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Literature and Arts C-14

Concepts of the Hero in Greek Civilization

Fall 2008


Heroes Paper Contest!

The Heroes have reached their telos; with the beginning of the new semester, the sense of you as a group is already becoming evanescent. So, in order to preserve the memory of your work and inspiration, and in the spirit of der agonale Geist of ancient Greek society, the TFs and I thought about announcing a contest for the three best papers written for the course. The jury would consist of the TFs, your professor, and those of you who would volunteer to participate. The papers judged in the top three will be published on the website of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, and will be immensely helpful for the future students of the Heroes in their ordeals and quests.

Contest Details:

Choice and Editing of Papers:
The first and second papers will be read separately, and you are welcome to submit in either or both categories. We would like to see your papers as you wrote them during the semester, so please don't do any rewriting beyond correcting things like typos.

Please submit an electronic copy of your papers before Monday the 9th.

Method of Submission:
Please send your papers to lac14@fas.

The final exam will be given on Saturday, January 17th, 2009, at 2:15pm.

Last names A–L : Emerson Hall, Room 105

Last names M–Z : Science Center, Room D

Student Minutes 24 are available.

The Exchanges page has been updated.

Student Minutes 23, Dialogue Notes 24, and Dialogue 24 Handout are available.

The Exchanges page has been updated.

Dialogue Notes 23, Dialogue Handout 23 are available.

Dialogue Notes 22, Dialogue Handout 22, Student Minutes 22 are available.

The Exchanges page has been updated.

"Les Contes d'Hoffmann" will be performed at the Boston Lyric Opera, Nov. 7-18. For details and ticket information go to http://www.blo.org/

"The 'New Sappho' reconsidered in the light of the Athenian reception of Sappho," by Gregory Nagy, is available, with images, on the Texts page.

Seven clips from the chariot race sequence in "Ben Hur" are available on the Multimedia page.

Tales of Hoffman commentaries are available on the Texts page.

"An apobatic moment for Achilles as athlete at the Festival of the Panathenaia," by Gregory Nagy, is avaialble, with images, on the Texts page.

The true "hero" of this course is the logos or "word" of logical reasoning, as activated by Socratic dialogue. The logos of dialogue requires careful thinking, realized in close reading and reflective writing. The last "word" to be read in the course will come from Plato's memories of the last days of Socrates.

These memories depend on a thorough understanding of the concept of the hero in all its varieties throughout the history of Greek civilization.This course is driven by a sequence of dialogues that lead to such an understanding, guiding the attentive reader through many of the major works of the ancient Greek Classics, from Homer to Plato.

Contact Information


Gregory Nagy (gnagy@fas.harvard.edu)

Office Hours: by appointment in Boylston 228

Head Teaching Fellow

Keith Stone (lac14@fas.harvard.edu)

Office Hours: Monday 2–4, Boylston 234