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. The Institute works with each library to find a time and date that best suits the library’s patrons.
We call texts “classics” in part because they have endured and influenced literature and society across time. A consequence of this popularity is that we can get lost in the maze of reception. How much of what we read in adaptations and translations reflects the mind and society of the text itself, and how much is modern interpretation? These seminars examine these questions and help enable readers engage distant cultures mindfully.
Seminar 1: Greek Mythology in Context (1 hour)
Greek myths are among the most enduring, captivating, and influential stories that have come down to us from the ancient world. Their origins have proven as enigmatic as their meanings. In this session, we will explore where the stories came from, how they evolved across periods of dramatic socio-political change from the archaic period through Christianization, and how they were passed down across the centuries.
Seminar 2: The World of Homer (1 hour)
The Homeric epics are typically cited as the first works of Western literature, the beginning of a long tradition. While this accurately conveys their influence and reception across time, the epics in their own time emerged as a paradox: a written text of an oral poem, composed and re-composed in performance. In this session, we will explore the epics’ historical context, considering their relationship to Hesiod, the difference between the mythic and the historic pasts, and their journey through time.
The Institute also offers longer programs on in-depth readings and discussion groups for the Iliad and the Odyssey (in English translation).
If you’d like to schedule a seminar or would like more information on other seminars, contact us.