The Future of the Past

January 2022
Friday 21 – Sunday 23


Welcome to Classics Now, an exciting new cultural festival online, in Dublin and beyond.

Dive into the art, literature and ideas of the Ancient Greeks and Romans as interpreted and reimagined by outstanding artists today.

The opening weekend festival will showcase the current burst of exploration and re-engagement with Classics and the ancient world. Artists, writers and thinkers, international and Irish, are taking Classics as a lens to examine our contemporary cultural and political preoccupations and challenges.

Online only for now, this is the start of something new. When we can return to live events there will be inviting encounters including performances in public spaces such as art galleries and libraries, with a number of events aimed at second and third level students. In interviews, discussions, film screenings, theatre, dance performances and exhibitions, you will see and hear from artists who are working in different genres and art forms, in thought-provoking and imaginative ways.

Come and join the new Renaissance.

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First Glimpse: some Programme Highlights

The ClassicsNow weekend will feature wide-ranging ‘in conversation’ events with some of the most exciting international writers who are using the ancient past as a way to reflect on our world today.

Daniel MendelsohnDaniel Mendelsohn mobile image

Daniel Mendelsohn

Award-winning memoirist and critic Daniel Mendelsohn, Editor-at-Large at the New York Review of Books, will be in conversation online with Sebastian Barry, Laureate for Irish Fiction. Daniel Mendelsohn’s books include An Odyssey: a Father, a Son and an Epic and The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones.  

Conall MorrisonDaniel Mendelsohn mobile image

Antigone Now

The story of Antigone, who defied the laws of her city to do what she believed was right, comes back to us in countless versions, in novels, films and plays.

Irish playwrights Conall Morrison and Colin Murphy have delved into the conflicts at the heart of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, in their own adaptations. In conversation online with arts journalist, Paula Shields, they share their insights into the play’s resonances today.

Andrea MarcolongoAndrea Marcolongo mobile image

Andrea Marcolongo

Italian journalist and classicist Andrea Marcolongo will talk about her inspiring and best-selling book, The Ingenious Language: Nine Epic Reasons to Love Greek, in conversation online with New York-based editor and writer Mary Norris, author of Greek To Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen.

Natalie HaynesNatalie Haynes mobile image

Natalie Haynes

We’ll be joining sparkling broadcaster, novelist and classicist Natalie Haynes online on her sofa in London to peer into Pandora’s Jar, her latest take on the ever-fascinating women of Greek myth, whom she wrote about so memorably in A Thousand Ships.

Full programme information is available from early November. For programme overview, see List of Events.

Twitter @ClassicsNowFest

Please Note
The programme has moved fully online, in the current Covid-19 circumstances. All events will be streamed and can be watched again, free of charge. Links to the videos and films will be on the event pages. All information will be updated there.  

Festival Partners

Literature IrelandThe Classical Teachers Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of Northern IrelandAdvocating Classics EducationIrish Institute of Hellenic Studies at AthensMaynooth UniversityTrinity College DublinInstituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino

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