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The Essay: Greek And Latin Voices on Radio 3

BBC Radio 3's new 12-week series The Essay: Greek And Latin Voices offers listeners an accessible modern guide to some of the foundation texts of Western culture.


Contributors include the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, broadcaster Martha Kearney, poet Michael Longley and scientist Baroness Greenfield.


Co-produced by the Open University, Greek And Latin Voices starts with the grand old man of European literature, Homer, on Monday 10 December 2007 at 11.00pm.


Each week the series focuses on the works of one of the major figures of Greek or Latin literature, philosophy, history and politics, including Thucydides, Euripides, Plato, Horace, Augustine, Tacitus, Juvenal, Cicero and Virgil.


Greek And Latin Voices is anchored by leading academics Professor Chris Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek Oxford University, and Maria Wyke, Professor of Latin University College London, who introduce the first essay each week offering listeners an insight into the life, times and work of the writer in focus.


The series also features wide ranging essays from contemporary novelists, poets, politicians and philosophers as well as leading classical academics providing their personal perspectives on Greek and Latin texts and insights into the connections between the classical world and contemporary writing and thinking.


Abigail Appleton, Head of Speech Programming, Radio 3, says: "We hope this series will bring to life an extraordinary range of voices from the classical world – opening up their work to listeners who may come to it for the first time and offering fresh insights to others.


"Radio 3's speech programming is committed to re-examing cultural history, as well as reflecting the contemporary world of arts and ideas, and there are few areas as rich and influential as Greek and Latin literature and philosophy."


Greek and Latin Voices begins with Homer.


Professor Pelling presents the first programme of the week outlining why Homer's heroes are both human and superhuman, whilst poet Michael Longley delivers the final Homer essay with a personal account of his lifelong relationship with Homer and how he has inspired him.


Throughout the week Tim Piggott-Smith brings Homer to life with specially-commissioned translations.


In a prelude to the series crime writer and Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter discusses his long standing passion for Homer on The Verb (Radio 3, Friday 7 December, 9.45pm).


Horace is the subject in the second week of Greek And Latin Voices.


Broadcaster Martha Kearney recounts her school and university encounters with the Roman poet and reveals a revived enthusiasm for his poetry, whilst poet Maureen Almond tells of how she uses the model of Horace to describe contemporary life in northern England.


Later in the series Baroness Susan Greenfield discusses Euripides, whilst Dr Rowan Williams examines Augustine.


The Essay: Greek And Latin Voices will be broadcast Monday to Thursday, 11.00pm-11.15pm, in six fortnightly blocks. Each fortnight includes one week with a Greek focus and one week with a Latin focus.


The Essay: Greek And Latin Voices schedule


Homer: Monday 10 to Thursday 13 December. Contributors: Chris Pelling, Barbara Graziosi, Oliver Taplin and Michael Longley.


Horace: Monday 17 to Thursday 20 December. Contributors: Maria Wyke, Stephen Harrison & Maureen Almond, Martha Kearney and Sandy McClatchy.


Thucydides: Monday 7 to Thursday 10 January 2008. Contributors: Chris Pelling, Paul Cartledge and Eugenia Kiesling.


St Augustine: Monday 14 to Thursday 17 January 2008. Contributors: Maria Wyke, Dr Rowan Williams and other guests to be confirmed.


Euripides: Monday 3 to Thursday 6 March 2008. Contributors: Chris Pelling, Susan Greenfield and other guests to be confirmed.


Tacitus: Monday 10 to Thursday 13 March 2008. Contributors: Maria Wyke and other guests to be confirmed.


Radio 3 Publicity/Open University








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Category: Radio 3
Date: 29.11.2007
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