Homer's Iliad: reading group

Course Dates: 05/03/20 - 02/04/20
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Come and explore Homer's great epic tale in translation.


What is the course about?

The Iliad is one of the earliest and greatest works claimed by Western literature. An epic poem attributed to Homer and the archaic Greek world, its action centres on a dark episode in the Trojan War, in which the Greek hero Achilles is a key protagonist, along with fellow heroes such as Agamemnon, Hector, Patroclus, Odysseus, Nestor, Priam and Paris, as well as host of immortal deities and supernatural forces. A meditation on war, anger, what it meant to be a man in Homeric times and much more, it is a journey which yields not just a wealth of material about the archaic Greek world and worldview, but which also discusses many universal truths still relevant today.

What will we cover?

Each week we will read and discuss passages from Homer’s Iliad relating to a key theme from the text. These may, for example, include what it meant to be a hero in Homeric times, the role of the natural world in Homer’s depictions of conflict, fate and Olympian ‘interference’ in the mortal affairs, and the historicity of the Trojan War.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Locate Homer’s epic in the context of the archaic Greek world, with a basic knowledge of key developments.
- Contribute to a discussion on the main themes from this text.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory reading group, which will set Homer’s Iliad in the context of the archaic Greek world: it is designed to be accessible and enjoyable to everyone, so little prior knowledge of ancient Greek history is needed. However, it will involve reading sections of Homer’s epic in English translation and discussing them, so a GCSE-level grasp of reading and speaking English is recommended.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This course will combine tutor presentations, set ‘homework’ and class reading from Homer’s Iliad, discussions, documentary clips and work with related texts and images.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

We will be reading from E.V. + D.C.H. Rieu’s Penguin Classics translation of Homer’s Iliad – please bring a copy to each class. (Published by Penguin Books, ISBN: 978-0-14-0447941 – readily available from public libraries).

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might enjoy Ancient Greek drama: a reading group in translation (course code RT201), which starts in May 2020; Ancient Greek poetry: a reading group in translation (course code RG001) which starts in July 2020 or The Odyssey reading group in translation (course code RG167) which also starts in July.


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Do this course that is being led by an expert with amazing knowledge. Be ready to do voluntary work between as the course is not quite long enough - but worth every moment you give it.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 13/04/2019)
The course is very dynamic and lively, the tutor incredibly well-informed, and the Iliad is simply amazing (especially in the crisp and evocative translation by Robert Fagles).
Course Rating
Review by Scott / (Posted on 12/04/2019)
Make sure you have the right book version!
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 11/04/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Deborah Hyde

Deborah Hyde has loved history since her earliest schooldays. She now holds an MA in Classical Civilisation from Birkbeck, University of London and was joint winner of the 2011 Catherine Jane Booth prize for the study of Classics. Having first discovered the ancient world as a mature student, widening participation in its study is her passion -- she creates and teaches courses for which are designed to be accessible and enjoyable for people of all levels of knowledge. Deborah also leads reading groups exploring classical texts in translation, and is a WEA approved tutor. Her interests range from the origins of archaic Greek poetry to early Christian saints. “The ancient world is really good to think with. In Greek, Roman and other ancient societies, we can find roots, contrasts, parallels and thus understandings of our own identities and the ways our communities are organised. As Bob Marley so rightly said: ‘If you know your history, then you will know where you’re coming from’.”

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: RT171

Thu, eve, 05 Mar - 02 Apr '20

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Full fee: £69.00
Senior fee: £69.00
Concession: £42.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? classics@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2644

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.