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Mésalliance; Unequally-Yoked

And now she is back with the old dilemma – who caused the war? She has been blamed, Paris has been blamed but, fundamentally, it was the fault of Thetis, mother of Achilles. There is the old argument regarding Mésalliance, a goddess marries a mortal, some social discord is sure to arise[1] Some social disruption! The destruction of Troy, the wasting of a generation of men on both sides of… Read more

Book Club | June 2024: Bring Your Own Book

It’s June, so the choice is over to you. As in previous years, you can bring your own selection, one book that you like, or dislike, and share your thoughts about it. You can read any book (or part of a book) you like related to the ancient Greeks, whether a primary or secondary source. Depending on how many attend the live discussion you will be allocated some time to… Read more

The Ship of State

A ship operated by a dysfunctional crew is the metaphor of Plato when discussing the problems of governance in a political system not based on expert knowledge. The teller of this parable, Adeimantus, firstly asks his listener, Socrates, to imagine a ship which is in a state of mutiny, with sailors who are quarreling about the steering and take possession of the ship.[1] Hieronymus Bosch: The Ship of Fools, c.… Read more

Open House | Iliad 6 “War Crimes” with Joel Christensen

We were delighted to welcome back Professor Joel Christensen, of Brandeis University, to join members of the Kosmos Society for an Open House discussion on “Violence and War Crimes in Iliad 6.” As Professor Christensen writes in his Substack post noted below: The story of excessive violence in the Iliad is that of the rejection of conventions meant to make war in some way predictable and ‘acceptable’ to the combatants.… Read more

Book Club | May 2024: Heron of Byzantium Siegecraft

Everything about siege machines is difficult and hard to understand, either because of the intricacy and inscrutability of their depiction, or because of the difficulty of comprehending the concepts, or, to say it better, because of their incomprehensibility to most men… The most competent military commander, kept safe by Providence above because of his piety, and obedient to the command and judgment and good counsel of our most divine emperors,… Read more

Gallery: Three Ancient Greek Monsters

There are many references to monsters in ancient Greek texts, some with detailed descriptions. This Gallery illustrates how just three of them were depicted in the visual arts: Scylla, the Hydra, and the Chimera. Scylla When Circe warns Odysseus that his journey must take him past the dangers posed by Scylla, who lives up in a sheer cliff face, she provides a vivid description of what he will face: …… Read more

Titanophobia

O Mighty Titans, who from heav’n and earth Derive your noble and illustrious birth… Avert your rage, if from th’ infernal seats One of your tribe should visit our retreats.[1] Zeus is the king of the Greek gods on Mount Olympus, but “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”[2] In the first book of the Iliad the hero Achilles tells the tale of his mother the goddess Thetis rescuing… Read more

Women and Goddesses in the Epic of Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh is a Babylonian epic, recorded in Akkadian on a number of ancient tablets. Gilgamesh is thought to have lived around 2,800 – 2,500 BCE[1], and most of the tablets, telling the standard version of the story, are thought to date from the seventh century BCE. Stephanie Dalley also gives an earlier version in her book, called the Old Babylonian Version, dating to around the early second millennium[2]. There are… Read more

Book Club | April 2024: Juvenal Satires

“Yet what state did Xerxes return in, on relinquishing Salamis? He vented his savage rage by lashing the winds, Caurus, Eurus, Who’d never experienced the like even in their Aeolian prison, He bound Poseidon, the Earthshaker himself, with chains, (That was lenient. What? Didn’t he think him worth branding Too? What god would have chosen to be that man’s slave?) What state was he in? In a single ship, of course, sailing the Bloodstained waves, his prow slowly pushing… Read more

Open House | Thebes, with Paul Cartledge

We are delighted to welcome Paul Cartledge, of Clare College, University of Cambridge, to join members of the Kosmos Society for an Open House discussion on ‘Thebes: the lost city of ancient Greece’ Thebes, the third largest city in ancient Greece, is often considered a backwater, lacking culture and art. In fact, Thebes was the site of many important Greek myths, including Oedipus and The Seven Against Thebes, as well… Read more

Upcoming Events

Jun
18
Tue
10:00 am Latin
Latin
Jun 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Latin
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3:00 pm Euripides Medea (Thespians)
Euripides Medea (Thespians)
Jun 18 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
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Jun
19
Wed
11:00 am Herodotus Translation Study Group
Herodotus Translation Study Group
Jun 19 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Herodotus Translation Study Group
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Jun
21
Fri
4:00 pm Plato Meno
Plato Meno
Jun 21 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Plato Meno
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Jun
24
Mon
9:00 am Odyssey Study Group (Phaeacians)
Odyssey Study Group (Phaeacians)
Jun 24 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
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11:30 am Poetry Study Group (Mnēmai)
Poetry Study Group (Mnēmai)
Jun 24 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Poetry Study Group (Mnēmai)
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1:00 pm Iliad Study Group (Scamandrians)
Iliad Study Group (Scamandrians)
Jun 24 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Iliad Study Group (Scamandrians)
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Jun
25
Tue
10:00 am Latin
Latin
Jun 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Latin
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11:00 am Book Club | June 2024: Bring You...
Book Club | June 2024: Bring You...
Jun 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Book Club | June 2024: Bring Your Own Book
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3:00 pm Euripides Medea (Thespians)
Euripides Medea (Thespians)
Jun 25 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
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