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PAIDEIA MEDIA





Chris Childers | Translating the Ancient Forest: The Penguin Book of Greek & Latin Verse

The old saw attributed to Robert Frost holds that "poetry is what is lost in translation." Among those things most often lost are the connections between poets and their predecessors, the way each new generation answers, adapts or antagonizes the ones that went before. In single-poet editions, such conversations are either omitted or confined to footnotes which rarely manage to capture the imagination of the general reader. By contrast, in The Penguin Book of Greek and Latin Lyric Verse, the extended symposium of the genus irritabile vatum (irritable race of bards) is held in full view over the course of its thousand pages, as poets call on and call out each other in meters and stanzas as pregnant with meaning as their words. Clifford Geertz might have called it an act of "thick description;" A.E. Stallings, writing in The Telegraph, calls it "inspired and enlightening lunacy." In this talk, Christopher Childers, the author and translator, will introduce the book in conversation with Jason Pedicone, read generously from it, and answer questions from the audience. _ Chris Childers studied Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and poetry at Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Baltimore, where he teaches Latin, coaches squash and tennis and watches over his pet fish and budgies.You can learn more about Chris Childers and his work by visiting his website: https://www.christopherchilderspoet.com/ _ https://www.paideiainstitute.org/

246 views • Apr 17, 2024


Achilleas A. Stamatiadis | Heavenly and Terrestrial Aphrodite | Paideia Institute Online Lecture

Plato’s Symposium, composed around 385 BCE, is about the nature of love. Pausanias of Athens, the second speaker in the dialogue, distinguishes between two aspects of the goddess Aphrodite: Aphrodite Urania and Aphrodite Pandemos. In later works of western literature this distinction led to the conceptions of Heavenly and Terrestrial love. My lecture will concern itself with a diachronic analysis of Heavenly and Terrestrial manifestations of Aphrodite from Pre-socratic to Victorian times. Although an apperception of Aphrodite Urania, as a cosmic force, is a quite ancient concept, it is in later works of western literature -after Plato’s time- that the distinction laid out by Pausanias of Athens, leads to the concepts of Heavenly anteros and Terrestrial eros and intellectually nourishes Renaissance Leaders via the teachings of Renaissance Humanist Marsilio Ficino. Ficino’s aim after all, is to teach Leaders and Potentates how to love properly, virtuously, and, even honourably. It is no wonder, after all, that our soul, as Plato says, emanates from the Good and forever turns back to the Good by means of the Good. _ www.paideiainstitute.org

229 views • Mar 25, 2024


John Finamore | Neoplatonism, Iamblichus, and the Ascent Ritual | Paideia Institute Online Lecture

After a brief introduction to Neoplatonism, we discuss Professor John Finamore's paper, "Iamblichus, Theurgy, and the Soul's Ascent." This paper covers the development of neoplatonic thought from Plotinus to Porphyry and Iamblichus, specifically the role of theurgy in the ascent ritual for Iamblichus. A basic doctrine of Platonic philosophy, found in Plato’s Symposium 202b-203a, taught that gods do not mix directly with human beings but conduct their relations with mortals through the intermediate daemons. This doctrine had important ramifications for the history of Platonism. Plotinus (c.204-c.270C.E.), the first Neoplatonist, presented a doctrine whereby the philosopher on his or her own could bridge the gap between humanity and the gods, creating a salvific ascent to the gods via philosophy and searching within oneself. His disciple Porphyry (c.234-c.305 C.E.), although more sympathetic to magic and ritual than Plotinus, still believed that philosophy alone could raise the human soul to the gods. Iamblichus (c.245-c.325 C.E.) introduced a new turn in Neoplatonism, arguing that philosophy alone was insufficient to bring gods and mortals into contact and establishing the need for ritual. _ www.paideiainstitute.org

250 views • Mar 21, 2024


Theodossios P. Tassios | Technology in the Sailing of Ulysses | Paideia Institute Hybrid Lecture

The presentation begins with a reference to the technology of the Olympian Gods, in order to show the Greek tribes’ technophilia since pre-historic times. There follows a description of technological events occurring during Ulysses’ adventures. Several technical details are presented regarding Ulysses’ ship-building before his departure from the island of Calypso. Then, upon his arrival on the island of the Phaeaceans and his encounter with Nausika, the cleansing capacity of the water of an eddying river is scientifically explained, and the robotic properties of the Phaeacean ships described. The next episode takes place in the Cyclop Polyphemus’ cave. First, the inebriating capacity of Ulysses’ honey-sweet red wine is questioned. Subsequently, the scene of Polyphemus’ blinding reveals the Greeks’ knowledge regarding the tempering or iron. The presentation concludes with a detailed explanation of Circe’s kind instructions to Ulysses on how to escape Scylla and Harybdis during his navigation. All of the above examples point to Homer’s considerable scientific knowledge. _ T.P. Tassios, Em. Prof. of the National Tech. University of Athens; member of the Academy of Sciences of Torino (IT); doctor honoris causa of Liege University (BΕ), S.E. University of Nanjing (CN), Cyprus University (CY), Democritos University, Aristotle University, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panteion University, and Agricultural University of Athens (GR); has served as expert and consultant for the United Nations Organisations and for the European Union, President of international scientific societies, and member of the Awards Committee of the American Concrete Institute (2015-18). He is honourary President of the Hellenic Society of Philosophy, and President of the Society for the Study of Ancient Greek and Byzantine Technology. He is the author of over 500 papers and over 60 books in several languages. In September 2013, he received the International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering (IABSE, Zurich). At the 17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (Japan, 2020-21) he was one of the four “Legendary Figures, Old Masters”. Recipient of the Medal of the City of Paris, and honourary citizen of four Greek cities. _ www.paideiainstitute.org

143 views • Feb 26, 2024


Ruby Blondell | Helen of Troy in Hollywood | Paideia Institute Online Lecture

This talk explains the genesis of my new book, Helen of Troy in Hollywood (Princeton University Press 2023) and provide an overview of its themes. These include the problems surrounding the presentation of beauty on screen, the significance of ancient Greek beauty in early Hollywood, the portrayal of Helen in epic film (including Troy) and her appearances in television shows, including Star Trek ("Elaan of Troyius") and Xena: Warrior Princess ("Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts"). _ Ruby Blondell is a Professor of Classics and Adjunct Professor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Emeritx at the University of Washington in Seattle. They have published widely on Greek literature and philosophy, and on the reception of myth in popular culture. Their books include Helping Friends and Harming Enemies: A Study in Sophocles and Greek Ethics (Cambridge 1989); The Play of Character in Plato’s Dialogues (Cambridge University Press 2002); Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation (Oxford 2013); and Helen of Troy in Hollywood (Princeton 2023). _ www.paideiainstitute.org

206 views • Feb 23, 2024


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