Kosmos Society 10th Anniversary: 2014 Retrospective

2024 sees the tenth anniversary of the Kosmos Society!

So, to celebrate, this post includes some of the highlights and accomplishments from our first year, including Open House events, learning resources, and posts written and shared by community members. Enjoy!

Kosmos Society 2014

Screenshot of Hour 25 website from 2014

The Kosmos Society was originally created[1] with the name Hour 25 to provide discussion space and preliminary resources for those who had taken part in the MOOC[2] ‘The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours’ (HeroesX), and participants from the first two iterations were invited to join. The emphasis was always on “content, conversation, and community.”

Discussion in the Forums was very lively and active on a wide range of topics, and there was the Friday Café, a regular social thread hosted by community member Myrmidon. And Claudia Filos, who was our liaison with CHS, invited scholars and researchers to visit for discussions; very soon they took place via video—this was the start of the Open House series.

At the end of the first year, Myrmidon looked back over our activities:

As Hour 25’s first complete year of activities draws to a close, let’s reflect on the words of our friend, Greg Nagy. He says that we H25ers are “continuators” of a tradition that he, Lenny Muellner, Doug Frame and others started in the 1970s. Greg fondly recalls how “we gathered on Thursday evenings…and over drinks, we talked about what we were reading and what we were thinking”. …

Through the efforts of about 15 participants, we held 51 events, like … Open Houses, Book Club meetings, and word study groups. We also took part in events like the Antigone project, weekly quizzes, Friday Cafés, and community socials. As well, we hosted 18 scholars, experts in Homeric and ancient Greek texts. We produced about 400-hours of videos, attracting more than 3,000 views. We set up 164 blog posts, and 458 [forum discussion] topics that netted more than 4,450 replies. For example, Bill [Moulton]’s thoughtful quizzes attracted participation from as many as 28 members each week. …

Another achievement was independently setting our own study programs as we went along. This is in tune with Professor Nagy’s observation about the innovative nature of the HeroesX project. …[H]e told an interviewer that participants were “building the ship as we sail it.” Recently, Claudia Filos reinforced that idea when she stressed that we are all “real partners in the project,” and that our collaboration shows “we are really doing something transformative in terms of online education.” …

Tears. Laughter. Friendship. Learning. All unmistakable proof that we’ve built and sailed in ways we might never have imagined in January. Now, another year of Hour 25 is set to begin, and may the wind “boom in our sails” as we continue our voyage of discovery and friendship.

Ten years later we are continuing in the same tradition. Long may it continue!

Open House 2014

Collage: photos of Open House guests
Kevin McGrath, Richard P Martin, Ioanna Papadopoulou, Gregory Nagy, Douglas Frame, Olga Levaniouk, Leonard Muellner, Justin Arft, David Elmer, Graeme Bird, Efimia Karakantza, Joel Christensen

Members of the community were excited to join visiting scholars in discussions about themes, classical works, and new research. These live sessions were recorded, and provide an accessible and informative outreach resource not only for members but for the wider public.

Look out for the complete series of Open House discussions. You can find them via the View menu, with the Open House option providing the names of guests, or you can select to view by theme.

Learning resources from 2014

Ancient Greek cup with Greek alphabet

Many members expressed an interest in learning Greek. In response to this, experienced teachers prepared introductory video tutorials which are available to all. Here is a selection:

You can find these and many other Greek language videos and resources via the Learn menu. And these days, there are several flourishing—and fun!—study groups.

Selected blog posts from 2014

Collage of featured images from 2014 posts

From the outset, members shared and published their own research, questions, and interests in a series of posts designed to stimulate further discussion and close reading—a tradition that continues to this day. In 2014 these posts included word studies, individual mythological characters, multi textuality, and sacred journeys.

If any members have been inspired by these or any later posts to write something, either on your own or collaboratively, please get in touch with the current Editorial team!


1 The Hour 25 project was originally sponsored by Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS).

2 Massive Open Online Course. HeroesX was based on Professor Gregory Nagy’s long-standing Harvard course on the Ancient Greek Hero.