Liberal Arts Level 6: Ancient Classics Literature (Greek Year)
Scholé Academy’s Upper School Ancient Classics course offers an in-depth exploration of some of the best, most beautiful, and most influential books of Civilization. Students will read and discuss texts from three ancient cultures that became the inheritance of the classical Christian world: the Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Romans. Rooted in the tradition of the “Great Books,” students will gain significant historical and literary understanding and master the skills of independent scholarship by carefully studying primary sources.
● Integrated—history and literature taught in conjunction with one another
● Great books curriculum—timeless classics dealing with universal human questions
● Independent scholarship—methodically developing the skills necessary for intellectual growth
● Primary sources—doing history and experiencing literature through first-hand discovery
● Restful—a modest selection of texts read slowly and carefully, multum non multa
Great Books Pedagogy: This course offers high school students an in-depth exploration of the classics—the best, most beautiful, and most influential books of civilization. Students will read and discuss important texts from the 3 ancient cultures that became the inheritance of the classical Christian world: the Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Romans. Rooted in the tradition of the Great Books, Scholé Academy’s history and literature courses focus on primary sources.
Students will approach these works as both a window and a mirror. As a window, these texts offer a point of access to the cultures and stories of real people who inhabited the pre-Christian world. Yet classic texts speak not only of other times; they appeal to timeless truths. By considering oneself in the light of enduring concepts of wisdom, justice, and virtue, readers are compelled to take a careful look in the mirror. The study of classic works naturally leads to the practice of the Socratic method, the goal of which is to humbly “know thyself.”
Greek and Roman Years: This course features deep engagement with select works in a wide variety of genres—epic poetry, lyric poetry, drama, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, historical narrative, myth, biography, wisdom literature, laws, and speeches. Given the range of material available from antiquity, it is impossible to capture the full scope in a single-year course.
This course will operate on a two-year rotation. Both years will include selected works from four important traditions—Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and the early Christians. The first year will emphasize the Greek tradition (“Greek Year”), while the second rotation will emphasize the Roman (“Roman Year”). Students can take a single rotation to receive a strong introduction to the ancient classics, or they may take both years to get the full experience. A specific order is not required for students who wish to take both rotations—they are modular.
Goals: What should students expect from this course? First, we aim to create a supportive environment in which students may practice the art of close reading, grow in their love of the classics, and be inspired to return to them throughout their lives. The teacher will serve as an experienced guide and an encouraging coach.
Brief and informative secondary texts, such as a historical atlas, as well as brief in-class lectures by the teacher, will provide students with contextual understanding—geography, timeline, current historical research, and archaeological findings. Thus, while emphasizing close reading of primary texts, students will survey the historical period, acquire important background knowledge, and gain a clear historical perspective.
Faithful Scholarship: Study of the pre-Christian world offers ample opportunities to see the ways in which Christendom adopted and transformed—one might even say transfigured—the pagan world. The course will emphasize those aspects of antiquity which illuminate early Christianity and anticipate the rise of Christendom. We read pagan authors with charity, and we practice “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
This class is paired with our Liberal Arts Level 6: Ancient Classics History course and scheduled back to back with that course in a block. Students who take both courses receive a discount. This course may also be taken as a standalone history study.
Placement: This course is suitable for rising 9–12 graders. Students are expected to have strong reading skills as well as an interest and a capacity for discussing literature and history. Compositions will be assessed according to the grade-level of the student.
Assessment: Students will be assessed on reading completion and comprehension. They will regularly report their progress to the instructor and answer questions about the reading. In addition to reading, students will be expected to participate in class (regular attendance, active attention, and appropriate contributions), complete short compositions (1–3 paragraphs), and memorize occasional brief passages (3–10 lines).
High School Credit: The modern subjects of “history” and “literature” do not do justice to the rich variety of works represented in the Great Books of civilization. Successful students will nonetheless gain both an understanding of ancient history and a facility in the art of reading ancient literature. Thus, graduates of Scholé Academy history/literature courses may list the combination as two credits—both “history” and “literature”—on their high school transcript.
**How much time will students spend on homework? **
Each course (history and literature) will require 2–3 hours of work each week. Students who enroll in both courses should plan for 4–6 hours of work per week outside of the live class sessions.
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.
Rotation B 2024-2025 (Greek Year)
- Michael Coogan ed., A Reader of Ancient Near Eastern Texts
- ISBN: 978-0195324921
- Homer, The Iliad
- ISBN: 978-0140275360
- Homer, The Odyssey
- ISBN: 978-0140268867
- Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days
- ISBN: 978-0199538317
- Greek Tragedies 1: Aeschylus: Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound; Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Antigone; Euripides: Hippolytus
- ISBN: 978-0226035284
- Plato, Gorgias
- ISBN: 978-0199540327
- Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
- ISBN: 978-0199213610
- Plutarch, Essays
- ISBN: 978-0140445640
Rotation A 2025-2026 (Roman Year)
Virgil, The Aeneid
- ISBN: 978-0143105138
Horace, The Complete Odes and Epodes
- ISBN: 978-0199555277
Cicero, On Obligations
- ISBN: 978-0199540716
- ISBN: 978-0199537372
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
- ISBN: 978-0812968255
Louth ed., The Apostolic Fathers
- ISBN: 978-0140444759
Athanasius the Great, On the Incarnation
- ISBN: 978-0881414097
Basil the Great, On Social Justice
- ISBN: 978-0881410532
Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions
- ISBN: 978-0199537822
Dr. Alexander Titus is a learner, educator, translator, and Church historian, specializing in the Byzantine and medieval Western periods. He holds a BA (2011) in Classics from the University of Oregon, an MA (2015) and ThM (2016) from St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, and a PhD (2022) in Church History from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he wrote his dissertation on St. Gregory Palamas. His English translation of Palamas’ Triads is also forthcoming from St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press. Dr. Titus has come to believe strongly in the salvific value of classical education, not only for the soul of the individual Christian, but for the building up of the whole Church. Dr. Titus currently lives in Western Oregon, with his wife and two sons. His other interests include cooking, literature, visual arts (e.g., film, animation, games), and volunteering in his local Orthodox community. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Smith– Shalom! Or should I say, שלום! My name is Sarah Smith and I am very excited to join St. Raphael School this year. I am a wife, a mom of two young kids, and an avid reader. I joined the Orthodox Faith with my Chrismation along with my husband, and now as a family live the faith. Before I inquired into the Orthodox faith I served as a youth minister in an other faith tradition. I love the honest questions, the search for truth, and the fun-loving nature of teenagers.
Old Testament is more than something I study – it’s my absolute passion! I received my BA in Biblical Studies at Olivet Nazarene University in 2013 and continued my education with an MDiv at Asbury Theological Seminary in 2017 where I spent all my electives on the Ancient Near East. Some of my specialties include Biblical archaeology – I spent a summer living in Israel digging at Tel Abel Beth Maacah – as well as Biblical Hebrew as I was the teaching assistant and grader for two years in Seminary).
I came into the Orthodox Faith by way of Old Testament study – when I first attended the Divine Liturgy I was brought to tears because I saw the worship of the Old Testament taking place in front of me. My year as a catechumen was spent wrestling with theological ideas and personal ideas I had to let go of, but I never looked back. Orthodoxy is a clear continuation of the Faith of our ancient ancestors. I’m excited to get to know you and I hope to see you in one of my classes! email@example.com
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
Scanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.
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