David J. Schenker
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Classical Studies
405 Strickland Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Testimonials & Referrals

Gamal Castile is an excellent ambassador for the study of the ancient Mediterranean world. When we invited him to give a presentation at the University of Missouri in Fall 2015, I knew from our conversations that Gamal was knowledgeable about Greek warfare and, in particular, the equipment of Greek hoplites. He brought with him his full and outstanding collection of authentic reproductions, ranging from everyday wear through highly ornate helmets, shields, and breastplates. He wore some of the gear, outfitted students in other pieces, demonstrated military maneuvers, and gave everyone a chance to feel the panoply for themselves. What truly impressed me, though, was his ability to communicate so clearly, effectively, and engagingly with a large and diverse audience. There were approximately 150 in attendance: MU faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, local high school teachers, family and friends. Gamal knows what he’s talking about, and knows how to get that across. His presentation lasted almost 90 minutes, he answered questions for another half hour, and he stayed in the room until everyone had a chance to heft the spear or take a selfie in a helmet. Our students loved it, and the high school teachers immediately booked Gamal for the statewide JCL convention. As Gamal’s collection grows and his research continues we look forward to inviting him back to MU to inspire future Classics students. 

My name is Deb James and I had the honor of hosting Gamal Castile for an ancient Greek presentation on Wednesday, October 26.  His presentation style and ability to connect with kids was phenomenal.  He interacted with the kids and brought many of them up to try on the Hoplite “uniforms.”  The students were engaged and comfortable to ask many questions.  

Deb James
7th Grade Social Studies
Jefferson Middle School
713 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO  65203

Gamal Castile's presentation to our 4th - 8th grade students was extraordinary.  His knowledge of Greek culture and warfare was superb.  His displays and demonstrations of actual armor and weaponry totally captured everyone's attention and will long be remembered by our students and teachers.  Mr. Castile's presentation would be appropriate for any upper elementary to adult age group and could be adapted to support almost any message a group or company wanted to emphasize, such as teamwork, excellence, overcoming adversity or overwhelming odds, etc.  This presentation has my highest recommendation.

Scott Williams, Principal
Christian Fellowship School
Columbia  MO