Literature: Homer's Iliad - With Dr Tim Hammond

Ref: C3532085

This course is about the Iliad, Homer’s poetic epic of the tangled affairs of gods and men and the brutal conflict of the Trojan War. The Iliad has inspired the imagination and intellect for more than 2,000 years. Is European literature’s oldest work also its greatest? This course is a fully online with no physical meeting space, accessing the course through Canvas our virtual learning environment and zoom a video conferencing software.

Course aim

Stimulate intelligent engagement with and enjoyment of Homer's epic poem of the Trojan War. Support study of how the lIliad has been interpreted by its different audiences in different ways for over two thousand years.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • No skills or experience needed
  • The course is for those who are curious about the oldest and certainly one of most influential works of European literature: its qualities as a work of poetic story-telling; the world from which the work comes and what its continuing significance to modern people might be.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Provide an outline of the story of the Iliad
  • Identify some key characteristics of some of the major participants in the story
  • Recognise the way that text reflects the culture, values and beliefs of Greek pre-Classical and Classical society, and later societies around the world
  • Carry out simple analysis of the language of the text and discriminate – in basic terms – between different English translations of the Iliad
  • Participate in and make informed contributions to discussions about the meaning and value of The Iliad from a personal perspective.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Each online session will involve a visually stimulating slide presentation to display key parts of the text and related imagery such as maps, photographs of archaeological evidence for the Trojan War and later artworks inspired by the Iliad.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • There is no formal assessment on this course; Sessions will include short tests and quizzes for purposes of embedding basic knowledge; Tutor will provide feedback on student participation in an end of course discussion.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • A reading guide with summaries of the narrative will be provided by the tutor. A list of other reading including freely accessible online translations will be made available to all students.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Students are encouraged to read some of the Iliad prior to the course start although this is not vital. Each session of the course has at its heart two 'books' of the Iliad and the story of those books will be explained in the sessions. Many students find having some familiarity enhances enjoyment.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • WEA: Other WEA courses with a focus upon Classical Studies, Literature or History. Open University: A111 'Discovering the arts and humanities' and higher level dedicated Classical Studoes modules.

Download full course information sheet

Literature: Homer's Iliad - With Dr Tim Hammond


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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