Ψυχ-αγωγία | Conduct of the soul

Mind, Soul and Emotions in Greek Tragedy: Ancient Wisdom for Today

Jul 11-16, 2023|6 days|Epidaurus, Argolis

About This Event

What can the dramas produced in democratic Athens tell us about resilience in the face of the timeless emotional problems that humans face? Professor Edith Hall, author of Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun (2010), and Natalie Haynes, bestselling author and writer, will lead us through some of the most searing tragedies, including Agamemnon, Medea and Antigone, to reveal the profound ancient answers to dilemmas and tragic situations such as bereavement we still face today–conflict between women and men, parents and children, siblings and fellow citizens. Interactive illustrated lectures will be complemented by visits to theatre-related sites and museums across Corinth and the Argolis – the county with the highest number of ancient monuments in the world – and culminate in a performance at the magnificent ancient theatre of Epidauros.

We will also be joined by the incredible guide Ioanna Kalypso Glypti.



2890€/per person

About the retreat leaders

 Edith Hall holds a Chair in Classics at Durham University. She has previously taught at Oxford, Cambridge, Reading and London Universities as well as lecturing across four continents. She is a regular broadcaster on BBC television and radio, acts as consultant to professional theatres including the National Theatre in London, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Epidauros Festival. She was the first woman to be awarded the Erasmus Prize of the European Academy, is a Fellow of the British Academy and holds honorary doctorates from Durham and Athens Universities. The more than thirty books she has published include eight on ancient Greek and Roman theatre and their continuing influence today.


Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster and – according to the Washington Post – a rock star mythologist. Her first novel, The Amber Fury, was published to great acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, as was The Ancient Guide to Modern Life, her previous book. Her second novel, The Children of Jocasta, was published in 2017. Her retelling of the Trojan War, A Thousand Ships, was published in 2019. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020. It has been translated into multiple languages. Her most recent non-fiction book, Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myth was published in Oct 2020, and Margaret Atwood liked it.
She has spoken on the modern relevance of the classical world on three continents, from Cambridge to Chicago to Auckland. She writes for the Guardian. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4: reviewing for Front Row and Saturday Review, appearing as a team captain on three seasons of Wordaholics, and banging on about Juvenal whenever she gets the chance. Six series of her show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, have been broadcast on Radio 4: all series are available now on BBC Sounds.


Ioanna Kalypso Glypti: “My introduction to Greece, as an Alexandrian Greek, took place when I was a child, but one of many tongues and continents. The Greek islands were my summers, bathed by the phosphorescent blazing light on a white wall, the austere rocks, the dramatic mountains and the incandescence of the blue sky pouring into the sea. Under that light and the songs of Leonard Cohen, nostalgia took hold of me, as like the ship of Ulysses Nostos I began to learn how to word my emotions in this ancient tongue. This was a voyage into the light as I managed to escape my personal darkness and the various Labyrinths of my subconscious mind. In fact, I was finding a way to freedom through words.
Freedom, or Eleutheria, in my tongue means she who walks freely towards what she or he loves and brings love to his or her soul, because the chains are many and not always tangible, and so able to be escaped from.
In this moment I realized that my tongue embodied my spiritual essence. It is not surprising that everything here in Greece speaks now just as it has for centuries making everything clear -without being known. It is this clarity that I return to within me to understand what is unknown as we go through these difficult times. As I write the word clarity, everything becomes translucent like the morning dawn as the ancient God Apollo with his chariot announces the arrival of light.“


About the location

Epidavros, 30km east of Nafplio, was famed and revered across the Mediterranean as a place of miraculous healing. Visitors came great distances to the tranquil Sanctuary of Ascplipius, the god of medicine, to seek a cure for their ailments. Today the World Heritage Site’s amazingly well-preserved theatre remains a venue during the Athens & Epidavros Festival for Classical Greek plays, first performed here over 2300 years ago.

Daily Schedule

Day 1:

  • Arrival in Nafplio
  • Welcome Community Dinner & Start of Retreat – welcome note by Niki Smirni

Day 2:

  • Breakfast
  • Lecture with Edith Hall
  • Guided Tour in Epidaurus Ancient Theatre 
  • Lecture with Ioanna Kalipso Glypti in Epidaurus Ancient Theatre: relevance Asklipios and Dionisos with theatre and the word Iasis which means cure
  • Visit to an excavation site
  • Attend a general rehearsal at Epidaurus Ancient Theatre
  • Community dinner

Day 3:

  • Breakfast
  • Visit to Mykines Archaeological Site: 3-hour Guided Tour with Ioanna Kalypso Glypti
  • Wine Tasting at Domain Skouras
  • Evening lecture with Edith Hall 
  • Free Time
  • Community dinner

Day 4:

  • Breakfast
  • Morning Lecture: discussion with Edith Hall and Natalie Haynes
  • Free Time to Explore Nafplio
  • Community lunch
  • Free Time
  • Epidaurus Ancient Theatre: Performance night

Day 5: 

  • Breakfast
  • Departure for Korinthos to see the Theatre & the museum (Half Day Trip)
  • Evening lecture with Edith Hall 
  • Free Time 
  • Community dinner

Day 6:

  • Breakfast 
  • Check-out

Start your

Event Highlights

5-night accommodation in Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villas and Amphitryon Hotel

All sessions/lectures

All activities

Breakfast meals

Dinner meals


2890€/per person

in Double Occ. room


3950€/per person

in Single Occ. room

what’s included

  • 5-night accommodation in Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villas and Amphitryon Hotel
  • All sessions/lectures
  • All activities
  • Breakfast meals
  • Dinner meals

what’s not included

  • Airtickets to/from Greece and Athens and transfer to/from Argolis – We strongly advise you to book flexible airfare tickets
  • Accommodation Tax / room / night payble by the guests directly to the hotel
  • Airport and Land Transfers
  • Soft drinks, beverages
  • Lunch meals
  • Whatever is not mentioned clearly in the inclusions

more info

We strongly advise you to book flexible airfare tickets

Language: English
Land Transfer: Available upon request
Cancellation Policy: Deposit amount is non-refundable | Should you wish to cancel your participation one month or less before the start of the retreat, 100% of cancellation fees are applied.
Important Info: In case there are Covid-19 restrictions or restrictions related to any other pandemic that prevent guests from traveling the total amount paid will be refunded.
Dietary Needs: Should you have any special dietary need/allergy, kindly let us know in advance in order to be able to better accommodate you in the best possible way.
Transport: For Edith’s retreat in Epidavros / Argolis, you can fly into Athens International Airport (ATH). From there, you can book a transfer to the hotel.