Hour 25: A Sequel to The Ancient Greek Hero

This website is a sequel to the edX/HarvardX project, The Ancient Greek Hero, directed by Professor Gregory Nagy, and it is intended for those who participated in the first and second versions of it, what we call HeroesXv1 and v2. The idea behind the Hour 25 site is this: in the 24 Hours of HeroesX, 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. This approach depends upon “the art of slow reading” and the careful, systematic study of keywords and themes in context. A thriving, nurturing, and civil community took shape around the study of those sources and words. That civil community helped us all to learn and think critically about the way a different culture in a different time understood terms that we have inherited but whose meanings and contexts have significantly changed over thousands of years.

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 continue learning within the framework that you have been using while working more independently. We believe that you can apply the techniques you have learned to new words and themes in additional ancient Greek texts–ones that have been prepared like those in the Sourcebook for The Ancient Hero–in order 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: As you are figuring out how to do this work, please be aware that the function of this website is under more direct control of the HeroesX team than the edX platform has been. If the community has suggestions for additional pages, for example, on which to post the conclusions or the processes that you agree upon, please let us know. [hour25support (at) chs.harvard.edu] We can not respond to requests for such features that come from a single participant.