Explore what it means to be human today by studying what it meant to be a hero in ancient Greek times
Registration is now open for the latest session of The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, a unique MOOC that introduces participants to the literature and heroes of ancient Greece via the content from one of Harvard’s longest running courses. The first of five modules on The Ancient Greek Hero, “Epic and Lyric” looks at ancient Greek heroes from the perspective of two different but related media of poetry and song making, epic and lyric. The major focus is Achilles, especially as viewed through the lens of the Homeric Iliad and through the “rose-colored glasses” of Sappho’s songs. The module begins on September 2nd, but new participants are welcome throughout the duration of the project. All readings are in English and no previous experience is expected.
The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, or HeroesX, is an online educational project created by Harvard Professor Gregory Nagy and hosted by edX/HarvardX that offers five units or learning “modules” related to the ancient Greek hero. Although the modules build upon each other sequentially to offer a broad view of the hero, each can be explored individually for a unique and focused perspective. This evolving collection of resources is designed to be equally accessible and transformative for a wide audience. HeroesX participants will experience, in English translation, some of the most beautiful works of ancient Greek literature and song-making spanning over a thousand years from the eighth century BCE through the third century CE: the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey; tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; songs of Sappho and Pindar; dialogues of Plato, and On Heroes by Philostratus. Throughout the project, Nagy and his Board of Readers model techniques for “reading out” of these works in an inductive way. This approach allows participants with little or even no experience in the subject matter to begin seeing this literature as an exquisite, perfected system of communication.
Content, community, and conversation, are prioritized in HeroesX in a way that redefines MOOC as massive, open, online content. This project provides a supportive learning community, exploring what it means to be human today by studying what it meant to be a hero in ancient Greek times. Since it was launched in March 2013, The Ancient Greek Hero has enrolled over 50,000 participants from over 170 countries. Through this project, Nagy is sharing his latest research on ancient Greek heroes, a subject that he has been studying for over four decades. Participants in previous sessions describe being transformed by the content, the community, and the profound experience of “reading closely.” HeroesX participants are also eligible to register for Hour 25, an open-ended, community-driven companion project hosted by Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies.
The five modules of HeroesX are “Epic and Lyric,” “Signs of the Hero in Epic and Iconography,” “The Cult of Heroes, “The Hero in Tragedy,” “Plato and Beyond.” Visit the Hour 25 website for a full description of each module. The first module begins on September 2. Enroll now!