Omnibus IV Ancient Studies; Classical School of Wichita

Omnibus is primarily a reading course. Our purpose can be understood under the heading of ‘copious preparation’. In order to continue in the rhetoric school, more difficult texts are now presented to revisit the ancient studies begun in Omnibus I. These great books will deepen our look into the nature of God, the understanding of knowledge, the composition of the soul and an understanding of the pressures and causes acting on the major events of history up until the collapse of the Roman Empire. Our reading list includes important works of Western Theology, History, and Literature. Our goal is to become ‘well read’ and conversant – copious in our engagement with the inherited literature.

Constant reenforcement of the art of reading itself figures into the activity of the class. Students will acquire the biblical principles of word, knowledge, and wisdom toward their developing capacity to handle more reading, more complexity, and more inclusion of their decisions and position regarding the author’s ideas and goals. As rhetoric students, the time has come to venture upon the stormy seas of argument and expression – to enter the conversation.

Grading/Graduation Requirements:

The Omnibus class is not complicated, but it requires vigorous attention. There will be required reading, writing, and discussion. Oral participation is not only a part of the grade, but helps the student to acquire the ideas from the reading assignments.
Materials:
A notebook to keep three-hole punched handouts is required, and a small ‘commonplace’ notebook to keep interesting quotes and observations are necessary (this is the same as the ‘loci communi’ kept for composition and rhetoric .
See the attached book list and schedule for the materials and plan of reading.
The overview of Omnibus IV

Theology:
We study ancient wisdom books, with the Proverbs and Job as we pursue the goal of wisdom itself.
The student explains how bad things happen to good people.
We study God’s relationship to man, and the extent of obligation in both directions of that situation.
The ancient Greeks were pious, but what exactly does that mean? We will study this.
As we read the psalms, we apply them to our world and we consider worship.
Is some wisdom laughable? We discuss this.
The student will examine man’s obligation to man.
Is man governable? What is a righteous government? The student will discuss and explore this issue of dominion.
We will enter into consideration of Plato’s claims of the divine.
The student will encounter notions of the soul, and the essential construction of the human being.
We contrast Aristotle and Plato over ideas of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. The student will learn these views and apply them, contrasting the Biblical ethical stance.
The student will work with theories of art, recognizing man as a ‘deputy creator’ reflecting the Creator.
We will confront man’s lost estate and how it penetrates to his understanding of himself and the world itself.
As inheritors of the earth, what are we to make of the concept of ‘environment’? Students will express a biblical awareness of their dominion.
We will investigate the formation of the biblical canon.

History:

We will follow the development of Mesopotamia, Babylon and Assyria.
Within the last fifty years there have been many examples of Assyrian literature that have come to light. We will see examples of ‘firsts’ in literature.
We will follow Israel, and her dealings with Egypt.
Students will investigate the world of the Trojan war and the place of Homer in history.
We will investigate the world of Greece, with their philosophy and government, as well as their war with Persia, concentrating on the Pelopponesian war.
We will work through the origin of Rome, its stages of development, world empire and decline.
The emergence of Rome as a world power is studied through the experiences of the Fabians, Africani, and Hannibal.
We will concentrate on the period of the Julio-Claudii, the Flavians and the upheavals in Jerusalem.
We will read of the fall of Herod’s temple and the destruction of Jerusalem.
We will encounter the revealed promise of the Gospel in the advent and work of Christ as an historical occurrence.
We will study the early expansion of the church.
Literature:

We will study Hebrew literature, history and poetry.
Students will learn to identify poetic forms.
We will see the principles and formation of various genres of literature.
We will read and understand Aristotle’s principles of drama and fiction.
We will read and recite epic poetry of Homer (The Iliad), Ovid, and Virgil.
The origins and practices of Greek Drama, and its myriad forms will be explored.
Students will study the historic purposes of Greek drama.
We will contrast early Greek drama with Shakespeare as he writes of ancient historical characters.
The class will work toward applying ancient concepts to the present through classic fiction, recognizing the way ideas travel through time.
Learning about what makes fiction work enables the students to invent their own.
The fictive pattern of narrative will be related to the reality of the Christian experience.
The historical apostolic succession, particularly in Asia Minor, will come near the end of our year in our study of the apostolic Apostolic Fathers.
Time Commitment:

Three class session per week of 60 minutes each, M-F.  Approximately 6-8 hours per week of home work (primarily reading). Some weeks will be quite light, some will be considerably full depending on the topic and type of literature under consideration. Works like the Iliad and Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War require time to absorb.

The Book List:

Students are required to furnish their own books.   2016Booklist

Discussion Board