Category: Great Books


Veteran of Marathon and distinguished playwright, he was a father of Greek Drama, employing a second actor along with the chorus. 525 – 456BC   The Oresteia: Agamemnon – with…

Veteran of Marathon and distinguished playwright, he was a father of Greek Drama, employing a second actor along with the chorus.

525 – 456BC


The Oresteia:

Agamemnon – with music by Birtwhistle (youtube) part I, Part II

The Libation Bearers – Birtwhistle Libation Bearers (youtube)

The Furies – Birtwhistle Furies (youtube)

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We see Amos working during the time of Jeroboam II in Israel. He hails from Tekoa and is a herdsman and vinedresser. It may be that he traveled as a…

We see Amos working during the time of Jeroboam II in Israel. He hails from Tekoa and is a herdsman and vinedresser. It may be that he traveled as a businessman to Samaria in the north. (see verse 7:14). He becomes a nuisance to the northerners, as he prophecies at the height of prosperity (probably around 760 BC).

Note that Jonah worked for Jeroboam, and imagine his story going on in the background of this fiery work of Amos. We had surmised that Jonah’s worked happened around 763 BC in Nineveh. Might it be that the eclipse recorded in those days happened along with an earthquake, as mentioned in the beginning of this book of Amos? Fascinating to think of the signs and terror accompanying these things.

Divisions of the book:

For three transgressions and for four…

We have Amos (whose name needs ‘to be burdened’) laying burdens on 8 nations – coming to rest at last upon Israel.

Hear this Word…

Three forms of sins and judgement (therefore…) occur on into chapter 5. We end this section of three pronouncements (each bearing a different aspect of separation) with imagery concerning the coming day of the Lord.

Woe unto them…

Two forms of this predicted Woe follow
A highly evocative section begins at 5:18 concerning misguided piety.

The false security of the prosperous is condemned.

The Story of Amos and the North…

Amaziah the priest resents the words of Amos. This reminds us of the time of Ahab in 1 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18 and the controversy of the prophets.

The Visions surround the narrative of Amaziah…

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Ancient Omnibus I

Syllabus and book list for Omnibus I 2015-2016 at Classical School of Wichita

Ancient Omnibus I is taught (typically) to seventh grade logic students at the Classical School of Wichita.

The class follows the Veritas Press Omnibus book, and the associated  veritas press reading list.

The class will meet five days per week, with an expectation of thirty to forty five minutes of homework per night.

Syllabus Omni I


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Harvard Classics

Published by Harvard University Press – the ‘five foot shelf of books’

Volume 1:
1) The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

2) The Journal of John Woolman

William Penn – Fruits of Solitude (3) Some Fruits of Solitude, in Reflections and Maxims Related to the Conduct of Human Life. Part I; 4) More Fruits of Solitude, Being the Second Part of Reflections and Maxims, Relating to the Conduct of Human Life)
Volume 2:
5) Plato – The Apology of Socrates

6) Plato – Crito

7) Plato – Phaedo

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus [excerpts from Discourses]

8) The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

George Long – ‘M Aurelius Antoninus’

George Long – ‘The Philosophy of Antoninus’
Volume 3:
9) Francis Bacon – Essays, Civil and Moral (Essays or Counsels–Civil and Moral) [Essayes: Religious Meditations. Places of Perswasion and Disswasion. Seene and Allowed] [1597; expanded 1612; expanded and retited Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall in 1625]

10) Francis Bacon – [Nova Atlantis] The New Atlantis [1624]

11) John Milton – Areopagitica [1644]

12) John Milton – Tractate on Education (Milton’s Tractate on Education) [On Education] [originally anonymously published 1644]

13) Sir Thomas Browne – Religio Medici [1643]
Volume 4:
The Complete Poems of John Milton
[incl. 14) Paradise Lost; 15) Paradise Regained; Samson Agonistes]
Volume 5:
Ralph Waldo Emerson – Essays and English Traits
[incl. 16) An Oration, Delivered Before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge [1837; later retitled The American Scholar] and 17) English Traits]
Volume 6:
The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns
Volume 7:
18) The Confessions of Saint Augustine [Confessions in Thirteen Books]

19) Thomas A Kempis – The Imitation of Christ
Volume 8:
Nine Greek Dramas [20) Aeschylus – The House of Atreus [The Oresteia];

21) Aeschylus – Prometheus Bound;

22) Sophocles – Oedipus the King;

23) Sophocles – Antigone;

24) Euripides – Hippolytus;

25) Euripides – The Bacchae;

26) Aristophanes – The Frogs]
Volume 9:
Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero With His Treatises on Friendship and Old Age (Letters of Cicero)
[incl. 27) On Friendship; 28) On Old Age]

Letters of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (Letters of Plinius)
Volume 10:
29) Adam Smith – An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Volume 11:
30) Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species
Volume 12:
Plutarch’s Lives [excerpts]
Volume 13:
31) Virgil’s Aeneid
Volume 14:
Miguel de Cervantes – The First Part of the Delightful History of the Most Ingenious Knight Don Quixote of the Mancha
Volume 15:
32) Bunyan – The Pilgrim’s Progress

Izaak Walton – The Lives of John Donne and George Herbert (‘The Life of Dr. Donne’; ‘The Life of Mr. George Herbert’)
Volume 16:
33) Stories From the Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights’ Entertainment)
Volume 17:
Folk-Lore and Fable (Aesop’s Fables; Grimm’s Tales; Andersen’s Tales)
[incl. Andersen’s second Fairy Tales for Children [1838] in its entirety]
Volume 18:
Modern English Drama (34) John Dryden – All for Love; Or, The World Well Lost;

35) Richard Brinsley Sheridan – The School for Scandal;

36) Oliver Goldsmith – She Stoops to Conquer;

37) The Cenci – Percy Bysshe Shelley;

38) Robert Browning – A Blot in the ‘Scutcheon;

39) Lord Byron – Manfred)
Volume 19:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust, Part I (The Tragedy of Faust)

40) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Egmont

41) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Hermann and Dorothea

42) Christopher Marlowe – The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (Doctor Faustus)
Volume 20:
43) The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri
Volume 21:
44) Alessandro Manzoni – I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed)
Volume 22:
45) The Odyssey of Homer
Volume 23:
46) R H Dana, Jr. – Two Years Before the Mast and Twenty-Four Years After
Volume 24:
47) Burke – The Sublime and Beautiful

48) Burke – Reflections on the Revolution in France

49) Burke – A Letter From the Right Hon. Edmund Burke to a Noble Lord
Volume 25:
50) John Stuart Mill – Autobiography

51) John Stuart Mill – Essay on Liberty

Thomas Carlyle – ‘Characteristics’ [published in the Edinburgh Review, Dec. 1831; included in Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 1838]

52) Thomas Carlyle – Inaugural Address at Edinburgh (Inaugural Address) [Inaugural Address at Edinburgh, April 2nd, 1866] [1866]

Thomas Carlyle – Sir Walter Scott (Essay on Scott) [‘Memories of the Life of Scott’, published in London and Westminster Review, Jan. 1838; included in Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 1838]
Volume 26:
Continental Drama (53) Pedro Calderon de la Barca – Life Is a Dream;

54) Pierre Corneille – Polyeucte;

55) Jean Baptiste Racine – Phaedra;

56) Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere – Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite;

57) Gotthold Ephraim Lessing – Minna von Barnhelm, or The Soldier’s Fortune;

58) Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller – William Tell)
Volume 27:
English Essays, From Sir Philip Sidney to Macaulay (59) Philip Sidney – The Defence of Poesy;

Ben Jonson – ‘On Shakespeare’; ‘On Bacon’ [essays from Explorata, Timber or Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter];

Abraham Cowley – ‘Of Agriculture’;

Joseph Addison – ‘The Vision of Mirza’; ‘Westminster Abbey’;

Sir Richard Steele – The Spectator Club [‘Of the Club’, originally published in the Spectator, 1 Mar. 1711];

Jonathan Swift – ‘Hints Toward an Essay on Conversation’;

Jonathan Swift – ‘A Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding’;

{} Jonathan Swift – A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet[: Together With a Proposal for the Encouragement of Poetry in This Kingdom] [1721];

Jonathan Swift – ‘On the Death of Esther Johnson’ [Stella] [excerpt from The Journal to Stella];

{} Daniel Defoe – The Shortest-Way With the Dissenters: Or Proposals for the Establishment of the Church [1702];

Daniel Defoe – ‘The Education of Women’;

Samuel Johnson – ‘Life of Addison, 1672-1719’;

David Hume – ‘Of the Standard of Taste’;

Sydney Smith – ‘Fallacies of Anti-Reformers’;

Samuel Taylor Coleridge – ‘On Poesy or Art’ [1818 lecture; originally published in The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1836]

William Hazlitt – ‘Of Persons One Would Wish to Have Seen’ [originally published in Literary Remains of the Late William Hazlitt, 1836; also included in Winterslow: Essays and Characters Written There, 1839];

Leigh Hunt – ‘Deaths of Little Children’ [originally published in the Indicator];

Leigh Hunt – ‘On the Realities of Imagination’;

Charles Lamb – ‘On the Tragedies of Shakespeare’ [originally published in the Reflector, 1811];

Thomas de Quincey – ‘Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow’ [part of Suspiria de Profundis; originally published in Blackwood’s Magazine, Jun. 1845];

Percy Bysshe Shelley – ‘A Defence of Poetry’;

Thomas Babington Macaulay – ‘Machiavelli’ [originally published in the Edinburgh Review, 1827])
Volume 28:
Essays English and American (William Makepeace Thackeray – ‘Jonathan Swift’;

{} John Henry Newman – The Idea of a University [originally published as Discourses on University Education and as Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education 1852; revised and retitled as The Scope and Nature of University Education, 1859]; Lectures and Essays on University Subjects [1859]; these two volumes combined to form The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated [1873]];

Matthew Arnold – ‘The Study of Poetry’ [introduction to The English Poets];

{} John Ruskin – Sesame and Lilies [two lectures, ‘Of Kings’ Treasures’ and ‘Of Queens’ Gardens’ delivered 1864; published 1865; second edition that year includes preface; revised, with new preface and essay ‘The Mystery of Life and Its Art’, 1871; ‘Mystery’ essay removed and another new preface added for 1882 edition];

Walter Bagehot – ‘John Milton’ [originally published in the National Review, Jul. 1859];

Thomas Henry Huxley – ‘Science and Culture’ [lecture delivered 1 Oct. 1880; published in anthology Science and Culture: Collected Essays, 1881];

Edward Augustus Freeman – ‘Race and Language’ [originally published in the Contemporary Review, Feb. 1877; revised version, in Historical Essays, Third Series [1879], includes portions of ‘The Geographical Aspect of the Eastern Question’, originally published in the Fortnightly Review, Jan. 1877];

Robert Louis Stevenson – ‘Truth of Intercourse’ [originally published May 1879 in Cornhill Magazine (volume 39); published in Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers, 1881 as the fourth of four essays collectively entitled ‘Virginibus Puerisque’];

Robert Louis Stevenson – ‘Samuel Pepys’ [originally published Jul. 1881 in Cornhill Magazine (volume 44); later included in Familiar Studies of Men and Books, 1882];

William Ellery Channing – ‘On the Elevation of the Laboring Classes’ [1840];

Edgar Allan Poe – ‘The Poetic Principle’ [originally published in the Home Journal, 31 Aug. 1850 and the Union Magazine of Literature and Art, Oct. 1850];

Henry David Thoreau – ‘Walking’ [chapter 6 of Excursions [1863]];

James Russell Lowell – ‘The President’s Policy’ [originally anonymously published in North American Review (volume 98, issue 102) Jan. 1864; included in Political Essays, 1888];

{} James Russell Lowell – On Democracy [1884; lecture delivered that year])
Volume 29:
{} Charles Darwin – The Voyage of the Beagle
Volume 30:
Scientific Papers ({} Michael Faraday – [A Course of Six Lectures on the Various Forces of Matter and Their Relations to Each Other] Forces of Matter [edited 1859 lectures; originally published in the Chemical News, 1860; book version published the same year];

{} Michael Faraday – The Chemical History of a Candle [edited 1848 lectures; originally published in the Chemical News, 1861; first book version, entitled A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle: To Which Is Added a Lecture on Platinum (that lecture having been published in the Chemical News as ‘On Platinum’, 1861) published in 1861; ‘On Platinum’ removed for some later editions];

Hermann von Helmholtz – On the Conservation of Force;

Hermann von Helmholtz – Ice and Glaciers;

Sir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) – The Wave Theory of Light;

Sir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) – The Tides;

{} Simon Newcomb – The Extent of the Universe [1884];

Sir Archibald Geikie – Geographical Evolution [lecture delivered 24 Mar. 1879; included in Geographical Sketches at Home and Abroad])
Volume 31:
{} The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini
Volume 32:
Literary and Philosophical Essays (Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve – ‘Montaigne’ [included in Causeries de Lundi]

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve – ‘What Is a Classic?’ [1850; included in Causeries de Lundi];

Ernest Renan – The Poetry of the Celtic Races [‘La Poésie des Races Celtiques’, in Essais de Morale et de Critique, 1859];

{} Gotthold Ephraim Lessing – The Education of the Human Race [1780];

{} J C Friedrich von Schiller – [Über die Äthetische Erziehung des Menschen in Einer Reihe von Briefen] Letters Upon the Aesthetic Education of Man [1794];

{} Immanuel Kant – Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals;

Giuseppe Mazzini – ‘Byron and Goethe’ [originally published in Monthly Chronicle, 1839])
Volume 33:
Voyages and Travels Ancient and Modern (Herodotus – ‘An Account of Egypt’;

Tacitus – Germany [excerpt];

Sir Francis Drake – Sir Francis Drake Revived;

Francis Pretty – Sir Francis Drake’s Famous Voyage Round the World;

Captain Walter Bigges – Drake’s Great Armada;

Edward Haies – {} [A Narrative of the Expedition of Sir Humfrey Gylberte in 1583 for the Planting of a Colony in America, as Given by Captain Edward Haies, a Distinguished Member of the Expedition] Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s Voyage to Newfoundland;

Sir Walter Raleigh – {} [The Discoverie of the Large, Rich, and Bewtiful Empyre of Guiana] The Discovery of Guiana [1596])
Volume 34:
French and English Philosophers ({} Rene Descartes – Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences;

Voltaire – {} Letters on the English;

J J Rousseau – {} A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of Inequality Among Mankind;

J J Rousseau – Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar;

Thomas Hobbes – Of Man, Being the First Part of the Leviathan)
Volume 35:
Chronicle and Romance ({} The Chronicles of Froissart;

Sir Thomas Malory – The Holy Grail [excerpt from Le Morte d’Arthur];

A Description of Elizabethan England Written by William Harrison for Holinshed’s Chronicles)
Volume 36:
{} Niccolo Machiavelli – The Prince

{} William Roper – The Life of Sir Thomas More [1626]

{} Sir Thomas More – Utopia

Martin Luther – {} Ninety-Five Theses

Martin Luther – {} Address to the German Nobility

Martin Luther – {} Concerning Christian Liberty
Volume 37:
English Philosophers of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries ({} John Locke – Some Thoughts Concerning Education;

{} George Berkeley – Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous in Opposition to Sceptics and Atheists;

{} David Hume – An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
Volume 38:
Scientific Papers (The Oath of Hippocrates; The Law of Hippocrates;

Ambroise Paré – {} [The Apology and Treatise Containing the Voyages Made to Divers Places] Journeys in Diverse Places;

{} William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals;

{} Edward Jenner – The Three Original Publications on Vaccination Against Smallpox;

O[liver] W[endell] Holmes[, Sr.] – ‘The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever’ [originally published in the New England Quarterly Journal of Medicine, 1843; included in Medical Essays, 1855];

Lord Lister – ‘On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery’ [lecture delivered 9 Aug. 1867; published in the British Medical Journal];

Louis Pasteur – The Physiological Theory of Fermentation;

Louis Pasteur – The Germ Theory and Its Application to Medicine and Surgery (Revised) [lecture delivered 29 Apr.1878; published in Comptes Rendus de l’Academie des Sciences];

Louis Pasteur – On the Extension of the Germ Theory to the Etiology of Certain Common Diseases (Revised) [lecture delivered 3 May 1880; published in Comptes Rendus de l’Academie des Sciences]

Sir Charles Lyell – Prejudices Which Have Retarded the Progress of Geology; Uniformity in the Series of Past Changes in the Animate and Inanimate World [excerpts from Principles of Geology])
Volume 39:
Famous Prefaces (Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books)
Volume 40:
English Poetry From Chaucer to Grey
Volume 41:
English Poetry From Collins to Fitzgerald
Volume 42:
English Poetry From Tennyson to Whitman
Volume 43:
American Historical Documents From 1000 to 1904
Volume 44:
Sacred Writings ({} The Sayings of Confucius;

The Book of Job; The Book of Psalms; Ecclesiastes; or, The Preacher; The Gospel According to Luke; The Acts of the Apostles)
Volume 45:
Sacred Writings (The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians; The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians;

Hymns of the Christian Church;

Buddhist Writings, Translated and Annotated by Henry Clarke Warren;

The Bhagavad-Gita or Song Celestial, Translated by Sir Edwin Arnold;

Chapters From the Koran, Translated and Annotated by E H Palmer)
Volume 46:
Elizabethan Drama ({} Christopher Marlowe – Edward the Second;

William Shakespeare – {} The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark;

{} King Lear;

{} The Tragedy of Macbeth;

{} The Tempest)
Volume 47:
Elizabethan Drama ({} Thomas Dekker – The Shoemaker’s Holiday;

{} Ben Jonson – The Alchemist;

{} Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher – Philaster;

{} John Webster – The Duchess of Malfi;

{} Philip Massinger – A New Way to Pay Old Debts)
Volume 48:
{} Blaise Pascal – Thoughts

Blaise Pascal – Letters

Blaise Pascal – Minor Works
Volume 49:
Epic and Saga ({} Beowulf;

{} The Song of Roland;

{} The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel;

{} The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs)
Volume 50:
Introduction, Reader’s Guide, Indexes
Volume 51:
Lectures on the Harvard Classics – William Allan Nielson, ed. [Eliot says in the introduction, “The Lecture Series on the contents of the Harvard Classics ought to do much to open that collection of literary materials to many ambitious young men and women whose education was cut short.”]
The Shelf of Fiction was published in 1917:
Volumes 1 and 2:
{} Henry Fielding – The History of Tom Jones

Volume 3:
{} Laurence Sterne – A Sentimental Journey
{} Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

Volume 4:
{} Sir Walter Scott – Guy Mannering

Volumes 5-6:
{} William Makepeace Thackeray – Vanity Fair

Volumes 7-8:
{} Charles Dickens – David Copperfield

Volume 9:
{} George Eliot – The Mill on the Floss

Volume 10:
Nathaniel Hawthorne – {} The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne – ‘Rappaccini’s Daughter’

Washington Irving – ‘Rip Van Winkle’
Washington Irving – ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’

Edgar Allan Poe – ‘Eleonora’, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’,
and ‘The Purloined Letter’

Francis Bret Harte – ‘The Luck of Roaring Camp’, ‘The Outcasts of Poker Flat’,
and ‘The Idyl of Red Gulch’

Samuel L. Clemens – ‘Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog’

Edward Everett Hale – ‘The Man Without a Country’

Volume 11:
{} Henry James – The Portrait of a Lady

Volume 12:
{} Victor Hugo – Notre Dame de Paris

Volume 13:
{} Honore de Balzac – Old Goriot

{} George Sand – [La Mare au Diable] The Devil’s Pool [1846]

{} Alfred de Musset – [Histoire d’un Merle Blanc] The Story of a White Blackbird [1842]

Alphonse Daudet – [‘Contes du Lundi: Le Siège de Berlin’] The Siege of Berlin [originally published in Le Soir, 18 July 1871; title shortened to Le Siège de Berlin for inclusion in Lettres à un Absent, 1871; also included in expanded version of Contes du Lundi, 1878]
Alphonse Daudet – [‘La Dernière Classe, Récit d’un Petit Alsacien’] The Last Class–The Story of a Little Alsatian [originally published in Le Soir, 13 May 1872; titled shortened to ‘La Dernière Classe’ for inclusion in Contes du Lundi, 1873]
Alphonse Daudet – [‘Contes du Lundi: L’Enfant Espion’] The Child Spy [originally published in Le Soir, 25 July 1871; title shortened to ‘L’Enfant Espion’ for inclusion in Lettres à un Absent, 1871; also included in expanded version of Contes du Lundi, 1878]
Alphonse Daudet – [Contes de Lundi: La Partie de Billard’] The Game of Billiards [originally published in Le Soir, 26 September 1871; title shortened to ‘La Partie de Billard’ for inclusion in Contes du Lundi, 1873]
Alphonse Daudet – [‘Contes du Lundi: Le Zouave’] The Bad Zouave [originally published in Le Soir, 15 July 1872; retitled ‘Le Mauvais Zouave’ for inclusion in Contes du Lundi, 1873]

Guy de Maupassant – [L’Aventure de Walter Schnaffs] Walter Schnaffs’ Adventure [originally published in Le Gaulois, 11 April 1883]
Guy de Maupassant – [‘Deux Amis’] Two Friends [originally published in Gil Blas, 5 February 1883]

Volume 14:
{} Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship

Volume 15:
{} Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – The Sorrows of Young Werther

{} Gottfried Keller – [Das Fähnlein der Sieben Aufrechten] The Banner of the Upright Seven

{} Theodor Storm – [Der Schimmelreiter] The Rider on the White Horse [1888]

{} Theodor Fontane – [Irrungen, Wirrungen] Trials and Tribulations [1888]

Volumes 16-17:
{} Leo Tolsoy – Anna Karenina

Volume 18:
{} Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment

Volume 19:
Ivan Turgenev – {} A House of Gentlefolk [Home of the Gentry]
Ivan Turgenev – {} Fathers and Children

Volume 20:
{} Juan Valera – Pepita Jimenez [originally published serially 1874]

{} Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson – [En Glad Gut] A Happy Boy [1860]

{} Alexander L Kielland – Skipper Worse [1882]

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Herodotus is known as the original Historian, attempting to relate causes in the aftermath of the victory and ascendence of the Athenians over the Persian Empire and the Aegean sea.

The History, a work of the ancient world, is remarkable for its scope, naturalistic explanations, and multiple viewpoints.  Herodotus is known as the original Historian, attempting to relate causes in the aftermath of the victory and ascendence of the Athenians over the Persian Empire and the Aegean sea.

We read of the Greco/Persian War here, and the entire book is written as an explanation of historical events that led to that point.

Book I

Herodotus concerns himself with the origin of the conflict between Persia and Greece which began with King Croessus of Lydia, who was overcome by the Persian king Cyrus.  Meanwhile, in Athens  a democracy forms against the rise of Pisistratus, and in Sparta a strict order of state gathers control of the Peloponnesus.  Cyrus, who overcomes the Medes and Scythia/Cimmeria alliance that overthrew the Assyrian Empire, captures Babylon and campaigns in Scythia against the Massagetae, where he is killed in battle.


Book II

Cambyses comes to power and plans to enlarge the Persian empire in Egypt.  Herodotus provides a description of Egyptian history, customs and geography.

Book III

Cambyses defeats the son of Amasis in Egypt, continuing his campaign of conquest against the Ethiopians and Ammon.   He loses a large army in the desert west of Egypt, and goes mad in Egypt where he kills his brother and leaves Persia in confusion under the rule of the Magi (false Smerdis) at his death.  The Spartans interfere with the Island of Samos under Polycrates.   Herodotus, following the adventures of Darius who overthrows the Magi, meditates on the far east (India).  Darius, now firmly in command, conquers and subdues Samos, and reconquers Babylon which had revolted in the Persian chaotic interregnum.

Book IV

Darius begins an attack on the Scythians to the north of the Black Sea.  Herodotus explains the history of the Scythians, and speculates on Geography.  Darius, forced to retreat from Scythia, leaves his general Megabazus in Thrace, while he campaigns in Libya and against Cyrene.

Book V

While Megabazus subdues Thrace, a revolt, lead by Aristagoras breaks out against Otanes in Ionia.   Aristagoras seeks aid first from Cleomenes in Sparta (refused), and then in Athens.  Athens sends ships to aid the Ionians in their failed insurrection, angering Darius against the Athenians.

Book VI

Securing the Chersonese (Hellespont), the Persians gather the Greek cities and the Island of Aegina preparing for an assault on Athens.  Darius places Datis and Artaphernes in command, bringing Hippias back to reassume control of Athens.   Miltiades at the command of an Athenian and Plataean army routes the Persians at Marathon.

Book VII

Darius’ death means he will never get his vengeance against the Greeks.  Xerxes, succeeding to the throne, organizes a massive campaign against his father’s enemies.  The Persians face a naval disaster at Sepias, and march through Thrace and Macedon to face king Leonidas of the Spartans in the Battle of Thermopylae.


Beginning with the naval battle of Artemisium, the Greeks retreat toward Athens, deciding between the Isthmus (Corinth) and the bay of Salamis.  The battle of Salamis results in a defeat for Xerxes.   Alexander of Macedon is sent by the Persian king to bargain for the surrender of Athens, and we read of the heritage of Alexander the Great.

Book IX

The finale of Herodotus is mostly concerned with Mardonius (the Persian general) and the Battle of Plataea (1st battle).  The Persians are defeated and also driven from the Chersonese.


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Hosea:  “The Lord Saves” Hosea cannot bear to speak of judgement without speaking of redemption.   For this reason, we think of Hosea as the prophet with the biggest heart….

Hosea:  “The Lord Saves”

Hosea cannot bear to speak of judgement without speaking of redemption.   For this reason, we think of Hosea as the prophet with the biggest heart.

Continuing a theme detected in Amos, Hosea expounds on the ripening evil of the Kingdom of Israel, and is commanded to take a harlot as his wife, to illustrate with his life amidst his countrymen the pain of estrangement that exists between God and his people.

We encounter the three children:  Scattered, Unpitied, and Stranger.

In Chapters 1 and 2 we see fine examples of Chiasm, Chapter 3 clarifies and specifies the situation in Hosea’s immediate future.

The Chapters 4 through 10 are meditations on the events of Hosea’s day.


The Circumstance of Hosea’s prophecies

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In Search of the Trojan War

A series discussing the authenticity of the legend, history of the text and the tradition of the Homeric question.

A six part series broadcast on BBC in 1985


Episode 1: Age of Heroes

Episode 2: The Legend under Siege

Episode 3: The Singer of Tales – Homer

Episode 4: The Women of Troy

Episode 5: The Empire of the Hittites

Episode 6: The Fall of Troy


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Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets are only minor in their length.  Considered in their transcendent number of ’12’, they are witnesses, like the apostles, in history short enough to be contained on one…

The Minor Prophets are only minor in their length.  Considered in their transcendent number of ’12’, they are witnesses, like the apostles, in history short enough to be contained on one scroll.  We have been thinking a lot about the Assyrian power, so here is a way of arranging the prophets by the Gentile powers under which they appeared:
1.  Assyrian Period (9th through 7th century BC):  Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, (Isaiah), Micah, Nahum.
2.  Babylonian Period: (612 through 549 BC): Zephaniah, (Jeremiah), Habakkuk, (Daniel), (Ezekiel)
3.  Persian Period:  (549 BC through 433 BC):  Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

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Quintilian’s Reading List

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus publishes a great books list – 69-79 AD.


  • Homer
  • Hesiod
  • Antimachus
  • Panyasis
  • Apollonius
  • Aratus
  • Theocritus
  • Pisandros
  • Nicander
  • Euphorion
  • Tyrtaeus
  • Elegiac Poets
    • Callimachus
    • Philetas
  • Iambics
    • Aristarchus
    • Archilochus
  • Lyric Poets
    • Pindar
    • Stesichorus
    • Alcaeus
    • Simonides
  • Old Comedy
    • Aristophanes
    • Eupolis
    • Cratinus
  • Tragedy
  • New Comedy
    • Menander
    • Philemon
  • History
  • Orators
    • Demosthenes
    • Aeschines
    • Hyperides
    • Lysias
    • Isocrates
  • Philosophers


  • Virgil
  • Macer
  • Lucretius
  • Varro
  • Ennius
  • Ovid
  • Cornelius Severus
  • Serranus
  • Rabirius
  • Pedo
  • Lucan
  • Elegaics
    • Tibullus
    • Popertius
    • Ovid
    • Gallus
  • Satire
    • Lucilius
    • Horace
    • Pesius
    • Terentius Varro
  • Iambics
    • Catullus
    • Bibaculus
    • Horace
  • Lyric
    • Horace
  • Tragedy
    • Accius
    • Pacuvius
    • Varius
    • Ovid
    • Pomponius Secundus
  • Comedy
    • Plautus
    • Terence
    • Afranius
  • History
    • Sallust
    • Titus Livius
    • Servilius
    • Aufidius Bassus
    • Cremutius
  • Orators
    • Cicero
    • Asinius Pollio
    • Messala
    • Caesar
    • Caelius
    • Calvus
    • Servius Sulpicius
    • Cassius Severus
  • Philosophers
    • Cicero
    • Brutus
    • Cornelius Celsus
    • Plautus
    • Catius
    • Seneca
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