Friday, December 14, 2007

Updated Schedule for December

As usual, life has once again intervened and I have had to let my reading program slide. I am thankful for the dedicated readers we have on our group and how they endeavor to persevere despite my lackadaisical approach to running our list! With the Christmas Holiday's fast approaching, I would like for us to take a well-deserved break in reading and rejoin after the first of the year. In looking over our schedule, I see that we have skipped over Plutarch and are marching right on through Tertullian.

So for those that would like to read over the break, here are some suggested reading links for Tertullian:

Wikipedia article on Tertullian (good general background)

followed by time spent at>

The Tertullian Project

The Noddy Guide to Tertullian

A Popular Modernising Tale

Famous Quotes

Who read Tertullian in Antiquity

The Renaissance Rediscovery

Selected Works

I have lost my link to the Great Books and am quite distressed. This listing gave me a brief rundown of each writers most famous work. It was indeed handy. Since Tertullian wrote many, many short works, I am simply going to suggest you browse through this section here and choose any that are of interest to you: (read introduction in English) The links are commentary on each work. You will find a listing of English translations of his works here:

If you decide you would like to read the commentary, please do so. Read as much or as little as you like and after the break, we will discuss anything that touched your heart or stirred your soul.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed Hanukkah!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Early Church History

Fall has finally arrived and school is in session. Arete Classical Studies Program begins it's fall reading schedule on October 1, 2007. Please join us as we read and study the following GREAT BOOKS:

Antiquities of the Jews by Titus Flavius Josephus

Josephus (37 – sometime after 100 CE), who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus, was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.

Parallel Lives by Plutarch

Mestrius Plutarchus (c. 46 AD - 127 AD), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in Chaeronea, Boeotia [Greece], a town about twenty miles east of Delphi. His oeuvre (work of art) consists of the Parallel Lives and the Moralia.

Writings of Tertullian

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. 155–230) was a church leader and prolific author of Early Christianity. He also was a notable early Christian apologist. Tertullian, a Romanized African, was born, lived and died in Carthage, in what is today Tunisia.

Schedule of Readings
  • October 1-31, 2007: Josephus
  • November 1-30, 2007: Selected lives of Plutarch
  • December 1-20, 2007: Writings of Tertullian along with some philosophical discussion on early Church history. Possibly will require time in January to complete.
Biographical Information
Online Texts
Suggested Pacing

All of these writings with the exception of the Lives are short and easy to read. Josephus's work is 20 chapters long with each chapter approximately 3 pages in MS Word. Plutarch's Lives are each around 20-30 pages long. We will be reading select Lives and will read them in Parallel the way Plutarch originally wrote them. Tertullian's writing is approximately 50 chapters with each chapter approximately 2 pages in MS Word.
  • Josephus should take us five weeks to complete. Each week plan on reading 4-5 chapters or about 12 to 15 pages.
  • Plutarch will take us five weeks to complete. We will look at 4-5 of the most well-known Lives.
  • Tertullian will take us five weeks to complete. Plan on reading 10 chapters or about 20 pages each week. We will spend some time looking at the other philosophers of the period, most namely Origen.
Class Discussion

Class discussion is encouraged by not required for participation. Study notes will be provided whenever possible, however, we encourage you to read and think deeply on each work and then give a thoughtful opinion or your impression of each piece. There are no right or wrong anwers so enjoy this study and learn something new from it.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Ovid's Metamorphoses

Publius Ovidius Naso (Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC – Tomis, now Constanţa AD 17), a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. Ranked alongside Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature, Ovid was generally considered the greatest master of the elegiac couplet. His poetry, much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, had a decisive influence on European art and literature for centuries.

The Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world in terms according to Greek and Roman points of view. Probably written in 8 BCE, it has remained one of the most popular works of mythology, being the Classical work best known to medieval writers and thus having a great deal of influence on medieval poetry.


Friday, June 1, 2007

The Poetry of Horace

June 2007 begins our term study of Latin Poetry. We have several wonderful selections scheduled including: The Works of Horace (Odes, Epodes, Satires and Ars Poetica) and Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.

Background and Links to Texts

While in Greece, Horace joined the army of Brutus and fought at Philippi as military tribune. As a result of being on the losing side against Octavian and Mark Antony, Horace's family's property was confiscated.

In 39 B.C., after Augustus granted amnesty, Horace became a secretary in the Roman treasury. In 38, Horace met and became the client of the artists' patron Maecenas, who provided Horace with a villa in the Sabine Hills. Augustus favored Horace, commissioning him to write the Carmen Saeculare for the Secular Games of 17 B.C.

When Horace died at age 59, he left his estate to Augustus and was buried near the tomb of Maecenas.


Notes on Reading Horace

Many scholars prefer John Dryden's translation of Horace and usually we try and read the very best translation to date. However, Dryden's version is not available online. If you have access to it and would like to read it, please feel free to do so. For our online readers, we will be using Christopher Smart's translation (1767) which is available through a variety of free sources.

Complete Works from Project Gutenberg (Text)

  • The Works of Horace by Christopher Smart, A.M. of Pembroke College, Cambridge; includes Odes, Epodes, Satires and the Book of Poetry

Complete Works from Perseus (HTML/Web)

Note: While I find the Perseus system awkward to read, the advantage to using their website is that all the footnotes and scholary helps are conveniently located at the bottom of each page.

Complete Works Other Formats

Selected Works from Project Gutenberg (Text)

Study Questions

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Roman History

January 2007 begins our term study of Roman History. We have several wonderful books scheduled including: Julius Caesar's Military Commentaries, Livy's History of Rome and Seutonius' biographical account of the Twelve Caesars. We also will read through some Latin poetry and begin a short study on the early Church fathers.

Caesar's Military Histories

Our first book will be Julius Caesar's commentaries, considered to be among the finest source of military history from Antiquity. We will read two books, The Gallic Wars and The Civil Wars.

I have created PDF versions are here in case you want to print them off and bind as a book:

History of Rome by Titus Livius

Our second book will be Livy's History of Rome. Livy wrote several volumes which have been translated into 36 books. These are available for free download through Project Gutenberg. For our reading assignment, we will read Roman History, Books 1-3, by Livy (translated by John Henry Freese, Alfred John Church, and William Jackson Brodribb, 1904). I have also included Books 1-10, considered to be best introduction to Roman History, for those who wish to read a more direct version.

  • Roman History, Books 1-3 by Livy (trans. John Henry Freese, Alfred John Church, and William Jackson Brodribb, 1904)
  • History of Rome, Book I by Titus Livius at Project Gutenberg
  • Paperback edition of Early History of Rome: Books I - V of the History of Rome from Its Foundation, translated by Aubrey De Selincourt (Penguin USA, 1991).
  • Paperback edition of The War with Hannibal (book numbers unknown but probably 21-30), translated by Aubrey de Selincourt (Viking Press, 1965).
  • Paperback edition of Rome and Italy: Books VI - X of the History of Rome from Its Foundation, translated by Betty Radice (Penguin USA, 1982, 376 pg).
  • Paperback edition of Rome and the Mediterranean: Books XXXI - XLV of the History of Rome from Its Foundation, translated by Henry Bettenson (Viking Press, 1976, 699 pg).

A PDF version of this book is available here:

  • Roman History trans. by John Henry Freese, Alfred John Church, and William Jackson Brodribb, 1904
  • Livy, Book 1, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 2, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 3, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 4, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 5, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 6, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 7, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 8, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 9, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905
  • Livy, Book 10, Everyman's Library, trans. by Rev. Cannon Roberts, 1905

A HTML version of this book is available here:

The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquillus

Our third book on Roman History will be Seutonius's biography of the Twelve Casears. This book is available free through Project Gutenberg.

A PDF version of this book is available here:

Or read just separate lives in PDF (each Life is short):

HTML Portions are here:

Stay tuned for more...