Summer School in Homer: Dr Antony Makrinos (UCL) interview

The Summer School in Homer 2018 by UCL offers five days of intensive teaching of Homeric language and literature.

The Director of the Summer School in Homer, Dr Antony Makrinos of the Department of Greek and Latin at University College London, who gave us a better insight for those interested.


Q. Can you tell us a few words about the UCL Summer School in Homer in general? Who might they concern and how is it structured?


A.M. The Summer School in Homer started its activities 5 years ago at the Department of Greek and Latin, UCL, with a large variety of classes and events for all tastes. The idea for the Summer School was born out of the fact that there is no other Summer School in the UK dedicated to the study of Homer. It is open to everyone with an interest in Homeric language or literature and the minimum age limit for attendees is 15 years. Teaching is generally in groups of 15-20 people which, as far as possible, comprise students of roughly the same level of experience. The style of teaching is friendly and the whole experience is both stimulating and valuable. We offer a wide variety of language and literature classes, from courses on Homeric Greek and Linear B to those on Homer from translation which offer an exploration of Homeric themes and cultures. In recent years, we have held different kinds of workshops that encourage the interaction between the artistic skills of participants and the Homeric world, including workshops on mosaics, calligraphy and, this year, ceramics. These classes are supplemented by talks, roundtables and cultural events which take place during the week, and have previously centred on themes such as Homer and Secondary Education in Greece and the UK, Homer and Theatre, and Translating Homer. We have also held a large variety of talks on different aspects of the Homeric world.

We are very eager to engage with artists and explore how they receive the Homeric world. We have collaborated with actors, choreographers, painters, readers and poets in order to host theatrical performances, poetic readings, artistic exhibitions and screenings which are also open to the public. Our 2018 production, “All for an Empty Tunic, All for a Helen” explores the values and ideas of Homer’s Helen in the works of various other authors (Euripides, Ovid, WWI poetry and Yiannis Ritsos) but also their significance for the lives of modern women and the challenges they face in the modern world. The film is produced by the Summer School in Homer 2018, it will be screened on Thursday 26 July, at 4pm (Cruciform Building 304 – LT 1, UCL) and admission will be free and open to the public.  


Q. What does this latest Summer School on Homer in July entail? How many different classes are there, what is the cost?


A.M. The Summer School in Homer 2018 will take place in both London, UK, (23-27 July) and Nicosia, Cyprus (29 July-2 August). Participants have the choice of attending one or both strands of the Summer School.

In the UK strand, classes will be running from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Participants will be able to attend one of 9 classes:

Homeric Greek (Beginners, Intermediate, or Advanced).
Homer from Translation (an exploration of Homeric themes and culture).
Other classes: Linear B, Latin Palaeography and Homer, Papyrology and Homer, Ancient Philosophy and Homer.  
Ceramics Workshop.

After 3.30pm we will be offering a variety of cultural events (such as the screening of two filmsproduced by the Summer School, as well as talks and exhibitions) which will all have free admission and will be open to the public.

In the Cyprus strand, participants will attend classes on Homer’s Legacy and attend archaeological visits, such as the Cyprus Museum, Kourion & Kato Paphos. There will be a variety of cultural eventsin the evenings (such as screenings and talks) which again will have free admission and will be open to the public.

The fee is £120 for each Summer School. Participants are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation, although we are hoping to offer some bursaries to help accommodate these costs.


Q. So there is also the opportunity to attend the Homer classes in Cyprus this year? How did you decide to offer these classes?


A.M. We decided to offer these classes in order to celebrate the Summer School’s 5th year. We will collaborate with the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation and we will hold the Summer School in Nicosia, Cyprus (29 July-2 August). Classes will be running from 10.00am to 4:00pm on Monday and Wednesday to allow space for some archaeological visits. Participants will attend a class on Homer’s Legacy and a variety of cultural events (such as screenings and talks) which again will have free admission and be open to the public. The participation fee is £120 for each Summer School.

Q. What does the Summer School in Homer have to offer to those who will be studying the Homeric epics with you this summer?


A.M. The Summer School will be offering a relaxed teaching experience in academic environments of the highest quality. Our tutors include some of the most experienced and talented teachers of Classics in the London area and beyond and we aim to create a teaching and learning experience that will promote knowledge of the values and ideas of the Homeric epics. We also offer thought-provoking artistic and cultural events that will promote dialogue between participants and stimulate their creativity and imagination, and will offer a refreshing vision of what we call Classics.


Q. And finally, how has the Homer Summer School experience of the previous years been for you?


A.M. It has been an absolute pleasure to see my passion and enthusiasm for the Homeric epics being shared by so many participants. The Summer School started with 52 participants and last year it had 107 participants from 17 countries all over the world. It is really amazing to be able to exchange views on how all these people understand and receive the Ancient Greek world and to be able to influence their appropriation of the Homeric epics.  

For the full programme of the Summer Schools, application form and information on how to join please visit:


or email you can email me: [email protected]

Leave a comment