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HarvardX Shanghai: The Ancient Greek Hero

  • HarvardX Shanghai (Location provided to registered participants) Shanghai China (map)

Join fellow Harvard alumni in Shanghai for a lively discussion on "The Ancient Greek Hero", the fourth class of HarvardX for Alumni. Find out more about the course and register for the Shanghai discussion group at

The Ancient Greek Hero, with Gregory Nagy

Gregory Nagy surveys ancient Greek literature focusing on classical concepts of the hero and how they can inform our understanding of the human condition.

What is it to be human, and how can ancient concepts of the heroic and anti-heroic inform our understanding of the human condition? That question is at the core of The Ancient Greek Hero, which introduces (or reintroduces) students to the great texts of classical Greek culture by focusing on concepts of the Hero in an engaging, highly comparative way.

The classical Greeks' concepts of Heroes and the "heroic" were very different from the way we understand the term today. In this course, students analyze Greek heroes and anti-heroes in their own historical contexts, in order to gain an understanding of these concepts as they were originally understood while also learning how they can inform our understanding of the human condition in general.

Using modern technology and engaging texts, The Ancient Greek Hero provides students who have no previous background in classical Greek civilization with a fully engaging and immediately accessible introduction to the most beautiful moments in this ancient literature, its myths, and its ritual practices.