The renowned epic poems of Homer — the Iliad and the Odyssey — have been extremely appreciated in foreign universities and especially in the U.S., with lovers of classical studies organizing special marathon readings entitled Homerathons.
Students, teachers, administrative employees and even ordinary people who love Homer are attending those marathons to listen to excerpts from the two poems or to participate in the reading.
Usually, marathon readings last more than 15 hours while the event is promoted with T-shirts and posters. The readings are also in English, however some people choose to read the original text in ancient Greek.
Moreover, sometimes the readings become more theatrical with the participants wearing laurel wreaths, togas and helmets and accompanying their narration with guitar music. “The university has a large collection of helmets, swords and togas and the participants love to wear them during the marathon to recreate the atmosphere of the ancient Greece,” says Charles Chaisson, classical studies professor at the University of Texas.
According to the organizers, people like the Odyssey slightly more as it is shorter than the Iliad and has a more adventurous plot with stories about witches and monsters fascinating the readers.