Can we understand the Classics without the Classroom? A guide to getting (really) educated… with Dr. James Hankins, Professor of History at Harvard University, Anya Leonard of Classical Wisdom, and Alexandra Hudson of Civic Renaissance.
If you already know WHY we should preserve the classics… It’s time to ask HOW… and how YOU can help. What are the resources? Where can we begin? And who can help?
As mainstream educational institutions move away from a classical core in the liberal arts, it can be tempting to feel despondent about the future of this educational model that has educated men and women for millennia. Yet there are a growing number of organizations around the world committed to remedy this. These non-accrediting institutions are nourishing those who care about ideas and the wisdom of the past and are offering people a chance to engage in the Great Conversation.
What can we learn from these initiatives? How can we promote more of them? How can these new organizations nurture the values of curiosity and lifelong learning?
About the Speakers:
Dr. James Hankins, professor of History at Harvard University and an intellectual historian specializing in the Italian Renaissance. He is author of many books, including, Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft. You can purchase his book here.
Anya Leonard, Founder and Director of Classical Wisdom, a platform dedicated to bringing ancient wisdom to Modern Minds. You can learn more about Classical Wisdom here:
Alexandra Hudson, curator of Civic Renaissance, a publication and intellectual community dedicated to the wisdom of the past. Sign up for Civic Renaissance here:


Ancient Greece Declassified:
The Partially Examined Life Podcast:
Ralston College:
Classical Pursuits (travel with the classics):
Modern Stoicism:
“The Forgotten Virtue” explores the classical notion of humanitas, or love of humanity, that the ancients cultivated through education and the Renaissance Humanists revived in their own era. Hankins shows how a liberal arts education teaches us to love and respect our fellow man–the essence of civility. Read it here:
“What are the classics for?” By Alexandra Hudson. This essay explores recent criticisms of the classics and looks at what an omnicultural core might look like today. Read it here:
– Clemente Course in the Humanities. Founded by Earl Shorris, he powerfully described the origin of this course in the humanities for low income and minority individuals in a beautiful Harper’s essay, As a weapon in the hands of the restless poor.
– Liberty Fund. Publishes affordable paperback editions of great books, with hundreds of editions also digitized, annotated, freely available online in their Online Library of Liberty.
– Circe Institute They aim to promote and support classical education in the school and in the home and provide tools to help classical educators.
– Modern Stoicism Home of Stoicon and Stoic Week: Help restore Plato’s Academy! An exciting new initiative by Donald Robertson to help restore the original site of Plato’s learning in Athens.
“A Great Idea at the Time” by Alex Beam A wonderful, though often tongue and cheek, history of the the Great Books movement in America
“Know Thyself” by Ingrid Rossellini This sweeping history of Western Civilization is readable, exciting, and an education in and of itself.
“How to Live on 24 Hours a Day” by Arnold Bennett A delightful defense of the intellectual life with very practical tips for how to find more time to read (he suggests creating a “day within a day” and where to start one’s reading (He suggests poetry!). Free on Project Gutenberg.
“Virtue Politics” by James Hankins. This book explores the Renaissance intellectuals that sought to reform society through reforming and crafting the souls of elites. The Humanist’s focus on character building through classical learning helped improve society for generations.
“Lost in Thought” by Zena Hitz. An excellent book explaining the need for leisure and the fulfillment one finds in spending time on thoughtful activities.