THE ILIAD @ London 2012
Marathon reading/singing of Homer’s Iliad by 200 citizens, accompanied by ancient melodies from Daemonia Nymphe
Saturday July 21st 10am – 8pm in the context of the Olympic Games London 2012
On Saturday, July 21st 2012, at the Hellenic Centre in London, hundreds of Londoners and foreign visitors will issue a special call to the world for Olympic truce and global peace!
From 10 am to 8 pm, 200 individuals of all ages and backgrounds will participate in a marathon reading/singing of Homer’s Iliad, produced by the international literary organization The Readers of Homer, and sponsored by the Hellenic Centre of London, the A.G. Leventis and Maria Tsakos Foundations, Elliniko Theatro, and eminent anonymous donors.
Representatives of cultural societies and communities based in London, ambassadors, artists, journalists, athletes and students, are expected to join hundreds of citizens who will read or sing their passages, each in t(eir own way and language, one after the other, during 10 hours.
Their common aim will be to add their voices to the international Olympic call for truce and permanent peace, just a weak before the official opening ceremony of the 2012 Games in London, promoting the human values and ideals which originated in Greece thousands of years ago, and still reverberate there, i. Homer’s land, despite the current crisis. The Iliad reminds us of the brave nature of humankind and the genesis of the Olympic games, while the participatory multi-lingual reading promulgates the collective effort required by all to promote and sustain our common human legacy.
The reading will be coordinated with on-stage projections of archaic and classical images, along with the English version of the epic, a mosaic of segments from Pope’s and Fitzgerald’s translations and Christopher Logue’s Iliad. The Homeric rhapsodies will be accompanied by interludes and melodies from the musical ensemble Daemonia Nymphe, on reconstructed ancient Greek instruments by Nicholas Brass.
At the conclusion of the celebrational Reading, the Hellenic Centre and the Readers of Homer will offer a simple yet delicious feast of Homeric edibles and potables for the participants’ sustenance and delight.
Participation to the reading is free and online registration is now open via
The ILIAD event in London is supported by the Hellenic Centre, the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the Maria Tsakos Foundation and generous individual and corporate sponsors. Registrants, participants and audience members are encouraged to make an online donation, big or small, to support the non-profit organizations involved in order to assist and sustain their work worldwide.
Please note that from 3 July to 12 August the Hellenic Center will be hosting an exhibition of rare photographs from the archives of the Benaki and National Historical Museums of Athens depicting the very first Modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896.
For further information:
The Readers of Homer
Tel : +44(0)7783177841
The Hellenic Centre
Tel: +44 (0)20 7487 5060
Τhe Readers of Homer
The Readers of Homer is a non-profit international literary organization based in the USA, which produces all-day and all-night audience-participation readings of the Iliad and the Odyssey, in locations humble and sublime. The aims of the organization include the revival of public reading, the recognition of the eternal immediacy of Homer, the honoring of the international translators of his epics and the offering of a multilayered cultural and educational experience to hundreds of participants. Similar events have taken place at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, the Dahesh Museum and the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Maria Tsakos Foundation and the University of Montevideo in Uruguay, the Library of Alexandria, the Medieval Castle of Kos and Daskalopetra of Chios. On May 16, 2012, in the context of the initiative 12 Hours for Greece, the Readers of Homer presented a marathon reading of the Odyssey with 400 European citizens at the Halles de Schaerbeek in Brussels and soon in William Land Park /Fairytale Town, Sacramento, California.
EllinikoTheatro is a non-profit organization based in New York and Athens, aiming to promote Hellenic Culture worldwide by expanding the temporal, spatial and social boundaries of Greek theatre and literature. Thanks to spare multilingual productions, flexible ensembles, and parallel educational activities, the organization’s work is becoming ever more accessible and attractive to a wide range of collaborators and supporters. Through partnerships with dozens of cultural and educational organizations around the world, EllinikoTheatro has developed events in 14 countries, serving Cultural Diplomacy in practice.
Daemonia Nymphe is an esoteric ensemble consisting of Spyros Giasafakis and Evi Stergiou, among the first artists worldwide to compose and perform improvisations with ancient Greek instruments, such as kitharis, lyra and barbitos, handcrafted with design and materials authentic to their epoch by Nikolaos Brass. Currently based in the UK, the group has released music on labels of several nationalities (Germany, Italy), most prominently on a long established French record company specializing in world music (Prikosnovenie records). They have performed in Austria, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, The Netherlands and Greece. Their presentations are also portrayed on film, such as television documentaries, short films (Life in five acts) and DVD productions (The Treasures of Athens and Olympia). Several compilations by European and International labels include songs by Daemonia Nymphe which appeared along with tracks by artists such us Lisa Gerrard, Loreena McKennitt, Low, Ladytron, and others. They have composed and performed music for many theatre productions.