British actor, television presenter and author Stephen Fry is the first guest speaker on what will be a series of podcasts, titled “We’ll Always Have Athens.” The series is produced by the Greek Podcast Project and supported by This Is Athens, the official guide to the city of Athens.
In his 15 minute talk dedicated to the Greek capital, Fry explains a little about his love of Greek mythology and recounts past visits to Athens, including the first time he saw the Acropolis:
“To look up at the Erechtheion and the Parthenon and know who else had done that and to recognize what it stood for; it’s so deep within what we’d now call the DNA of our culture… I felt so connected. And when I walk around Athens – I’ve been back several times since, of course – the myths are still there.”
Mythology and its role in society and culture are clearly important to Fry; in 2018, his retelling of a number of Greek myths was published under the title “Mythos,” and he followed that up in 2019 with “Heroes,” a look at legendary Greek mortals such as Jason, Perseus and Heracles.
In this podcast, Fry talks about the contest between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of the city that would come to bear the goddess’ name; gives an account of the birth of Erechtheus, fabled king of the city; and offers a little from the legend of the great hero Theseus, of whom Fry says:
“He… stands for so much of what Athenians saw in themselves – as a hero, not as strong and mighty as Heracles, but with a brain, with wit, with insight, and that’s what Athenians prided themselves on having.”
“We’ll Always Have Athens” will be releasing podcasts every fortnight – and you can find them and subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts. Upcoming guests include photographer and longtime philhellene Robert McCabe and author Victoria Hislop.
You can listen to the inagural podcast with Stephen Fry here.