Greek Mythology in Ten Minutes

A crash course in the stories that have shaped the world in (just over) ten minutes, an exciting giveaway, and more!

Gracious Reader, thank you for being part of the Civic Renaissance community! This week, we’ll explore:

  • Greek Mythology in Ten Minutes, Civic Renaissance’s first mini-course

  • GIVE AWAY: A one year subscription to The Great Courses Plus!

  • Two events this month: On gratitude & on beauty as a tool of cultural healing

  • Poll: What did you think of this issue of Civic Renaissance?

Greek Mythology in Ten Minutes: A mini-course

I’m thrilled to announce CR’s first course, Greek Mythology in Ten Minutes!

I’ve launched the Civic Renaissance Academy on the online learning platform Teachable. My plan is for this to be the first of a few mini-courses that can, in time, lead to longer, in-depth courses through which we can learn together. (Thanks to those who wrote to me about the subject areas you’re interested in exploring together!)

I thought we’d start with this course, an introduction to the basics of Greek mythology, because these stories are really the foundation of the Great Conversation we’ve been exploring together in recent weeks—the dialogue between the great minds of the past who have helped shape our world. This course should not take you more than 30 minutes to complete.

It includes:

  • One just-over-ten-minute lecture

  • A quiz

  • A short reading

I hope you decide to take this free course, and that you come away with an understanding of why these stories still matter for us today. I hope this course does what all good courses do—whet your appetite to keep learning!

Here’s an overview of what the course covers:

  • First we explore what, exactly, myth is.

  • Second, we explain why we should study Greek myth today.

  • Third, we cover some of the major stories and characters foundational to Greek mythology.

  • Finally, we reflect on what these stories reveal about the moral and cultural framework of the ancient Greeks, and discuss what lessons they offer us today.

Register for FREE here.

Please let me know what you think!

GIVE AWAY: A one year subscription to The Great Courses Plus!

Today is my birthday, and I have a gift for you.

Which reminds me, a friend sent me a birthday note reminding me, through Sockrates, that while getting older has its challenges, it’s not all bad:

Growing up, every birthday, Christmas, and sometimes just for no reason at all, my father would get me lectures on VHS—(yes, VHS!)—from The Teaching Company. To this day, my father has bookshelves brimming with the Teaching Company’s Great Courses paraphernalia.

I’ve since relied on Great Courses resources to keep my mind stimulated and to keep growing in my understanding of the world around me. Even now, almost every day I have a Great Courses lecture series going on in the background. I find it invigorating to be ushered into conversation with some of the greatest teachers as I explore new intellectual territory.

I did not have a formal education in the classics. What I did have was something far more valuable, something that I will never take for granted, and something for which I will always be thankful: I had a mother and a father that instilled in my brothers and me a love of ideas, learning, and the life of the mind. I was given, in other words, the gift of curiosity. The Great Courses helped foster that gift, and I’d like to give you a chance to see how.

So I’m going to give away a ONE YEAR subscription to the Great Courses Plus—an unlimited streaming service of the Great Courses’ incredible content.

To enter, either:

1) Like The Great courses on Facebook by going here (and let me know so I can enter you!)


2) Send me a note with “TGC” in the subject line at

In many ways, Civic Renaissance is a platform for me to share with you ideas as I learn them myself. And my most formative educational experiences in my life, past and present, did not happen in a classroom, but happened while traveling or at home during conversations around our dinner table—or through making intellectual connections while listening to a Great Courses Lecture.

To celebrate my birthday, I’d like to give that gift of lifelong learning to you.

We don’t need to go back to school to have a flourishing intellectual life. Showing you why and how to do so is what Civic Renaissance is all about.

Thank you for being here!

Two events this month: On gratitude & on beauty as a tool of cultural healing

  1. Can beauty heal our divides?

We hear a lot about the culture wars. But we often forget that culture can be a tool of healing and reconciliation too. This has been the case across time and place—artists create buildings, books, poems, and paintings that encapsulate and adorn a society's values and ambitions, and that inspire individuals to reflect on their ideals and to remember who they are when they at their best. Do we still have those habits in ourselves, and if not, can we revive those habits today? If so, how? Join us April 21st at 8pm ET to explore this and more! Register here.

  1. Can gratitude revive American civic life? I’m thrilled to partner with the Lilly School of Philanthropy on the role of gratitude in renewing American civil society. My friend and author AJ Jacobs recently wrote a book on gratitude called Thanks a Thousand. He travelled the world thanking every person responsible for his morning cup of coffee.

    I read AJ’s book this morning to help put me in a mindset to be grateful for another year a head. I just loved it. A fun and heartwarming 120 pages, his book reminded me of many things that we intuit to be true, but too often forget. For example, when we show gratitude even when we don’t feel grateful, we actually become happier. The form of the act can cultivate the internal disposition. Gratitude makes us more generous, which also makes us happier. A worthwhile book!

    I’m grateful to facilitate this dialogue with AJ and my friend and philanthropy researcher Una Osili on April 28, 3-4PM EST. To join us, and to reflect on how gratitude can help us lead better lives today, register here.

What did you think of this issue of Civic Renaissance?

I want this space to continually be a place that you feel comfortable learning and growing in. I want to continue to do this better. Fill out this quick poll anonymously to let me know how we’re doing and how we can improve.

What did you think of this CR issue?

I am grateful to each of you for being here!