Ancient Greece

Herodotus and the Road to History

Jeanne Bendick

This is a brief, engaging and heavily illustrated biography of the world's first historian. Herodotus lived in the Greek city of Halicarnassus in the Persian empire during the 5th century BC. His situation and personality put him an ideal place to tell the fascinating stories of the Persian Wars (think Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis) and to travel extensively and collect stories from all over. His original writings are a fascinating read for upper high school or college.

Greek Classics

Fran Rutherford
James Rutherford

This one volume, written especially for homeschooled high schoolers, provides study questions to reflect on while reading the Greek classics. The study questions are simple and aid in comprehension. If you read the questions before reading the related passage, they give you a sense of what to look for, thus helping you stay focused on challenging subject matter. They're also helpful in discussions with an adult afterwards to help make sure that the student has comprehended the book and as starting points for further discussion on important ideas contained in the book.

The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus

Book cover: 'The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus'

This 48-page picture book is designed to introduce early-elementary-aged children to the myths of Ancient Greece through text and pictures. We have several books in our family library by Aliki, and I was prepared to enjoy this one just as much. However, I was disappointed in both the artwork and the presentation of the myths.

The Genealogy of Greek Mythology

Book cover: 'The Genealogy of Greek Mythology'
Vanessa James

"An Illustrated Family Tree of Greek Myth from the First Gods to the Founders of Rome" This unique fold-out book helps readers make connections between various classical stories from sources such as: Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles by organizing them into a "family tree". One side of the chart depicts the "gods" and the other side shows their mortal offspring. The interconnecting red lines between sides help you easily trace the connections and the book can easily be flipped from side to side when a small portion is unfolded.

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths

Book cover: 'D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths'
Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

This was first published in 1962 and is a wonderful book of Greek mythology. It tells the stories of the gods, goddesses, and heroes of Ancient Greece. Details of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are included, as well as the Argo, the Argonauts, and Jason's quest for the golden fleece. Some of the references of the legends are sparce and would need further references. (I would recommend Padric Colum's books, The Golden Fleece and The Children's Homer.) The book is highlighted with beautiful drawings, elaborate family trees, and a large map.

The Legend of Odysseus

Peter Connolly

The Legend of Odysseus, by British author Peter Connolly, was first published in 1986. It tells the legend of the Trojan War and of the homecoming of Odysseus. The Legend of Odysseus is a wonderful recounting of Homer's classic tales, The Iliad and The Odyessey. The most outstanding feature is the vivid, full-color drawings in every page. This book is suitable for most children, ages 10-16. There are additonal informative pages telling about life in Ancient Greece. My only caution is that it has some questionable pictures in it.

The Children's Homer

Book cover: 'The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy'
Padraic Colum

The Children's Homer is an epic adventure about the Trojan War and the homecoming of Odysseus. The two famous tales, The Iliad and The Odyssey, were originally written by Homer, a renowned poet in Ancient Greece. Mr. Colum retells these stories for us. My family used this book as a read-aloud, and enjoyed it immensely. We were all thrilled by the gripping stories and the detailed pictures. It's an excellent book to use when studing Anciect Greece. I would give it five *****rating.

Stories from Herodotus

Glanville Downey
Enrico Arno

This young people's version of some of the most famous stories from Herodotus focuses primarily on the Persian Wars - most notably the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis. This is a very accessible volume for young people (and makes a great read-aloud) collecting many of the most interesting stories from Herodotus and presenting them in a suitable format for children (some of the content in the unabridged Herodotus have mature themes).

History Links: Unit Six – Ancient Greece

Jennifer Alles
Barbara Little
Kim Staggenborg

Unit Studies, or integrated curriculum, present a wonderful opportunity to study one topic in depth while taking side-trips to study related topics. The History Links units have been prepared to help Catholic families study a broad range of subjects, over all grade levels, organized by historical time period, from a Catholic point of view. That doesn't sound too easy to do, but the authors have made it so.


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