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Grand Valley community will bring Homer's "Iliad" to life during 24-hour event

  • Graphic for HOMERathon

Posted on October 09, 2017

Students, faculty and staff will perform one of the oldest poems in the western world, Homer’s "Iliad," all within a 24-hour period during the HOMERathon.

The sixth installation of the bi-annual event, themed “Game of Heroes,” will begin Tuesday, October 10, at 4 p.m. and conclude Wednesday, October 11. All events will take place on the Allendale Campus, either in the Mary Idema Pew Library, Cook-DeWitt Center or near Zumberge Pond. 

Maria Cimitile, provost and executive vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, will read the opening of the "Iliad" in Greek at 4 p.m. Several other administrators will join students to read, including President Thomas J. Haas and Fred Antzcak, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, beginning at noon on October 11.

"The HOMERathon provides the opportunity to take in one of the greatest and most complex works of art ever produced, and one which remains as vital today as it ever was, all while having a great time with the GVSU community," said Charles Ham, assistant professor of classics and HOMERathon co-coordinator. "It's the students that make it possible for us to call the HOMERathon a 'non-stop performance' of Homer's 'Iliad' since they're the ones who are dedicated enough to carry the performance through the night and into the early hours of the morning."

The keynote address will be given by Eric Cline, professor of classics and anthropology at George Washington University. Cline will present "Throne Games: The Trojan War and the Collapse of Late Bronze Age Civilizations" at 6 p.m. on October 10 in the Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room.

Throughout the 24-hour period, there will also be various activities, such as a Homeric-themed scavenger hunt and screening of the 2004 film, "Troy."

The HOMERathon is produced by the Classics Department, Classics Society and the classics honor society, Eta Sigma Phi, with support from the Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Dean of Students Office, and Frederik Meijer Honors College.

For more information and the full schedule of events, visit