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Great Books Reading and Discussion Group
  Great Books Reading Group  
Alumni meet monthly to discuss one of the classics of literature

Cost: Free, apart from the cost of food & drink
No Registration Required
The Great Books Reading Group continues its exploration of the character of Odysseus throughout literature from Homer to the present. At our July meeting we will be discussing an early Socratic dialogue of Plato, Hippias Minor, or On Lying. In this dialogue Socrates debates Hippias, a sophist and polymath who believes himself to be an expert in Homeric criticism. The two argue on the relative truthfulness of Achilles and Odysseus in The Iliad. Hippias believes that Achilles is a man of truth who hates liars, while a major part of Odysseus's success is his ability to lie well. Socrates, however, argues that Achilles is in fact a skillful and cunning liar and that both Odysseus and Achilles are equally false and true. Socrates also argues that in order to lie well, one must know his subject intimately and that it is superior to lie knowingly than unwittingly. Hijinks ensue.

For an overview of the proposed long-term schedule for our study of Odysseus, please see Odysseus in Literature (

Event Contact
Larry Brown PhD, 1992

Staff Liaison


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Event Information
Monday, Jul 27 2015 at 6:15pm - 8:00pm [ iCal ]
Agora Restaurant
1527 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036 USA
[ Get Directions ]