Events & Services

Fall 2022

The Institute for Classics Education is offering a series of free seminars this fall. All are on Saturdays at noon ET and are about an hour. Registration.

A Lesson Plan for the Odyssey  |  Saturday, Oct. 22, 12 p.m. ET

Patricia Vandigriff will present a lesson plan for the Odyssey incorporating the visual art series A Black Odyssey by Romare Bearden. This session is designed for high school teachers.

Homer’s The Odyssey continues to connect with readers through its transcendent themes of family and home. The Trojan war and quest to return home resonate with readers because the search for identity is the most important journey one undertakes. This session will share ideas and resources for encouraging active reading and personal engagement with Homer’s Odyssey.

Join the conversation to explore lessons for all students, that encourage active reading to engage students through multiple perspectives. Allow the Nine Daughters of Zeus to transport us to the Museum of ideas, art, music, and oral stories that map the journey of life through creativity and the wisdom of the immortals, and the resilience of the mortals. 

Gods and Heroes in Greek and Roman Myths  |  Saturday, Nov. 5, 12 p.m.

Dr. Eirene Allen will examine how Greek and Roman epic poets characterize gods and heroes.

Contemporary novels and myth anthologies tend to represent the gods and heroes of ancient Greece and Rome as if they belong to one continuous story. But the relationship between Greece and Rome is not that of a single culture but a complex relationship that includes homage, emulation, and appropriation. This session will explore what it means to write within a ‘tradition of storytelling’ in both Greece and Rome through each culture’s representation of superhuman forces in myths.

The Value of Lifelong Engagement with Homer: Q&A with Dr. Elton Barker and Dr. Joel Christensen  |  Saturday, Nov. 12, 12 p.m.

Classical scholars Dr. Elton Barker (Open University U.K.) and Dr. Joel Christensen (Brandeis University) will join us for a question and answer session exploring what it means to engage with Homer across a lifetime. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance via email (, Twitter (@classicsed), or Instagram (@classicsed).

The Hero as Philosopher  |  Saturday, Nov. 19, 12 p.m.

Lauren Heilman will present her research on how Socrates’ immortality of the soul and Homeric concepts of immortal fame intertwine.

Plato’s dialogue of Socrates’ last day emphasizes the role of song and even epic poetry within classical philosophy. With the background of Homeric epic, this dramatic dialogue on the immortality of the soul frames much of its discussion within Homeric constructs—elements which Socrates’ philosophy and Socrates himself embodies. This session will deepen participants’ understanding of the Homeric concept of immortal fame through Plato’s application of it.

Homer and the Lessons of War  |  Saturday, Dec. 3, 12 pm ET

In this session, designed for a general audience, we will explore what Homer and the classical Greeks can teach us about war.

A founding documents of Greek identity, the Iliad concerns the Trojan war, a protracted and brutal war between neighboring peoples. The narratives around this war became a touchstone for poets, historians, and philosophers throughout the classical period and beyond. The enduring fascination of literature around the Trojan war speaks to its enduring relevance.

Information and Registration:

Iliad. The next seminars will be held Fall 2023.

Consultations. Teachers and schools can contact the Institute via email to set up a time to speak about their community’s particular needs and goals.

Discussion groups. Teachers are invited to join our moderated Discord server to discuss the texts, ask questions, and exchange resources. To join, Contact Us with a request.

Seminars for Libraries. The Institute for Classics Education provides online seminars to introduce library patrons to the classics of ancient Greece in translation. The seminars are hosted by the library, streamed online, and presented by the Institute’s Dr. Allen. More information is here.

Reading recommendations for teachers: translations and analytical works on ancient texts vary significantly. Click here for the Institute’s position on translation and here for overviews of recommended translations for the Iliad and the Odyssey.


The ancient classics present a unique opportunity for readers to engage with profoundly foreign contexts and grapple with contrasting worldviews. Reading them can provoke us to recognize and better understand our expectations for literary texts, our aesthetic and moral values, and our most basic assumptions about truth. Yet even in moments when the world they portray can feel most alien, ancient texts can invite a deep sense of recognition of and connection to what it means to be human. 

Embracing ancient texts’ paradoxical elements is among the most challenging aspects of reading them. Cultural and linguistic contexts can enhance our experiences with these texts that can feel at once profoundly familiar and deeply strange. The Institute’s purpose is to provide, for educators and learners who teach and study Homer and ancient Greek classics in translation, a supportive community in which to explore these contexts .

Join the Community

The Institute’s Discord server aims to be a gathering place for teachers of ancient classics. Join the conversation to discuss the Iliad and the Odyssey, ask questions, and exchange resources for teaching the texts.

To join the Institute’s Discord server, contact us with the request.


The Institute for Classics Education is a U.S.-based 501(c)3 non-profit. Led by Dr. Eirene Allen, the Institute strives to promote critical thinking skills for the modern world by teaching the classics of ancient Greece. Fundamental to the Institute’s objectives is supporting educators who teach ancient Greek classics in English translation.

Dr. Allen earned her Ph.D from New York University, and she has taught at NYU. She usually leads the Institute’s discussion groups and seminars and is the general editor of the Institute’s publications. Her own blog is here:

To learn more about the Institute, its services and publications, Contact Us.

Contact Us

Contact Us with Questions or Requests.

Email us at: athena @ classicseducation . com (remove spaces).