Classics Book Club - Members - National Hellenic Museum

The National Hellenic Museum will be closed to the public from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM on Friday, June 16 due to a private event.


June 17, July 8, August 12 , 1:00 – 2:30 PM 

 at the National Hellenic Museum

Free for NHM Members

$10 for non-members – Register here!


The Classics Book Club returns for another summer at the National Hellenic Museum. Led by Dan Perkey the book club offers dynamic discussion of classic Greek works in translation for all levels. This summer the focus will be on three major Greek tragedies and the role of tragedy in society both in ancient times and today. All discussions will be in the form of a friendly and lively dialogue amongst the group. Come once or join all three.
Aeschylus Persians trans. Seth G. Benardete, Univ. of Chicago Press 
Sophocles Oedipus Rex trans. David Grene, Univ. of Chicago Press
Euripides Bacchae trans. William Arrowsmith, Univ. of Chicago Press 
Week 1 June 17: Aeschylus Persians – The Persians is one of the oldest surviving examples of tragedy, and the only surviving example of a play based on a historical event. Aeschylus frames the famous Greek victory at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE through the eyes of the defeated Persians. Along with discussion of the text and themes, a brief historical background about the Persian Wars will be included (no additional reading required).
Week 2 July 8: Sophocles Oedipus Rex – The tragedy to which all others are compared. The tale of the downfall of proud King Oedipus of Thebes is a standard of literature classes and is a good framework for Aristotle’s discussion of the role of tragedy in a functioning society. Along with discussion of the text, an overview of Aristotle’s Poetics (no additional reading required) will complement the discussion.
Week 3: August 12: Euripides Bacchae – Euripides explores the limits of what we owe our God and what our God owes us. The Bacchae tells the story of how Dionysus became an important figure in the Greek pantheon through worship via drunken revelry. Along with discussion of the text and themes, the group will compare and contrast the previous readings throughout the summer.
ABOUT DAN PERKEY: Dan Perkey is a member of the NHM Education team and a popular tour guide at the Museum. He holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame in Greek and Roman Civilization and an MA from the University of Chicago in Social Sciences. In his free-time he coaches and swims for the Chicago Smelts Master’s swim team and participates in triathlons.

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