The Classics and Humanism

Faculty Insight

Gregory Nagy

Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University

Nagy sits down with Jenny Attiyeh of ThoughtCast to discuss classic works like the Iliad and how studying the classics provides us with a deeper understanding of human values and concerns.

Professor Nagy reads from Book 22 of The Iliad in this interview with Jenny Attiyeh of ThoughtCast.

Students of all ages have often looked back on the Greek classics to help them understand history, culture, and humanity. The Iliad and The Odyssey are some of the premiere examples of classic literature that rich with philosophical inquiry and intellectual debate.

The plot of the Iliad centers around the Trojan War, and the Odyssey operates somewhat like a sequel, following the Greek hero Odysseus as he travels home after defeating the city of Troy. The original oral traditions and history of both epic poems continue to be deliberated by scholars enthralled by the exciting narratives. With thousands of years between present day and their “original publication,” there is still much to discover about the classic hero and the ancient Greek civilization.

Nagy has been an avid reader of Homer for years and tries to read his work at least once a day.

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