Renowned classicist Emily Wilson captivated a capacity crowd on May 8 at St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue in New York City, as she explored the theme of “The Wisdom of Stories.” The event drew an enthusiastic audience on-site, while thousands more engaged through live streaming.

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This lecture concluded Wilson’s three-part series, titled “The Myth, Magic, and Mystery of the Ancient Greeks: Exploring the Connections to Contemporary Culture.” Hosted by the American School’s Gennadius Library, these lectures are part of the 2023-2024 Annual Thalia Potamianos Lecture Series. The first one on “The Vulnerability of Heroism” took place last October in Athens, Greece. The second lecture on “Destiny, Tradition, Choice,” was held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.



Dr. Emily Wilson lectures on The Wisdom of Stories, before a cap­acity crowd at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.

Mary Norris author, philhellene, and former longtime copy editor at The New Yorker took to the stage on May 8 to introduce Emily Wilson at St. Bart’s. “Homer can seem distant and irrelevant in the twenty-first century, but Professor Wilson brings the Greek epic alive. I thank her for the work she has done and the spirit she has done it in. She is an inspiration,” said Norris.

Wilson has earned widespread recognition in recent years for her acclaimed translations of Homer’s Odyssey (2017) and the Iliad (September 2023). “I am thrilled to be a part of this season’s Thalia Potamianos Lecture Series, which provides a platform to examine the profound influence of ancient Greece on our contemporary world,” said Wilson. “By fostering dialogue and intellectual exchange, we hope to broaden our understanding of the past and its impact on the present.” 

Dr. Maria Georgopoulou, Director of the Gennadius Library said, “We are delighted to host such a brilliant, spirited classicist, who does not shy away from reinterpreting ancient texts through translation in order to showcase how connected they are with our world today.” 

In case you missed the lecture, it will be available to replay for one week.

(from left) Liz Anne Potamianos, Mary Norris, Emily Wilson, Phokion Potamianos, Maria Georgopoulou
Maria Georgopoulou, Director of the Gennadius Library, introduces Mary Norris
Mary Norris, author, philhellene, and former copy editor at The New Yorker, introduces Emily Wilson
Audience captivated by Dr. Wilson’s lecture
Emily Wilson lectures on The Wisdom of Stories
(from left) William T. Loomis, President of the Board of Trustees, Alexander Zagoreos, Chairman and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
Dr. Emily Wilson signing her books and discussing with the audience