“In today’s times of globalization and alienation, the Homeric hero’s message of courage, responsibility, and personal freedom is especially pertinent and opportune,” stressed BOD member of the Kokkalis Foundation Petros Kokkalis in his welcome to the distinguished and world-renowned Professor Gregory Nagy.
Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones professor of Classical Greek Literature and professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC, was the invited guest lecturer at the Athens Forum, organized for the fourth consecutive year by the Kokkalis Foundation on June 18th, 2003 at the Hellenic-American Union. Professor Nagy will also be the coordinator of the 2003 Harvard Summer School in Olympia.
Introducing Nagy’s extensive and highly awarded work to the audience, the Greek Minister of Education, Petros Efthimiou, underlined Nagy’s invaluable contribution to the research and the international dissemination of ancient and contemporary Greek culture. Minister Efthimiou paid tribute to the scholar for his complex approach and less-traveled paths to the study of classical literature, which demonstrate the originality of his thought, and applauded the classical philologist’s love for, and involvement with, Greece, its literature, and its culture, which, the Minister added, honors us all.
Professor Nagy probed Homeric literature and the Homeric legacy in today’s world. The highest authority on Hellenism and Classics, Nagy argued for a unified understanding of classical Hellenism, evoking the universality and endurance of Hellenic culture and civilization. He concluded by commending the Kokkalis Foundation for the uniqueness and excellence of its work and mission.
Nagy’s aura and the magic of his words enthralled an audience of academics, researchers, diplomats, representatives of the archaeological schools, museums, the media, and other cultural institutions.