Zombie, the story is the first to not only focus on Scrooge's past but also touch on the darkest aspects of his personality.

Later stories Edit

Trail of the Unicorn, [13] first published in February 1950, introduced Scrooge's private zoo. One of his pilots had managed to photograph the last living unicorn, which lived in the Indian part of the Himalayas. Scrooge offered a reward to competing cousins Donald Duck and Gladstone Gander, which would go to the one who captured the unicorn for Scrooge's collection of animals.

This was also the story that introduced Scrooge's private airplane. Barks would later establish Scrooge as an experienced aviator. Donald had previously been shown as a skilled aviator, as was Flintheart Glomgold in later stories. In comparison, Huey, Dewey, and Louie were depicted as only having taken flying lessons in the story Frozen Gold (published in January 1945).

The Pixilated Parrot, first published in July 1950, introduced a precursor to Scrooge's money bin. In this story, Scrooge's central office building is said to contain "three cubic acres of money". Two nameless burglars who briefly appear during the story are considered to be the precursors of the Beagle Boys. [14]

Scrooge as a major character Edit

The Magic Hourglass, first published in September 1950, was arguably the first story to change the focus of the Duck stories from Donald to Scrooge. During the story, several themes were introduced for Scrooge.

Donald first mentions in this story that his uncle practically owns Duckburg, a statement that Scrooge's rival John D. Rockerduck would later put in dispute. Scrooge first hints that he was not born into wealth, as he remembers buying the Hourglass in Morocco when he was a member of a ship's crew as a cabin boy. It's also the first story in which Scrooge mentions speaking another language besides his native English and reading other alphabets besides the Latin alphabet, as during the story, he speaks Arabic and reads the Arabic alphabet. [ citation needed ]

The latter theme would be developed further in later stories. Barks and current Scrooge writer Don Rosa have depicted Scrooge as being fluent in Arabic, Dutch, German, Mongolian, Spanish, Mayan, Bengali, Finnish, and a number of Chinese dialects. Scrooge acquired this knowledge from years of living or traveling to the various regions of the world where those languages are spoken. Later writers would depict Scrooge having at least working knowledge of several other languages. He has also encountered several historical figures during his lifetime, such as U.S. President Roosevelt (The Buckaroo of the Badlands, The Invader of Fort Duckburg, and The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut), Apache leader Geronimo (The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff), Czar Nicholas II of Russia, (The Empire-Builder from Calisota) and philologist Elias Lönnrot (The Quest for Kalevala). [ citation needed ]

Scrooge was shown in The Magic Hourglass in a more positive light than in previous stories, but his more villainous side is present too. Scrooge is seen in this story attempting to reacquire a magic hourglass that he gave to Donald, before finding out that it acted as a protective charm for him. Scrooge starts losing one billion dollars each minute, and comments that he will go bankrupt within 600 years. This line is a parody of Orson Welles's line in Citizen Kane "You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in . 60 years". [15] To convince his nephews to return it, he pursues them throughout Morocco, where they had headed to earlier in the story. Memorably during the story, Scrooge interrogates Donald by having him tied up and tickled with a feather in an attempt to get Donald to reveal the hourglass's location. Scrooge finally manages to retrieve it, exchanging the item for a flask of water, as he had found his nephews exhausted and left in the desert with no supplies. As Scrooge explains, he intended to give them a higher offer, but he just could not resist having somebody at his mercy without taking advantage of it.

Final developments Edit

A Financial Fable, first published in March 1951, had Scrooge teaching Donald some lessons in productivity as the source of wealth, along with the laws of supply and demand. Perhaps more importantly, it was also the first story where Scrooge observes how diligent and industrious Huey, Louie, and Dewey are, making them more similar to himself rather than to Donald. Donald in Barks's stories is depicted as working hard on occasion, but given the choice often proves to be a shirker. The three younger nephews first side with Scrooge rather than Donald in this story, with the bond between granduncle and grandnephews strengthening in later stories. However, there have been rare instances where Donald proved invaluable to Scrooge, such as when the group traveled back in time to Ancient Egypt to retrieve a pharaoh's papyrus. Donald cautions against taking it with him, as no one would believe the story unless it was unearthed. Donald then buries it and makes a marking point from the Nile River, making Scrooge think to himself admiringly, "Donald must have swallowed the Encyclopædia Britannica!"

Terror of the Beagle Boys, first published in November 1951, introduced the readers to the Beagle Boys, although Scrooge in this story seems to be already familiar with them. The Big Bin on Killmotor Hill introduced Scrooge's money bin, built on Killmotor Hill in the center of Duckburg.

By this point, Scrooge had become familiar to readers in the United States and Europe. Other Disney writers and artists besides Barks began using Scrooge in their own stories, including Italian writer Romano Scarpa. Western Publishing, the then-publisher of the Disney crafty comics, started thinking about using Scrooge as a protagonist rather than a supporting character, and then decided to launch Scrooge in his own self-titled comic. Uncle Scrooge #1, featuring the story Only a Poor Old Man, was published in March 1952. This story along with Back to the Klondike, first published a year later in March 1953, became the biggest influences in how Scrooge's character, past, and beliefs would become defined.

After this point, Barks produced most of his longer stories in Uncle Scrooge, with a focus mainly on adventure, while his ten-page stories for Walt Disney's Comics and Stories continued to feature Donald as the star and focused on comedy. In Scrooge's stories, Donald and his nephews were cast as Scrooge's assistants, who accompanied Scrooge in his adventures around the world. This change of focus from Donald to Scrooge was also reflected in stories by other contemporary writers. Since then, Scrooge remains a central figure of the Duck comics' universe, thus the coining of the term "Scrooge McDuck Universe". [ citation needed ]

Modern era Edit

After Barks's retirement, the character continued under other artists. In 1972, Barks was persuaded to write more stories for Disney. He wrote Junior Woodchuck stories where Scrooge often plays the part of the villain, closer to the role he had before he acquired his own series. Under Barks, Scrooge always was a malleable character who would take on whatever persona was convenient to the plot.

The Italian writer and artist Romano Scarpa made several additions to Scrooge McDuck's universe, including characters such as Brigitta McBridge, Scrooge's self-styled fiancée, and Gideon McDuck, a newspaper editor who is Scrooge's brother. Those characters have appeared mostly in European comics. This is also the case for Scrooge's rival John D. Rockerduck (created by Barks for just one story) and Donald's cousin Fethry Duck, who sometimes works as a reporter for Scrooge's newspaper.

Another major development was the arrival of writer and artist Don Rosa in 1986, with his story "The Son of the Sun", released by Gladstone Publishing and nominated for a Harvey Award, one of the comics industry's highest honors. Rosa has said in interviews that he considers Scrooge to be his favorite Disney character. Unlike most other Disney writers, Don Rosa considered Scrooge as a historical character whose Disney adventures had occurred in the fifties and sixties and ended (in his undepicted death [16] ) in 1967 when Barks retired. He considered only Barks's stories canonical, and fleshed out a timeline as well as a family tree based on Barks's stories. Eventually he wrote and drew The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, a full history in twelve chapters which received an Eisner Award in 1995. Later editions included additional chapters. Under Rosa, Scrooge became more ethical while he never cheats, he ruthlessly exploits any loopholes. He owes his fortune to his hard work and his money bin is "full of souvenirs" since every coin reminds him of a specific circumstance. Rosa remains the foremost contemporary duck artist and has been nominated for five 2007 Eisner Awards. His work is regularly reprinted by itself as well as along with Barks stories for which he created a sequel.

Daan Jippes, who can mimic Barks's art to a close extent, repenciled all of Barks's 1970s Junior Woodchucks stories, as well as Barks's final Uncle Scrooge stories, from the 1990s to the early 2000s. Other notable Disney artists who have worked with the Scrooge character include Michael Peraza, Marco Rota, William Van Horn, and Tony Strobl.

In an interview with the Norwegian "Aftenposten" from 1992 Don Rosa says that "in the beginning Scrooge [owed] his existence to his nephew Donald, but that has changed and today it's Donald that [owes] his existence to Scrooge" and he also says that this is one of the reasons why he is so interested in Scrooge.

Overview Edit

The character is almost exclusively portrayed as having worked his way up the financial ladder from humble immigrant roots. The real life of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American immigrant and tycoon of the Industrial Age, and the fictional character of Charles Dickens' miser Ebenezer Scrooge are both believed to be strong influences on Scrooge's characterization. [17]

The comic book series The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, written and drawn by Don Rosa, shows Scrooge's fictional life. As a young boy, he takes up a job polishing and shining boots in his native Glasgow. A pivotal moment comes in 1877, when a ditchdigger pays him with an 1875 US dime, which is useless as currency in 19th century Glasgow he only notices what sort of coin he's been given after the man has left. Enraged, Scrooge vows to never be taken advantage of again, to be "sharper than the sharpies and smarter than the smarties." He takes a position as cabin boy on a Clyde cattle ship to the United States to make his fortune at the age of 13. In 1898, after many adventures, he finally ends up in Klondike, where he finds a golden rock the size of a goose's egg. By the following year, he has made his first $1,000,000 and bought the deed for Killmule Hill from Casey Coot, the son of Clinton Coot and grandson of Cornelius Coot, the founder of Duckburg. He finally ends up in Duckburg in 1902. After some dramatic events where he faces both the Beagle Boys and President Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the same time, he tears down the rest of the old fort Duckburg and builds his famous Money Bin at the site.

In the years to follow, Scrooge travels all around the world to increase his fortune, while his family remains behind to manage the Money Bin. When Scrooge finally returns to Duckburg, he is the richest duck in the world, rivaled only by Flintheart Glomgold, John D. Rockerduck, and less prominently, the maharaja of the fictional country Howdoyoustan (play on Hindustan). His experiences, however, have changed him into a hostile miser, and his family leaves him in disgust at his new personality. Some 12 years later, he closes his empire down, but eventually returns to a public life five years later and restarts his business in the comic's final chapter.

He keeps the majority of his wealth in a massive Money Bin overlooking the city of Duckburg. In the short Scrooge McDuck and Money, he remarks to his nephews that this money is "just petty cash". In the Dutch and Italian version, he regularly forces Donald and his nephews to polish the coins one by one in order to pay off Donald's debts Scrooge will not pay them much for this lengthy, tedious, hand-breaking work. As far as he is concerned, even 5 cents an hour is too much expenditure.

A shrewd businessman and noted tightwad, he is fond of diving into and swimming in his money, without injury. He is also the richest member of The Billionaires Club of Duckburg, a society which includes the most successful businessmen of the world and allows them to keep connections with each other. Glomgold and Rockerduck are also influential members of the Club. His most famous prized possession is his Number One Dime.

Wealth Edit

The sum of Scrooge's wealth is unclear. [18] According to Barks' The Second Richest Duck as noted by a Time article, Scrooge is worth "one multiplujillion, nine obsquatumatillion, six hundred twenty-three dollars and sixty-two cents". [19] The DuckTales episode "Liquid Assets", Fenton Crackshell (Scrooge's accountant) notes that McDuck's money bin contains "607 tillion 386 zillion 947 trillion 522 billion dollars and 36 cents". Don Rosa's Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck notes that Scrooge amounts to "five multiplujillion, nine impossibidillion, seven fantastica trillion dollars and sixteen cents". A thought bubble from Scrooge McDuck sitting in his car with his chauffeur in Walt Disney's Christmas Parade No. 1 (published in 1949) that takes place in the story "Letter to Santa" clearly states "What's the use of having 'eleven octillion dollars' if I don't make a big noise about it?". In DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Scrooge mentions "We quadzillionaires have our own ideas of fun." In the first episode of the DuckTales reboot, Scrooge states that he runs "a multi-trillion dollar business".

Forbes magazine has occasionally tried to estimate Scrooge's wealth in real terms. In 2007, the magazine estimated his wealth at $28.8 billion. [20] By 2011, it rose to $44.1 billion due to the rise in gold prices. [21] Another, more in-depth, analysis of Scrooge's wealth was done by MatPat of the YouTube channel Film Theory. Using four different methodologies to calculate the volume of actual gold in Scrooge's money bin (depth gauge, ladder length, blueprints, and 3 cubic acres), the four amounts from most conservative to most liberal were: $52,348,493,767.50 (depth gauge), $239,307,400,080 (ladder), $12,434,013,552,490 (blueprints), $333,927,633,863,527 (3 cubic acres) with each valuation based on a then current gold price of $1243.30 per troy ounce. [22] In a 1970 comic, Scrooge says that he would be broke in 600 years if he lost 1 billion dollars a minute, putting his total estimated net worth at $315,360,000,000,000,000. [23] Whatever the amount, Scrooge never considers it to be enough he believes that he has to continue to earn money by any means possible. A running gag is Scrooge always making profit on any business deal.

Education Edit

Scrooge never completed a formal education, as he left school at an early age. However, he has a sharp mind and is always ready to learn new skills. Because of his secondary occupation as a treasure hunter, Scrooge has become something of a scholar and an amateur archaeologist. Starting with Barks, several writers have explained how Scrooge becomes aware of the treasures he decides to pursue. This often involves periods of research consulting various written sources in search of passages that might lead him to treasure. Often Scrooge decides to search for the possible truth behind old legends, or discovers obscure references to the activities of ancient conquerors, explorers, and military leaders that he considers interesting enough to begin a new expedition.

As a result of his research, Scrooge has built up an extensive personal library, which includes many rare tomes. In Barks's and Rosa's stories, among the prized pieces of this library is an almost complete collection of Spanish and Dutch naval logs of the 16th and 17th centuries. Their references to the fates of other ships have often allowed Scrooge to locate sunken vessels and recover their treasures from their watery graves. Mostly self-taught as he is, Scrooge is a firm believer in the saying "knowledge is power". Scrooge is also an accomplished linguist and entrepreneur, having learned to speak several different languages during his business trips around the world, selling refrigerators to Eskimos, wind to windmill manufacturers in the Netherlands, etc.

Morality and beliefs Edit

Both as a businessman and as a treasure hunter, Scrooge is noted for his drive to set new goals and face new challenges. [24] As Carl Barks described his character, for Scrooge there is "always another rainbow". The phrase later provided the title for one of Barks's better-known paintings depicting Scrooge. Periods of inactivity between adventures and lack of serious challenges tend to be depressing for Scrooge after a while some stories see these phases take a toll on his health. Scrooge's other motto is "Work smarter, not harder."

As a businessman, Scrooge often resorts to aggressive tactics and deception. He seems to have gained significant experience in manipulating people and events towards his own ends. As often seen in stories by writer Guido Martina and occasionally by others, Scrooge is noted for his cynicism, especially towards ideals of morality when it comes to business and the pursuit of set goals. This has been noted by some as not being part of Barks's original profile of the character, but has since come to be accepted as one valid interpretation of Scrooge's way of thinking.

Scrooge seems to have a personal code of honesty that offers him an amount of self-control. He can often be seen contemplating the next course of action, divided between adopting a ruthless pursuit of his current goal against those tactics he considers more honest. At times, he can sacrifice his goal in order to remain within the limits of this sense of honesty. Several fans of the character have come to consider these depictions as adding to the depth of his personality, because based on the decisions he takes Scrooge can be both the hero and the villain of his stories. This is one thing he has in common with his nephew Donald. Scrooge's sense of honesty also distinguishes him from his rival Flintheart Glomgold, who places no such self-limitations. During the cartoon series DuckTales, at times he would be heard saying to Glomgold, "You're a cheater, and cheaters never prosper!"

Like his nephew Donald, Scrooge has also a temper (but not as a strong temper as his nephew) and rarely hesitates to use cartoon violence against those who provoke his ire (often his nephew Donald, but also bill and tax collectors as well as door-to-door salesmen). However, he seems to be against the use of lethal force. On occasion, he has even saved the lives of enemies who had threatened his own life but were in danger of losing their own. According to Scrooge's own explanation, this is to save himself from feelings of guilt over their deaths he generally awaits no gratitude from them. Scrooge has also opined that only in fairy tales do bad people turn good, and that he is old enough to not believe in fairy tales. Scrooge believes in keeping his word—never breaking a promise once given. [25] In Italian-produced stories of the 1950s to 1970s, however, particularly those written by Guido Martina, Scrooge often acts differently from in American or Danish comics productions.

Carl Barks gave Scrooge a definite set of ethics which were in tone with the time he was supposed to have made his fortune. The robber barons and industrialists of the 1890–1920s era were McDuck's competition as he earned his fortune. Scrooge proudly asserts "I made it by being tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties! And I made it square!". Barks's creation is averse to dishonesty in the pursuit of wealth. When Disney filmmakers first contemplated a Scrooge feature cartoon in the fifties, the animators had no understanding of the Scrooge McDuck character and merely envisioned Scrooge as a duck version of Ebenezer Scrooge—a very unsympathetic character. In the end, they shelved the idea because a duck who gets all excited about money just was not funny enough.

In an interview, Barks summed up his beliefs about Scrooge and capitalism:

I've always looked at the ducks as caricatured human beings. In rereading the stories, I realized that I had gotten kind of deep in some of them: there was philosophy in there that I hadn't realized I was putting in. It was an added feature that went along with the stories. I think a lot of the philosophy in my stories is conservative—conservative in the sense that I feel our civilization peaked around 1910. Since then we've been going downhill. Much of the older culture had basic qualities that the new stuff we keep hatching can never match.

Look at the magnificent cathedrals and palaces that were built. Nobody can build that sort of thing nowadays. Also, I believe that we should preserve many old ideals and methods of working: honor, honesty, allowing other people to believe in their own ideas, not trying to force everyone into one form. The thing I have against the present political system is that it tries to make everybody exactly alike. We should have a million different patterns.

They say that wealthy people like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers are sinful because they accumulated fortunes by exploiting the poor. I feel that everybody should be able to rise as high as they can or want to, provided they don't kill anybody or actually oppress other people on the way up. A little exploitation is something you come by in nature. We see it in the pecking order of animals—everybody has to be exploited or to exploit someone else to a certain extent. I don't resent those things. [26]

DuckTales Edit

In the DuckTales series, Scrooge has adopted the nephews (as Donald has joined the Navy and is away on his tour of duty), and, as a result, his darker personality traits are downplayed. While most of his persona remain from the comics, he is notably more optimistic and level-headed in the animated cartoon. In an early episode, Scrooge credits his improved temperament to the nephews and Webby (his housekeeper's granddaughter, who comes to live in Scrooge's mansion), saying that "for the first time since I left Scotland, I have a family". Though Scrooge is far from tyrannical in the comics, he is rarely so openly affectionate. While he still hunts for treasure in DuckTales, many episodes focus on his attempts to thwart villains. However, he remains just as tightfisted with money as he has always been. But he's also affable and patient with his family and friends.

Scrooge displays a strict code of honor, insisting that the only valid way to acquire wealth is to "earn it square," and he goes to great lengths to thwart those (sometimes even his own nephews) who gain money dishonestly. This code also prevents him from ever being dishonest himself, and he avows that "Scrooge McDuck's word is as good as gold." He also expresses great disgust at being viewed by others as a greedy liar and cheater.

The series fleshes out Scrooge's upbringing by depicting his life as an individual who worked hard his entire life to earn his keep and to fiercely defend it against those who were truly dishonest but also, he defends his family and friends from any dangers, including villains. His value teaches his nephews not to be dishonest with him or anybody else. It's shown that money is no longer the most important thing in his life. For one episode, he was under a love spell, which caused him to lavish his time on a goddess over everything else. The nephews find out that the only way to break the spell is to make the person realize that the object of their love will cost them something they truly love. The boys make it appear that Scrooge's love is allergic to money however, he simply decides to give up his wealth so he can be with her. Later, when he realizes he will have to give up his nephews to be with her, the spell is immediately broken, showing that family is the most important thing to him.

On occasion, he demonstrates considerable physical strength by single-handedly beating bigger foes. He credits his robustness to "lifting money bags."

Voice Edit

Another part of Scrooge's persona is his Scottish accent. Dallas McKennon was the first actor to provide Scrooge's voice for the 1960 Disneyland Records album, Donald Duck and His Friends.

When Scrooge later made his speaking animated debut in Scrooge McDuck and Money in 1967, he was voiced by Bill Thompson. Thompson had previously voiced Jock the Scottish Terrier in Lady and the Tramp and, according to Alan Young, Thompson had some Scottish ancestry. [27] Following Scrooge McDuck and Money's release, Scrooge made no further animated appearances prior to Thompson's death in 1971.

In 1974, Disneyland Records produced the album, An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Performed by The Walt Disney Players. Alan Young belonged to a Dickens Society and was asked to help adapt the story to fit in Disney characters. [28] Young, whose parents were Scottish and who lived in Scotland for a few years when he was an infant, [29] voiced Scrooge for this record in addition to voicing Mickey Mouse and Merlin from The Sword in the Stone. When Disney decided to adapt the record into the 1983 theatrical short, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Young returned to voice Scrooge. Young remained as Disney's official voice for Scrooge until his death in 2016, although Will Ryan voiced Scrooge for the 1987 television special, Sport Goofy in Soccermania and Alan Reid voiced Scrooge for Tuomas Holopainen's 2014 album, Music Inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge. Young's last performance as Scrooge was in the 2016 Mickey Mouse short, "No".

Since Young's death, several actors have provided Scrooge's voice. John Kassir is the official voice, having taken over for the Mickey Mouse shorts starting with "Duck the Halls" in 2016. Eric Bauza voiced Scrooge for a cameo in the television series, Legend of the Three Caballeros. Scottish actor Enn Reitel voiced Scrooge for the English dub of Kingdom Hearts III.

David Tennant voices Scrooge for the 2017 reboot of DuckTales. According to executive producer Matt Youngberg:

David Tennant seemed to be the natural choice for this. We really wanted to find somebody who was legitimately Scottish. We thought that was really important in this iteration, someone who had the character to bring this icon alive. And David is an amazing actor. He’s morphed into this role in an incredible way.

Europe Edit

Many of the European comics based on the Disney Universe have created their own version of Scrooge McDuck, usually involving him in slapstick adventures. This is particularly true of the Italian comics which were very popular in the 1960s–1980s in most parts of Western continental Europe. In these, Scrooge is mainly an anti-hero dragging his long-suffering nephews into treasure hunts and shady business deals. Donald is a reluctant participant in these travels, only agreeing to go along when his uncle reminds him of the debts and back-rent Donald owes him, threatens him with a sword or blunderbuss, or offers a share of the loot. When he promises Donald a share of the treasure, Scrooge will add a little loophole in the terms which may seem obscure at first but which he brings up at the end of the adventure to deny Donald his share, keeping the whole for himself. After Donald risks life and limb – something which Scrooge shows little concern for – he tends to end up with nothing.

Another running joke is Scrooge reminiscing about his adventures while gold prospecting in the Klondike much to Donald and the nephews' chagrin at hearing the never-ending and tiresome stories.

Age Edit

According to Carl Barks' 1955 one-pager "Watt an Occasion" (Uncle Scrooge #12), Scrooge is 75 years of age. According to Don Rosa, Scrooge was born in Scotland in 1867, and earned his Number One Dime (or First Coin) exactly ten years later. The DuckTales episodes (and many European comics) show a Scrooge who hailed from Scotland in the 19th century, yet was clearly familiar with all the technology and amenities of the 1980s. Despite this extremely advanced age, Scrooge does not appear to be on the verge of dotage, and is vigorous enough to keep up with his nephews in adventures. With rare exceptions, there appears to be no sign of him slowing down.

Barks responded to some fan letters asking about Scrooge's Adamic age, that in the story "That's No Fable!", when Scrooge drank water from a Fountain of Youth for several days, rather than making him young again (bodily contact with the water was required for that), ingesting the water rejuvenated his body and cured him of his rheumatia, which arguably allowed Scrooge to live beyond his expected years with no sign of slowdown or senility. Don Rosa's solution to the issue of Scrooge's age is that he set all of his stories in the 1950s or earlier, which was when he himself discovered and reveled in Barks' stories as a kid, and in his unofficial timelines, he had Scrooge die in 1967, at the age of 100 years. [30] [31]

In the 15th episode of the 2017 DuckTales reboot, "The Golden Lagoon of White Agony Plains!", it is revealed that Scrooge was "stuck in a timeless demon dimension" called Demogorgana for an unknown amount of time, which is used to explain his young look. [32] In the 21st episode, "The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck!", Webby Vanderquack's research on Scrooge reveals that he was born in 1867, as previously established by Rosa. This would make Scrooge 154 years old as of 2021. [33]

Cultural impact Edit

Forbes magazine routinely lists Scrooge McDuck on its annual "Fictional 15" list of the richest fictional characters by net worth:

  • 2002: #4 with $8.2 billion [34]
  • 2005: #6 with $8.2 billion [35]
  • 2006: #3 with $10.9 billion [36]
  • 2007: #1 with $28.8 billion (£17.6 billion) [37]
  • 2008: #2 with $29.1 billion [38]
  • 2010: #2 with $33.5 billion [39]
  • 2011: #1 with $44.1 billion [40]
  • 2013: #1 with $65.4 billion [41]

Grupo Ronda S.A has the license to use the character, as well as other Disney characters in the board game Tío Rico Mc. Pato from 1972 to the present. Being one of the most popular board games in Colombia and being the direct competitor of Monopoly in the region. [42]

In tribute to its famous native, Glasgow City Council added Scrooge to its list of "Famous Glaswegians" in 2007, alongside the likes of Billy Connolly and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. [43]

In 2008 The Weekly Standard parodied the bailout of the financial markets by publishing a memo where Scrooge applies to the TARP program. [44]

An extortionist named Arno Funke targeted German department store chain Karstadt from 1992 until his capture in 1994, under the alias "Dagobert", the German (first) name for Scrooge McDuck. [45]

In the Family Guy episode "Lottery Fever", Peter injures himself trying to dive into a pile of coins like Scrooge McDuck.

In the 2013 episode of Breaking Bad, "Buried", Saul Goodman associate Patrick Kuby remarks to fellow associate Huell Babineaux "we are here to do a job, not channel Scrooge McDuck" when Huell lies down on Walter White's pile of cash stored in a storage facility locker.

Dagobertducktaks ("Dagobert Duck" is the Dutch name for Scrooge McDuck), a tax for the wealthy, was elected Dutch word of the year 2014 in a poll by Van Dale. [46] [47]

In August 2017, the YouTube channel "The Film Theorists", hosted by Matthew "MatPat" Patrick, estimated the worth of the gold coins in the money bin of Scrooge McDuck based on four sources, with the lowest source equaling $52,348,493,767.50 and the highest source ("three cubic acres") equaling $333,927,633,863,527.10 of gold value. [48]

Scrooge McDuck Universe Edit

The popularity of Scrooge McDuck comics spawned an entire mythology around the character, including new supporting characters, adventures, and life experiences as told by numerous authors. The popularity of the Duck universe – the fandom term for the associated intellectual properties that have developed from Scrooge's stories over the years, including the city of Duckburg – has led Don Rosa to claim that "in the beginning Scrooge [owed] his existence to his nephew Donald, but that has changed and today it's Donald that [owes] his existence to Scrooge."

In addition to the many original and existing characters in stories about Scrooge McDuck, authors have frequently led historical figures to meet Scrooge over the course of his life. Most notably, Scrooge has met US president Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt and Scrooge would meet each other at least three times: in the Dakotas in 1883, in Duckburg in 1902, and in Panama in 1906. See Historical Figures in Scrooge McDuck stories.

Based on writer Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, a popular timeline chronicling Scrooge's adventures was created consisting of the most important "facts" about Scrooge's life. See Scrooge McDuck timeline according to Don Rosa. [ citation needed ]

In 2014, composer Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish released a conceptual album based on the book, The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. The album is titled Music Inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge. Don Rosa illustrated the cover artwork for the album. [49]

In other media Edit

The character of Scrooge has appeared in various mediums aside from comic books. Scrooge's voice was first heard on the 1960 record album Donald Duck and His Friends Dal McKennon voiced the character for this appearance. It took the form of a short dramatization called "Uncle Scrooge's Rocket to the Moon," a story of how Scrooge builds a rocket to send all his money to the moon to protect it from the Beagle Boys. [50] In 1961 this story was reissued as a 45rpm single record entitled "Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge's Money Rocket."

Initially, Scrooge was to make his animated debut in the Donald Duck theatrical cartoons. Late in 1954, Carl Barks was asked by the Disney Studios if he would be free to write a script for a Scrooge McDuck 7-minute animated cartoon. [51] Scrooge was a huge success in the comic books at the time, and Disney now wanted to introduce the miserly duck to theater audiences as well. Barks supplied the studios with a detailed 9-page script, telling the story of the happy-go-lucky Donald Duck working for the troubled Scrooge who tries to save his money from a hungry rat. [52] Barks also sent number of sketches of his ideas for the short, including a money-sorting machine, which Barks had already used on the cover of one of the Uncle Scrooge issues. [53] The script was never used as Disney soon after decided to concentrate on TV shows instead.

Scrooge's first appearance in animated form (save for a brief Mickey Mouse Club television series cameo [54] ) was in Disney's 1967 theatrical short Scrooge McDuck and Money (voiced by Bill Thompson), in which he teaches his nephews basic financial tips. [55]

In 1974, Disneyland Records released an adaptation of the Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Eight years later, Walt Disney Pictures produced a featurette of this same story, this time dubbed Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983). He also appeared as himself in the television special Sport Goofy in Soccermania (1987).

Scrooge's biggest role outside comics would come in the 1987 animated series DuckTales, a series loosely based on Carl Barks's comics, and where Alan Young returned to voice him. In this series, premiered over two-hours on September 18, 1987, while the regular episodes began three days later, Scrooge becomes the legal guardian of Huey, Dewey and Louie when Donald joins the United States Navy. Scrooge's DuckTales persona is considerably mellow compared to most previous appearances his aggression is played down and his often duplicitous personality is reduced in many episodes to that of a curmudgeonly but well-meaning old uncle. Still, there are flashes of Barks' Scrooge to be seen, particularly in early episodes of the first season. Scrooge also appeared in DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, released during the series' run. He was mentioned in the Darkwing Duck episode "Tiff of the Titans", but never really seen.

He has appeared in some episodes of Raw Toonage, two shorts of Mickey Mouse Works and some episodes (specially "House of Scrooge") of Disney's House of Mouse, as well as the direct-to-video films Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. His video game appearances include the three DuckTales releases (DuckTales, DuckTales 2, and DuckTales: The Quest for Gold), and in Toontown Online as the accidental creator of the Cogs. Additionally, he is a secret playable character in 2008 quiz game, Disney TH!NK Fast. In the 2012 Nintendo 3DS game Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, he is one of the first characters Mickey rescues, running a shop in the fortress selling upgrades and serving as a Sketch summon in which he uses his cane pogostick from the Ducktales NES games.

Scrooge also makes sporadic appearances in Disney's and Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts series, helping Mickey Mouse establish a world transit system to expand his business empire to other worlds. He first appears in Kingdom Hearts II as a minor non-playable character in Hollow Bastion, where he is trying to recreate his favorite ice cream flavor – sea-salt. [56] Scrooge later appears in the prequel, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, this time with a speaking role. He works on establishing an ice-cream business in Radiant Garden and gives Ventus three passes to the Dream Festival in Disney Town. Scrooge returns in Kingdom Hearts III, now managing a bistro in Twilight Town with the help of Remy from Ratatouille. Alan Young reprises the role in the English version of Birth by Sleep, while Enn Reitel voices the character in III.

Scrooge has appeared in the Boom! Studios Darkwing Duck comic, playing a key role at the end of its initial story, "The Duck Knight Returns". Later he would also play a key role on the final story arc "Dangerous Currency", where he teams up with Darkwing Duck in order to stop the Phantom Blot and Magica De Spell from taking over St. Canard and Duckburg.

In 2015, Scrooge was seen in the Mickey Mouse short "Goofy's First Love", where Mickey and Donald are trying to help Goofy find his love. Donald suggests money, and they head over to Scrooge's mansion where Donald tells his uncle that Goofy needs a million dollars. Scrooge then has his butler kick them out. When Goofy is inadvertently launched from a treadmill and catapulted off another building, he lands in Scrooge's mansion. The butler kicks Goofy out and the process repeats itself but this time Mickey and Donald are catapulted as well and kicked out by the butler. Scrooge is seen at the end attending Goofy's wedding with a sandwich. In the 2016 Mickey Mouse Christmas special, "Duck the Halls", after Young's death, John Kassir took over voicing Scrooge McDuck, however he later tweeted that he won't be reprising his role in the reboot. Kassir continues to voice the character in subsequent appearances in this series. Scrooge makes a cameo appearance in the Legend of the Three Caballeros episode "Shangri-La-Di-Da".

In the DuckTales reboot, Scrooge is played by Scottish actor David Tennant. [57] This series shows that Scrooge previously adventured with his nephew Donald and his niece Della Duck, but when Della disappeared during an expedition to space, Donald blamed Scrooge and the two became estranged for ten years. He develops a pessimistic attitude about family as a result until Donald re-enters his life with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, rekindling his spirit of adventure and appreciation of family, and he invites them to live with him at McDuck Manor as they travel the world on adventures.

Scrooge is a playable character in the mobile game Disney Magic Kingdoms, being the most expensive premium character.

A History of Gymnastics: From Ancient Greece to Modern Times

Find out about the Ancient Greek origin of gymnastics, and learn additional details about modern competitions and scoring.

The sport of gymnastics, which derives its name from the ancient Greek word for disciplinary exercises, combines physical skills such as body control, coordination, dexterity, gracefulness, and strength with tumbling and acrobatic skills, all performed in an artistic manner. Gymnastics is performed by both men and women at many levels, from local clubs and schools to colleges and universities, and in elite national and international competitions.

Gymnastics was introduced in early Greek civilization to facilitate bodily development through a series of exercises that included running, jumping, swimming, throwing, wrestling, and weight lifting. Many basic gymnastic events were practiced in some form before the introduction by the Greeks of gymnazein, literally, "to exercise naked." Physical fitness was a highly valued attribute in ancient Greece, and both men and women participated in vigorous gymnastic exercises. The Romans, after conquering Greece, developed the activities into a more formal sport, and they used the gymnasiums to physically prepare their legions for warfare. With the decline of Rome, however, interest in gymnastics dwindled, with tumbling remaining as a form of entertainment.

In 1774, a Prussian, Johann Bernhard Basedow, included physical exercises with other forms of instruction at his school in Dessau, Saxony. With this action began the modernization of gymnastics, and also thrust the Germanic countries into the forefront in the sport. In the late 1700s, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn of Germany developed the side bar, the horizontal bar, the parallel bars, the balance beam, and jumping events. He, more than anyone else, is considered the "father of modern gymnastics." Gymnastics flourished in Germany in the 1800s, while in Sweden a more graceful form of the sport, stressing rhythmic movement, was developed by Guts Muth. The opening (1811) of Jahn's school in Berlin, to promote his version of the sport, was followed by the formation of many clubs in Europe and later in England. The sport was introduced to the United States by Dr. Dudley Allen Sargent, who taught gymnastics in several U.S. universities about the time of the Civil War, and who is credited with inventing more than 30 pieces of apparatus. Most of the growth of gymnastics in the United States centered on the activities of European immigrants, who introduced the sport in their new cities in the 1880s. Clubs were formed as Turnverein and Sokol groups, and gymnasts were often referred to as "turners." Modern gymnastics excluded some traditional events, such as weight lifting and wrestling, and emphasized form rather than personal rivalry.

Men's gymnastics was on the schedule of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and it has been on the Olympic agenda continually since 1924. Olympic gymnastic competition for women began in 1936 with an all-around competition, and in 1952 competition for the separate events was added. In the early Olympic competitions the dominant male gymnasts were from Germany, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland, the countries where the sport first developed. But by the 1950s, Japan, the Soviet Union, and the Eastern European countries began to produce the leading male and female gymnasts.

Modern gymnastics gained considerable popularity because of the performances of Olga Korbut of the Soviet Union in the 1972 Olympics, and Nadia Comaneci of Romania in the 1976 Olympics. The widespread television coverage of these dramatic performances gave the sport the publicity that it lacked in the past. Many countries other than the traditional mainstays at the time &mdash the USSR, Japan, East and West Germany, and other Eastern European nations &mdash began to promote gymnastics, particularly for women among these countries were China and the United States.

Modern international competition has six events for men and four events for women. The men's events are the rings, parallel bars, horizontal bar, side or pommel-horse, long or vaulting horse, and floor (or free) exercise. These events emphasize upper body strength and flexibility along with acrobatics. The women's events are the vaulting horse, balance beam, uneven bars, and floor exercise, which is performed with musical accompaniment. These events combine graceful, dancelike movements with strength and acrobatic skills. In the United States, tumbling and trampoline exercises are also included in many competitions.

Teams for international competitions are made up of six gymnasts. In the team competition each gymnast performs on every piece of equipment, and the team with the highest number of points wins. There is also a separate competition for the all-around title, which goes to the gymnast with the highest point total after performing on each piece of equipment, and a competition to determine the highest score for each individual apparatus.

Another type of competitive gymnastics for women is called rhythmic gymnastics, an Olympic sport since 1984. Acrobatic skills are not used. The rhythmic gymnast performs graceful, dancelike movements while holding and moving items such as a ball, hoop, rope, ribbon, or Indian clubs, with musical accompaniment. Routines are performed individually or in group performances for six gymnasts.

Gymnastic competitions are judged and scored on both an individual and a team basis. Each competitor must accomplish a required number of specific types of moves on each piece of equipment. Judges award points to each participant in each event on a 0-to-10 scale, 10 being perfect. Judging is strictly subjective however, guidelines are provided for judges so that they can arrive at relatively unbiased scores.

Usually there are four judges, and the highest and lowest scores are dropped to provide a more objective evaluation. Gymnasts try to perform the most difficult routines in the most graceful way, thus impressing the judges with their mastery of the sport.

Bott, Jenny, Rhythmic Gymnastics (1995) Cooper, Phyllis S., and Trnka, Milan, Teaching Basic Gymnastics, 3d ed. (1993) Feeney, Rik, Gymnastics: A Guide for Parents and Athletes (1992) Karolyi, Bela, Feel No Fear (1994) Lihs, Harriet R., Teaching Gymnastics, 2d ed. (1994) YMCA Gymnastics, 3d ed. (1990).

Oldest Greek Fragment of Homer Discovered on Clay Tablet

The epics of the Greek poet Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey, have been recited around campfires and scrutinized by students for 2,800 years, if not longer. You might think that ancient copies of these books are dug up in Greece all the time, but that’s not the case. The ancient papyrus these books were written on rarely survives, meaning that ancient copies of Homer from the lands he wrote about simply don’t exist. But now, reports the BBC, archeologists in Greece have found 13 verses from The Odyssey chiseled into a clay tablet dating to the third century A.D. or earlier, representing the oldest lines of the poet found in the ancient land.

The tablet was discovered near the ruins of the Temple of Zeus during three years of excavations in the ruins of the ancient city of Olympia on the Greek peninsula the Peloponnese. The verses are from the epic’s fourteenth book, in which Odysseus speaks to his lifelong friend Eumaeus, the first person he sees on his return from his decade away from home.

In a press release, the Greek Culture Ministry says that the preliminary date of the text has been confirmed. If verified, it will be a priceless literary and historical artifact.

In fact, any glimpse into Homer before medieval times is rare, and any insight into the composition of the epics is precious. It’s believed that The Odyssey and The Iliad come from an oral storytelling tradition. Whether the stories were composed by a blind poet named Homer is a source of debate, though many researchers believe Homer was probably not a historical individual but a cultural tradition that developed the stories over many decades or centuries, with scribes writing them down sometime around the 8th century B.C.

But it’s likely there were many different versions of each work transcribed throughout the ancient world. That’s because, as Harvard classicist Gregory Nagy points out, the oral tradition of these poems was not a matter of rote memorization. Instead, bards would have told slightly different versions of the epics each time they recited them, using a technique known as composition-in-recitation. Scribes transcribing the recitations would have heard different versions depending on the storyteller, so there were likely various versions of the Homer epics works floating around the ancient world.

The versions we know now come from medieval copies made of the complete works based on ancient sources that are now lost. After those texts were rediscovered during the Rennaissance, they became classics and have been translated endlessly, with each generation adding their own scholarly take or literary spin to the tales. In fact, just last year the first English translation of the story by a female classicist was published.

But not all of the earlier versions of Homer are lost. Archaeologists working in Egypt in the late 19th century began collecting scraps of papyrus containing lines, quotations and even complete chapters of the stories. Unlike in Greece, the dry conditions in Egypt mean some papyrus documents are preserved, including bits of Homer dating to the third century B.C. These scraps and chapters show that the medieval texts are not the only versions of the epics or even the authoritative versions—it turns out there is no one definitive Homer out there. That’s why the Homer Multitext Project is gathering all of those fragments together so they can be compared and put in sequence to provide a broader view of Homer’s epics. No doubt the new fragment of text from Greece will soon be added to that project, and hopefully there will be even more to sing about soon.

About Jason Daley

Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.

Ancient Egypt: Newly Discovered 2,300-Year-Old Gymnasium Made Tiny Village Look More Greek

For the first time ever, archaeologists digging in Egypt have uncovered a Greek-style gymnasium, which the team believes a small town may have built in order to seem more Greek, according to a statement released Monday by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

The building's remains were found outside Wafta, about 50 miles southwest of Cairo. It is the site of the small town of Philoteris, which was founded during the second century B.C. At that point, Egypt was under the control of the Ptolemies, descendants of Alexander the Great's General Ptolemy, who took over the territory after the Greek conqueror's death, making it part of the Hellenistic, or "Greekish" world. (The last of the Ptolemaic dynasty to rule Egypt was the famous Cleopatra.)

In ancient Greece, a gymnasium was primarily a space for young men to work out and converse with older mentors. That wasn't just a matter of health, the way we view gyms today: It was also part of a city's defensive strategy because the skills learned at the gymnasium tended to parallel those needed in the military.

After the Greeks took over Egypt, locals picked up a taste for Hellenistic culture, and that included other cultural buildings like baths, so it's not particularly surprising to find evidence they latched onto the idea of a gymnasium as well. And scholars have previously found references to gymnasiums in texts from the period. But this is the first time archaeologists have uncovered a structure to match.

This gymnasium wasn't recorded in documents archaeologists have previously found about Philoteris specifically, although they do note that the site had a bathhouse. Those references suggest the town was home to about 1,000 people under the Ptolemies. The population would likely have been a mix of native Egyptians and new Greeks. Philoteris is located in the region known as Fayum, which was popular with Greek settlers, and which has been a rich source of finds for archaeologists.

At the gymnasium site, archaeologists from Egypt and Germany have found a complex that included "a large hall for meetings, once adorned with statues, a dining hall and a courtyard in the main building," accompanied by a track about 650 feet long, according to the information released by the Ministry of Antiquities.

Watch the video: Παραδόθηκε στο Δήμο Καρδίτσας το νέο κλειστό γυμναστήριο της Καρδίτσας (May 2022).