The Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Literature
by Cyndy Shearer
Our high school study of literature runs in parallel to our study of history. While our ninth grade students are studying ancient history, we also have them study ancient literature. Studying the two subjects together makes each class a richer experience.
This inductive study focuses on the texts and gives detailed reading assignments, observation questions, and discussion questions. The book is intended to kind a parent and student, teacher and student, or tutor and student as they read the important works of literature from Babylon and Greece and study them together. The texts studied include the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, and Antigone.
The text, analysis, and discussion questions are all written from a biblical, Christian worldview.
UNIT ONE is based on a study of Daniel 1-4 and focuses on the question, “Why should a Christian study pagan literature?” The question is answered
using the biblical examples of Daniel in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar and Paul on Mars Hill in Athens.
UNIT TWO is a review of Genesis 1-11.
UNIT THREE focuses on The Epic of Gilgamesh, and analyzes what Babylonian religion taught about creation and the nature of God.
UNIT FOUR is a 6-week, in-depth study of Homer’s Odyssey, with an emphasis on the Greek notions of virtue, excellence, and the hero.
UNIT FIVE is a six-week study of Sophocles’ great tragic trilogy, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonnus, and Antigone.
UNIT SIX is a four-week study of the modern French playwright Anouilh’s retelling of Antigone, with a focus on how one’s worldview affects one’s notions of the heroic and the tragic.