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 .