Great Loves series

Following our successful ‘Great Books’ series in 2023, we are now launching a new international series: ‘Great loves’. This series will cover different types of love: the love between man and woman, the love between father and daughter and pink love is not forgotten either. And as diverse as these lectures are in love, we also travel both in time (from classical antiquity to modern times) and place (after classical antiquity and Spain in the March event, to The England of Shakespeare and that of Emily Brontë, Italo Svevo’s Italy, The Russia of Leonid Tolstoj, Francoise Sagan’s France and Theodore Fontane’s Germany. The series will conclude at our Oscar Wilde Festival in November! You may find our whole programme at  

#1 Polifemo y Galatea

Leo van Zanen opens this series with a timeless story from classical antiquity, first made popular by ancient Roman poet Ovid: the nymph and the giant; he comes from the land, she from the sea.

Their story proved immortal: it offered centuries of material to poets, composers, painters and sculptors from the Roman Golden Age to modern times. Each time it became more beautiful, more poignant.

Van Zanen will compare the different versions of this timeless story of an impossible love. Among others, he will recite from the Metamorphoses by Roman poet Ovid, whom you be familiar with from the widely known Art of Love (Ars Amatoria) and from the poem Polifemo y Galatea by Spanish writer Luis de Góngora (1561-1621).

Don’t miss our first ‘Great Love’ and join us and be inspired by a great love story!

March 24th, 16h00, Breestraat 70 Leiden

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