Category: Omnibus Studies

The Iliad

Did the Trojan War really happen?   The Late Bronze Age saw the fall of many civilizations, a time chronicled for Israel in the book of Judges. A timeline for…

Did the Trojan War really happen?   The Late Bronze Age saw the fall of many civilizations, a time chronicled for Israel in the book of Judges.

A timeline for Mycenaean civilization, the era of the Trojan War, the Minoans, and the so-called Dorian Invasion is available.  The Timeline.

See ” In Search of the Trojan War “, a multipart BBC documentary providing an interesting background of the work and its critical-historical context.

Was Homer an actual poet?  The unity of the composition, originally an oral Epic, shows a highly focused intention.

Geometric Outline of the Text by Cedric Whitman

(Whitman, Cedric Hubbell. Homer and the Heroic Tradition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1965. Print.)

Geometric Iliad

Geometric relationship of the Iliad

Book I 

The Rage of Achilles sets the scene.  The conflict between Agamemnon and Achilles soon becomes a conflict between Zeus and Hera.  Zeus Broods over his choices.

Book II

Zeus initiates his plan in a deceptive dream.   The Achaeans are deceived into prosecuting the war.  The Catalog of Ships counts off the participants.

catalog of ships map

This map connects the names and the geography of Mycenae

Book III

A duel between Menelaus and Paris is thwarted by the intervention of of Aphrodite.  The Judgment of Paris and its ramifications, as well as its reflection on the characters of Aphrodite and Paris, the involvement of Helen and her doom are shown.

Book IV

Zeus and Hera come to an understanding concerning the destruction of cities.   Pandarus unleashes a treacherous arrow, wounding Menelaus.  Agamemnon marshals his troops, and war begins in earnest.  Treachery of the Trojans.

Book V

Diomedes begins his warring bolstered by Athena.  Pandarus tries to bring him down with an arrow, but he is too favored to be stopped.  Aphrodite, Apollo, then Ares are subdued, Hera and Athena being matchless.

Book VI

Hector marshals his troops back in Troy.  Glaucus meets Diomedes, and they reflect on man and friendship.  Hector meets with Andromache, and wishes the future for Astyanax.  This is the pity of the Trojans.

Book VII

A duel is set in the plains.   The hero Hector meets with the Giant Ajax and they battle each other to a draw.  Gifts are exchanged and piety reigns.


Zeus sets the battle in motion with his lightening.  Hera and Athena are outraged, but restrained from interference.  Zeus pronounces his doom, and Troy pushes to across the plains to encamp in the night, waiting to assault the Argive ships in the morning.

Book IX

Agamemnon is distraught, his advisor Nestor advises reconciliation with Achilles.   Three heroes, Odysseus, Nestor, and Ajax are appointed to appeal the Argives case to Achilles.   Achilles sleeps on it.

Book X

Odysseus and Diomedes execute a night raid into the plains below Troy.   They destroy sleeping men and steal horses.  They encounter a Trojan infiltrator, Dolon, who they interrogate and execute.

Book XI

Dawn rises, and Eris (strife) shouts Agamemnon on to battle.  The Mycenaean chief battles forward, and Hector who is advised by Zeus withdraws.   In succession, Agamemnon, Diomedes and Odysseus receive wounds and withdraw.   Achilles, concerned over the rout, sends Patroclus to investigate where he meets Nestor, who suggests that Patroclus himself should lead the Myrmidons out to fight.

Book XII

Hector continues the assault.   An evil bird omen appears, and Polydamas warns Hector of his fate, but Hector seizes the opportunity and pushes the fight through the Achaean trenches.   Sarpedon and Glaucus commit to the assault.


During a lull in Zeus’ attention, Poseidon takes the Argives plight in his hands, and helps them to drive the Trojans back.   Polydamas urges Hector to regroup, and he does.   Zeus returns and the Trojans push the Argives back once again.

Book XIV

Now the wounded trio of Odysseus, Agamemnon and Diomedes must return to direct their flagging troops from the rear.  Hera distracts Zeus and returns Poseidon to the fight.   Ajax severely wounds Hector with a thrown boulder.

Book XV

Zeus awakens and in rage returns to the battle.  Zeus reveals his doomsday plan to the frightened Hera, who returns in horrified resignation to Olympus.   Patroclus, now alarmed at the Trojans reaching the ships, resolves to beg Achilles to intervene.

Book XVI

Achilles’ rage against Agamemnon is unabated.  He suggests that Patroclus borrow his armor, and lead the Myrmidons forth himself, being careful to only drive the Trojans away, but not to pursue them to Troy.  Patroclus, exulting in his success in battle, not only pursues the Trojans to the walls, but assaults Apollo himself, who ultimately kills Patroclus.

Iliad reading guide XVI


Menelaus sets forth to recover Patroclus’ corpse.  Hector decides to don the armor of Achilles and enter the struggle for the body.   The Argives manage to keep the body of Patroclus, retreating with it headlong to the ships and the beach.

Iliad Reading Guide XVII


Achilles now learns of the death of his best friend.   Achilles weeps, decides his doom in battle, and utters the loud cry from the trench, stopping the battle.   Hephaestus sets to making new armor for the warrior.

Iliad Reading Guide XVIII

Book XIX

Achilles meets now with Agamemnon.   He refuses food and drink, hungry only for battle.  His horse prophesies his death, and Achilles, telling him not to waste his breath, drives his chariot forward.

Iliad Reading Guide XIX

Book XX

Zeus sets the gods loose to war among themselves with the Trojans and Greeks.  Achilles faces Aeneas, who is saved by the gods.   Achilles blazes forward.

Iliad Guide XX

Book XXI

Achilles, killing so many men in the river bed, offends the river god Scamander.   Achilles is nearly overwhelmed fighting the river itself, but is  saved as Hephaestus’ fire assaults the torrent.  Apollo diverts the ravening Achilles by a ruse, leading him far from the Trojan walls.

Iliad Guide XXI


The Trojans open their gates to allow their army to shelter within the walls.   Hector waits for Achilles outside, tricked by Athena into believing his brother Deiphobus is there to fight with him.   Achilles chases Hector around the city three times then kills Hector, dragging off the body behind his chariot.


Achilles prepares for the funeral games of Patroclus.   The Argive heroes compete in a series of contests and Achilles awards prizes.   The funeral pyre is built, massive sacrifices, including twelve Trojans, are slaughtered and burned along with Patroclus’ corpse.


The gods are shocked and insulted by Achilles treatment of the body of Hector.   Thetis is sent to beg Achilles to release the body, and king Priam journeys clandestinely through the Argive lines to approach Achilles.   Achilles and Priam grieve together,  agreeing to a funeral truce as Priam retrieves the body of his son for burial.



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The History of the Peloponnesian War is noted as the first attempt at an objective history.  We read of the events leading to the war, and the rise and fall…

The History of the Peloponnesian War is noted as the first attempt at an objective history.  We read of the events leading to the war, and the rise and fall of the Athenian League in the course of this war.  We study democracy, geography and the Just War.  The sovereignty of states becomes an issue.
I. book 1 – 1.2
Exordium – the greatest movement in history
II. book 1.2 – 1.24
The Archeology – relative size of the Trojan War, history of the Hellenes
III. book 1.24 – 1.89
Epidamnus – the outbreak of hostilities in unassociated colonies


Epidamnus, Corcyra, Corinth

IV. book 1.89 – 118
The Pentecontaetia
V. book 118 – 1.146

The causes of war between the Greek powers

VI. book2-book5.24

The ‘Archidamean’ or ‘ten year’ war.  Following the battle of Amphipolis (422 BC), a ‘fifty year treaty’ of alliance between Sparta and Athens is established.

VII. book 5.24 – book 5.116

The so-called Peace of Nicias is concluded.

VIII. book 6 – 6.105

Alcibiades convinces the Athenians to invade Sicily.

IX. book7

Sparta enters the campaign in Sicily in earnest – The Decelean War phase begins.

X. book 8

Recounting the events of 413 to 411, the book ends suddenly, leading us to think that Thucydides died before he could finish his work.

Link to Peloponnesian Timeline

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Triumph of the West

A BBC video series hosted by J.M. Roberts, author of The New Penguin History of the World. Episodes: Dangerous Gifts A New Direction The Heart of the West The World’s Debate…

A BBC video series hosted by J.M. Roberts, author of The New Penguin History of the World.


Dangerous Gifts

A New Direction

The Heart of the West

The World’s Debate

East of Europe

The Age of Light

The East is Red

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Veritas Press Reading List

Ancient Omnibus I Primary • Omnibus I Text with Teacher CD-ROM • Gilgamesh • The Codes of Hammurabi and Moses • The Odyssey • The Landmark Herodotus • Oresteia Trilogy…

Ancient Omnibus I


Omnibus I Text with Teacher CD-ROM
• Gilgamesh
• The Codes of Hammurabi and Moses
The Odyssey
• The Landmark Herodotus
• Oresteia Trilogy
• Plutarch`s Lives Vol. 1
• The Theban Trilogy
• The Last Days of Socrates
• Early History of Rome
The Aeneid
• The Twelve Caesars
• Julius Caesar

• Chosen by God
• Till We Have Faces
• The Magician’s Nephew
• The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
• The Horse and His Boy
• Prince Caspian
• The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
• The Silver Chair
• The Last Battle
• The Best Things in Life
• Unaborted Socrates
• The Eagle of the Ninth
• The Screwtape Letters
• The Holiness of God

Medieval Omnibus II


Omnibus II Text with Teacher’s CD
• Eusebius: The Church History
• Confessions
• On the Incarnation of Our Lord
• Ecclesiastical History of the English People
• The Rule of St. Benedict
• Beowulf
• The Song of Roland
History of the Kings of Britain
• Macbeth
• Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
• The Divine Comedy: Inferno
• The Canterbury Tales
• The Bondage of the Will

• The Hobbit
• The Fellowship of the Ring
• The Nine Tailors
• The Dragon and the Raven
• The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
• A Midsummer Night’s Dream
• Winning His Spurs
• The Two Towers
• Henry V
• Richard III
• The Return of the King

Modern Omnibus III


Omnibus III Text with Teacher CD-ROM

• The Westminster Confession of Faith
• The Pilgrim’s Progress
• Of Plymouth Plantation
• The Social Contract
• The Federalist Papers
• The Anti-Federalist Papers
• A Tale of Two Cities
• Reflections on the Revolution in France
• Uncle Tom’s Cabin
• Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings
• The Communist Manifesto
• The Great Gatsby
• Mein Kampf
• 1984


• The New Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
• Frankenstein
• Pride and Prejudice
• Gulliver’s Travels
• Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography
• The Autobiography of Charles G. Finney
• The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
• Little Women
• The Killer Angels
• Christianity and Liberalism
• Old Man and the Sea
• Animal Farm
• Death of a Salesman
• Postmodern Times
• How Should We Then Live?

Ancient Omnibus IV


The Iliad
• Landmark Thucydides
• The Bacchae and Other Plays
• Lysistra and Other Plays
• The Republic – Plato
• Introduction to Aristotle
• The New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha
• Thirteen Books of Euclid’s Elements, Vol. 1
• The War with Hannibal
• On the Nature of Things
• Cicero
• Annals of Imperial Rome
• Eclogues and Georgics
• Metamorphoses
• Josephus
• Meditations
• The Apostolic Fathers

• Aesop’s Fables
• Death on the Nile
• Troilus and Cressida
• Augustus Caesar’s World
• Art and the Bible
• The Lost World
• Knowing God
• Antony and Cleopatra
• Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
• Phantastes
• Mythology
• Plutarch’s Lives Vol. 2
• Desiring God

Medieval Omnibus V


• The City of God
• Consolation of Philosophy
• William of Malmesbury’s Chronicle of the Kings
• Two Lives of Charlemagne
• Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas
• Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise
• The Lives of Thomas Becket
• Canterbury Tales
• The Prince
• The Praise of Folly
• Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings
• St. Matthew`s Passion CD Set
• Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves
• Romeo and Juliet


• Saga of the Volsungs
• The Koran
• Le Morte D`Arthur
• Idylls of the King
• A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur`s Court
• St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assissi
• The Great Divorce
• Name of the Rose
• The Decameron
• A Distant Mirror
• The Travels of Marco Polo
• Othello
• Here I Stand
• Heidelberg Catechism
• George Herbert: The complete English Poems
• Don Quixote
• Tartuffe

Modern Omnibus VI


Omnibus VI Text with Teacher CD-ROM
• Paradise Lost
• Robinson Crusoe
• Leviathan
• Pensees
• Emma
• Portable Enlightenment Reader
• Wealth of Nations
• Origin and Principles of the American Revolution
• Moby Dick
• Democracy in America
• Huckleberry Finn
• Notes from Underground
• Battle Cry of Freedom
• Beyond Good and Evil
• All Quiet on the Western Front
• The Sun Also Rises
• Citizen Soldiers
• One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
• The Stranger
• I Have a Dream & Letter from a Birmingham Jail
• Brave New World


• On Christian Doctrine
• Out of the Silent Planet
• Perelandra
• Hamlet
• Common Sense
• John Adams
• Red Badge of Courage
• Self-Reliance
• Civil Disobedience
• Leaves of Grass
• Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
• The Picture of Dorian Gray
• Interpretation of Dreams
• The Guns of August
• That Hideous Strength
• Heart of Darkness
• The Jungle
• 50 Great Short Stories
• Poetry of T.S. Eliot

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Western Civilization

What is Europe? What is Western Civilization? Some matter for thought here.

Find Episode 1 of Kenneth Clark’s ‘Civilization’ here.

Whether we understand the genesis of Western Civilization as begun with the Greeks or the Church, we have an idea of what it is and is not.  Enemies of Western Civilization still exist as they have throughout the history of our culture.  Oddly, many of them were raised in the privilege of the western experience, proving the axiom that “civilizations are conquered from within long before they succumb to the enemies from without”.

The Triumph of the West

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