Reading Group - The Greek and Roman World
- In case anybody here is interested? We are staying with the Greeks for almost a year. We
are currently discussing Peter Green's "The Greco-Persian Wars". It is excellent!
This group is devoted towards the ancient world around the Mediterranean. The Greek and
Roman World will be explored through modern and ancient histories, literature, poetry,
plays and other sources that can help us understand the time period. Examples of
selections that could be read are literature and histories from the times such as Homer's
powerful epics, Sappho's love poems, the philosophy of Plato, the plays of Sophocles and
Euripides, Herodotus examining the Persian wars, Xenophon's story of the march of the
ten thousand, Livy's history of Rome, Plutarch's Lives, Arrian describing the campaigns of
Alexander, Tacitus' Histories and Annals, The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, the
intrigues of the emperors described by Suetonius, Virgil's epic the Aenid and many more.
We can read books about the Greek and Roman pantheons of gods and stories about their
heroes. There are many modern works of history, art and archaeology that can guide us
such as Syme's history of the Roman Republic, Gibbon, the new evidence about the demise
of the Roman Legions up in the forests of Germanica, recent and older biographies (Caesar
(Goldsworthy), Augustus and Alexander the Great (Fox/Green)), Veyne et al looking at
social life in the Roman Empire in 'A History of the Private Life" and others. It is a
kaleidoscope of old and new books illuminating the past as well as our heritage from the
Greek and Roman cultures.
As a foundation for our entry into this world we will initially put a strong emphasis on the
Greek world. This will be followed by a similar emphasis on the Roman world in late 2007.
Oct/Nov: Peter Green - The Greco-Persian Wars
Nov 5 Part 3
Dec/Jan : Herodotus - The Histories [Dec 6, 2006]
Feb/Mar: Kagan - The Peloponnesian War
Apr/May: Thucydides - The Peloponnesian War
June: Davidson - Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens
July: Fox - Alexander the Great
Aug: Green - Alexander to Actium