POLYHYMNIA

Polyhymnia inspired travel programmes

The ancient Muse of sacred hymns and pantomime, dance, eloquence and praise, her name means ‘She of many hymns’ or many voices; she can therefore inspire you to adapt to speak in many situations, especially in politics and religion.

  • Religion and Politics

    Many voiced inspiration of serious topics, not to be discussed at the dinner table.

Greek Mythology: Olympians versus Titans: Zeus, Poseidon and Prometheus

This is our mythology-based travel experience, inspired by the Muse of religion and politics, Polyhymnia. Religion and Politics were intimately intertwined in Greek mythology as the line between belief and knowledge, fiction or fact, was not as clear as it is today. The stories of mythology have fascinated us for centuries. This experience, based in Greece and beginning at mount Olympus, will take you across the country to the actual setting of many of the most famous myths, or your personally selected favourites.

Heroes of Greek Mythology: Achilles, Odysseus, Herakles/Hercules, Jason and the Argonauts, Perseus and Medusa, Theseus and the Minotaur

The adventures that go along with the stories of the heroes of Greek mythology can lead the mythologically-inspired traveller to exotic places in the Greco-Roman landscape. The labours of Herakles (Greek-spelling), for example, are mainly set around the countryside of the region of Arcadia, located in the Peloponnesian peninsula, where Herakles was born. The myth of Jason and the Argonauts can lead you from Athens to as far as the Black Sea! Theseus’ encounter with the minotaur is set on the island of Crete, with stops on the island of Naxos as well, where he abandoned Ariadne. There is much, much more to discover!

Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire

The historical and cultural background to the rise of Christianity in Europe can be experienced, first-hand, by exploring the archaeological sites around the roman empire. Beginning with Rome, the earliest places of worship can be visited, such as the vast network of catacombs. Using ancient sources in combination with the material evidence , trace the footsteps of early Christians, leading to the conversion of emperor Constantine and the transformation of the empire.

William Butler Yeats and the classical inspirations to Iris mythology and folklore

The poetry of William Butler Yeats bridged the gap between classical mythology and civilisation with Irish folklore and mythology. Explore the beautiful Irish countryside from Sligo to Dublin and the fascinating connections Yeats makes with the Greco-Roman world that is so influential on European civilisation.

Wilfred Owen, ancient and modern war poetry

Wilfred Owen’s body of poetry, although tragic, continues the long tradition of war poetry going back to the time of the Greek poets, Homer and Pindar and the Roman poets Horace and Virgil. Owen’s contribution marks an introduction to the new depths war has taken human civilisation. This programme will allow the poetry-mined traveller to explore Owen’s poetry from different perspective, either in Belgium or France at the locations of the brutal, trench warfare, or back in the UK at various periods of his shortened life.

Roman Lyric poetry and satire: Horace

Horace was the poet laureate of the golden age of the Roman Empire, during Augustus reign in which the power and glory of Rome reached a heights only to be equalled by the reign of the good emperors Trajan and Hadrian a hundred years later. This programme will allow the traveller to visit places mentioned by Horace in some of this most famous poems. These include eternalised phrases such as carpe diem (seize the day) and dulce decorum est pro patria mori (it is sweet and fitting to die for your country). The setting is Rome and its magnificent countryside, the territory giving rise to one of the world’s greatest civilisations.

Roman oratory: Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero was Rome’s greatest orator, lawyer and politician. His corpus of writings is larger than any other figure in the ancient world. Admired for his style of writing, posterity preserved his works through the end of the Roman Empire and through the Middle Ages. Explore his life and works, beginning in the modest town of Arpinum in the countryside of Lazio, where he was born. Trace his life from these modest beginnings through to being the quaestor of Sicily, consul of the Roman Republic and governor of Cilicia in the southern region of what is now modern Turkey.

Ancient Greek Religion: Orpheus

The Greek hero Orpheus differs from the other heroes, like Herakles and Theseus, in that his power lies in music. The myths and stories connected with Orpheus are among the most interesting and amusing in the entire corpus of Greco-Roman mythology. Set in the rural countryside of Greece, this programme will guide you through a journey from myth to history, also exploring the beliefs and practices of ancient Greek religion. Orpheus’ adventures will lead you to Parnassus, home of the Muses, Olympia, Laconia near Sparta in the most southern regions of Greece and to the very entrance and exit of the underworld where Orpheus let his love, Eurydice, slip away, having almost brought her back to the upper world.

Greek Government: Tyranny, Democracy, Oligarchy

For the traveller interested in the origins of government, an inspired visit to Greece allows you to explore exactly where it all began: monarchy, tyranny, oligarchy and finally, democracy. This programme will take you to the places where these forms of government were invented and experimented with, where wars were fought to defend one over the other. The places are Mycenae and Sparta in the Peloponnese, the most southern region of Greece, and Macedonia to the north. Archaeological sites will be visited informed by readings in the ancient sources so you can better understand the origins of these forms of government and enjoy yourself at the same time!