Galileo goes to Harvard

On Wednesday the 26th of January The Galileo School had the great pleasure of traveling to Harvard University for a meeting with Dr. Jason Aftosmis.  Our day began with a tour of the snow covered campus.  Our favorite sites included burgers at Mr. Brantleys, the frozen Charles River, the Harvard bookstore and all of the beautiful ivy covered brick buildings.  At 2 o’clock we walked to a lovely yellow house on Mt. Auburn Street. There we met our teacher for the afternoon, Dr. Jason Aftosmis.  We settled into a cozy book-filled room and were treated to a rousing and informative discussion of ancient Greece.  The students had prepared several questions each and Dr. Aftosmis was able to address all of them.  Ava started us off with her inquiries about Homer and the origins of the Iliad.  We learned that the Iliad was indeed believed to be originally performed and set to music, as stories in the oral tradition would have been in ancient Greece.  We were able to hear a recording of a modern day storyteller from Turkey to get an idea of what the Iliad may have sounded like when performed by Homer and other ancient storytellers.  Jack inquired whether Themistocles convincing the Athenians to build the fleet of triremes was a true democratic process.  Payton also had questions exploring the definitions of oligarchy and democracy and whether Athens was indeed a true democracy.  This led to an interesting discussion on comparing the governments of Sparta and Athens, especially the treatment of women and slaves.  We discussed ancient Greek language and it’s many dialects which emerged because of the geographical separation of the city states from one another and how each was used for different genres of writing.  It was an incredible opportunity and we learned so much from Dr. Aftosmis.  The Galileo School is so happy to have had Dr. Aftosmis as one of its guest lecturers and look forward to meeting with him in the future.  A video of our terrific day is in the works. Please check back soon.

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