Original performances in unique locations of Athens.This OCTOBER at Stoa of Attalos.

World-class texts by Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Sophocles and Aristophanes meet the contemporary audience by means of a surprising, entertaining and educational experience. In three languages ​​and free of charge. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11.00 to 13.00

CLASSIC TEXTS & WRITERS

Aristophanes (445 BC – 386 BC) is considered the “father of comedy”. In his works he uniquely combined modern political satire with allegory and fantasy. After the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War, the women of the city, led by the ingenious Praxagora, dress as men, penetrate into the Popular Assembly and take over the government. In this excerpt, Praxagora analyzes her innovative system to her husband, Vlepiros.

Homeric hymns are a collection of poems celebrating the major deities of the Greek pantheon. They were performed in front of an audience during rhapsodic contests, religious celebrations or events. In antiquity they were considered works of Homer. Today they are considered works of the Homerides, rhapsodists who continued Homer’s work in the same poetic style, during the 6th century B.C. In this famous hymn “To Aphrodite” (7th – 6th century B.C.) the goddess is praised for her unique beauty and her irresistible power to inspire love. After Zeus’ intervention, she falls in love with a mortal, Anchises. The two meet for one night.

Thucydides (460 BC – 400 BC) was an Athenian historian and General, the father of history as a science. In the second book of the History of the Peloponnesian War, he inserted Pericles’ Funeral Oration, delivered in honor of the dead of the first year of the War (431 BC – 404 BC), which ended with the destruction of Athens. The Funeral Oration praises the political, economic, social, military and intellectual achievements of the Athenian State, which was the cradle of democracy.

Is Eros a mortal or a God? Plato (427 BC – 347 BC), a great ancient Greek philosopher who defined the whole course of Western thought, negotiates the nature and complexity of love in the Symposium (385 BC). This is a bold, intelligent and intriguing dialogue between highly educated men, who engage in a philosophical conversation during a lavish symposium. In this excerpt, Socrates, Plato’s teacher, carries out his dialogue with Diotima, a priestess of Mantinea.

In the three books of this work, Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC), a famous philosopher and founder of Logic, examines the practice of rhetoric, which he defines as the art of persuasion. At the time of Athens’ political and cultural acme, rhetoric reached unprecedented heights thanks to the democratic institutions that gave free citizens the opportunity to discuss all matters of the polis in the Popular Assembly, the Parliament and the Courts. In this excerpt, Aristotle analyzes the characteristics of young people.

A worldwide symbol for love and resistance, Antigone is considered one of the greatest creations of Sophocles (496 BC – 406 BC), a pre-eminent tragic poet of antiquity. She decides to bury her dead brother Polynices despite the ban imposed by the King of Thebes, Creon. The clash between the two heroes reflects the eternal conflict between written and unwritten laws. Antigone performs her sacred duty towards a loved relative, marching heroically to her death. The tragedy was presented in 442 BC.

Lysistrata, one of Aristophanes’ (445 BC – 386 BC) most important anti-war comedies, was presented in 411 BC. While the Peloponnesian War is raging, Lysistrata, a brilliant and dynamic Athenian, convinces the women of Athens and Sparta to abstain from their «marital duties» aiming to end the hostilities between the two cities. In this excerpt, the women who have conquered Acropolis, expel an elder representative of the Popular Assembly, who has come to dissuade them.

Homer’s Odyssey (8th century BC) narrates the adventurous return of Odysseus to his homeland, Ithaca, after the end of the Trojan War. The unsurpassed heroic epic of antiquity can be seen as a masterful allegory for the travel of man through the torturous paths of life. In the famous prooimion, the first few lines of the poem, the poet is calling for inspiration from a Muse, who will aid him narrate the story of skilful and cunning Odysseus. The excerpt is here sung in ancient Greek and set to music by Nikos Platanos.

The performers

We would like to thank Delos Acting School for the presentation and realisation of the performances.