Iliad Marathon Reading at Northwestern University, Illinois

The IliadThe Department of Classics of Northwestern University in Illinois, has organized a marathon reading of “The Iliad,” the famous epic poem of Homer.

The reading will be held outdoors, next to Lake Michigan and the participants will read the epic about the end of the Trojan War from 10 p.m. on May 23 to dawn on May 24. Readings will be 50 to 100 lines long. Students can sign up to participate in the marathon by sending an email to the organizers until April 30.

According to Francesca Tataranni, a classics professor, the idea for the reading came from a reading group entitled “The Readers of Homer,” which organizes marathon readings of “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” worldwide.

The event organizers want to mimic the original presentations of the epic poem. “Greek epic poetry was sung by a bard often over the course of a few nights, and people would come to these recitals to be entertained. Here at Northwestern, we’re trying to recreate this ancient Greek experience. I think it’s going to be a humanizing and educational event for Northwestern,” said Maria Kovalchuk, one of the organizers.

Another event will also be held before the reading and it will be dedicated to translations of “The Iliad.” In this event, faculty members and students will read several parts of the epic poem in multiple languages including Italian, German and Russian.