The Shield of Achilleus



In Book XVIII of the Iliad, Homer describes the construction of Achilles’ shield. This shield is the symbol of Achilles, the central hero of the Homeric epic. At the same time, the shield constitutes a totality. In a poetic and descriptive way, it sums up the whole of human knowledge in the Homeric era. The shield itself is a universal model of the world, human and natural, a model of the very structure of the physical world. In fact, a model of the universe, which deeply affected the perception of nature by the Presocratic philosophers. Moreover, it is a model of the social structure of the Greek cities, which also influenced classical philosophers.

In this course, students will compare and contrast the illuminating Homeric spirit that imbued ancients with the nihilistic and anti-heroic spirit that imbues the moderns. This course will also provide a path to those wishing to cultivate and express onto the world their own heroic form.


The Ancient condition:
The Homeric Hero
The Poet, Philosopher & Historian

Alexander the Great
The Modern condition

The Hero, the New Individual:

Nurturing the Heroic: first, Second & third safety in child development

Freedom & Movement


All of our classes are delivered in real-time.

Please contact us for more information.

Teacher Bio

Zulfiqar Awan BA Hons, MA, PGCE

British lecturer, Zulfiqar Awan (BA Hons, MA, PGCE and Ph.D. candidate) has 15 years of teaching experience in the U.K and Cape Town, South Africa. Mr. Awan has also worked as an independent senior lecturer in philosophy, history, and politics on behalf of the British Government. He is the founder of Humanitas LifeLong Learning, where he teaches regular evening classes and short courses directly to the public, and online to an international audience. Mr Awan currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey.