Reading the Odyssey

Six-week course, - , 18.00 - 20.00
Ancient Greek profiles
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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
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  • From £250 – £295
    Concessions available

Study the literary genre of the Greek epic, either at the Library or online.

The course will focus on Homer’s Odyssey and it will include reference to other epics such as Homer’s Iliad and Hesiod’s Theogony. Issues discussed will include structure, plot, and character of the epics, the role of the gods, war and battle scenes, key themes such as xenia (hospitality), nostos (journey of return), and heroism. We will also explore issues of gender and social values, as well as the reception of Homer’s Odyssey in various modes of representation in later ages. Classes will involve lectures and group discussions.

At the end of the course, participants will be familiar with the text of the Odyssey and will have been introduced to a range of issues concerning Homeric studies. Some articles by scholars will be analysed in depth in order to help participants learn how to evaluate literary criticism. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions on particular topics and to participate in class discussions.

Read the full course outline (PDF).

This course takes place at the Library AND on Zoom.

Once you’ve booked your place, please specify how you’d like to participate by emailing

This course runs across six dates:

Thursdays 14, 21, 28 September, 5, 12, 19 October 2023


This course is led by Dr Antony Makrinos who has been a Visiting Lecturer in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary College and a Research and Teaching Fellow at KCL and UCL. He is currently an Associate Professor in Classics at UCL and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research interests include Greek epic (esp. Homer), scholarship in Byzantium, Greek education and Reception studies. He works on an edition of Eustathius’ Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey (book 1). He has published articles and chapters on Homer and Eustathius and contributed to many undergraduate and graduate courses in Classics. He is also the Director of the Summer School in Homer at UCL.


Please email to discuss any access needs.

Previous knowledge or experience

None required. A willingness to participate in group discussion and to undertake the required reading will help you get the most from this course.


When: - , 18.00 - 20.00
Price: From £250 – £295
Concessions available
Where: Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
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