Hercules, Prometheus, Pandora. The compelling characters of Greek mythology continue to fascinate readers thousands of years after their stories were first told. In February 2023 leading classicist Sarah Iles Johnston came to Intelligence Squared to discuss their enduring popularity and also to provide new narrations of some of the best-known Greek myths, taking us on a journey from the origin of the cosmos to the aftermath of the Trojan War.
In conversation with the classicist and author Daisy Dunn, Johnston told stories of mortals cursed by the gods and luckier ones who are blessed with resourcefulness and resilience. She shed light on how myths helped to sustain belief in the gods and how they reveal what it means to be mortal in a world beyond human control.