Tuesday, May 6, 2014


From the roots of democracy, philosophy, mythology and mathematics, it is fascinating to learn about the origins of Western Civilization through the study of the ancient Greeks and Romans. HarperCollins offers a wonderful list of fiction and non-fiction titles to help students delve back in time and discuss the influential historical events, cultural and scientific advances and timeless literature.

Sophocles' The Oedipus Cycle, The Odyssey of Homer, The Ides of March and The Song of Achilles each explore aspects of Greek and Roman life in narrative form, allowing for students to more closely experience the history from the characters' perspectives. Matching these titles with the non-fiction titles like Ancient Greece, It's All Greek to Me, Wars of the Ancient Greeks, The Wisdom of the Myths and Roman Warfare will help to give students a well-rounded look into Ancient Greece and Rome.

Sample Discussion Questions

How does the Rome portrayed in Thornton Wilder's The Ides of March compare to the history of the Romans described in Roman Warfare?

What mythological insights examined in The Wisdom of the Myths can be found throughout The Odyssey of Homer?

Discuss how Greek mythology informed the history chronicled in Ancient Greece and It's All Greek to Me and the stories in The Odyssey of Homer and Sophocles' The Oedipus Cycle.

How do the modern novels The Ides of March and The Song of Achilles compare to the classic stories of The Odyssey of Homer and Sophocles' The Oedipus Cycle? In what ways do the ancient stories inform the modern tales?

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