Announcing Hour 25: The Sequel to “The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours”

The Center for Hellenic Studies is preparing “Hour 25” a sequel to the edX/HarvardX course, The Ancient Greek Hero, taught by Professor Gregory Nagy. Hour 25 is intended for those who participated in the first session of the HarvardX project, what we call HeroesXv1. The idea behind the Hour 25 site is this: in the 24 Hours of HeroesXv1, participants learned a way to approach the study of Ancient Greek literature and a way to understand what the word hērõs means in a body of sources from Homer to Plato. A thriving, nurturing, and civil community took shape around the study of those sources, a community of people helping each other to learn and think critically about the way a different culture in a different world in a different time understood terms that we have inherited but whose meanings and contexts have significantly changed since then.

Now that you have been through that experience with the guidance of a professor and a team of people who have worked with him, Hour 25 affords you an opportunity to look at more ancient Greek texts within the framework that you have been using, but in a way that is more independent. We believe that you can apply the understanding and the techniques you have learned to a new subject, to some new ancient Greek texts that have been prepared like those in the Sourcebook for The Ancient Hero. Now you can work together to achieve a historically valid and appropriate understanding of what you are reading. You may want to begin by finding what you think are focus passages in the texts. Then you can share them and your analyses of them, raising questions that you all can develop answers to among yourselves. But it’s up to you how you proceed. There will be no video of Professor Nagy and his colleagues to guide you — though we will be checking in from time to time to see how the discussion is going. We expect to learn a lot from you. We will be discreet, and we will respond only if we think it necessary, since we want this to be your opportunity to embark on a new intellectual adventure within the conceptual world that you have been learning about.

NOTE: The Hour 25 website will be available very soon! Check back for the URL.