Gregory Nagy has for many years taught a large lecture course on “the Greek hero,” both to regular Harvard undergraduates and to continuing education students. That course has now been transformed into a MOOC (massive open online course), to which his recent 700-page book serves as a kind of textbook. Its jacket promises “an exploration of civilization’s roots in the Homeric epics and other Classical literature, a lineage that continues to challenge and inspire us today.” In reality, The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours is a much stranger book than that, in both content and form.
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