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Classical Christian
Classical Education
at Home

Christine Miller

Classical Christian
Homeschooling Online Catalog: 2nd Grade History: The Classical World

This page last revised:
August 2003


Grammar Stage History
for 2nd Grade: The Classical World

Using the Online Catalog

This Page: Ancient Greece
The history of the Ancient Greeks is pivotal to understanding the growth of Western Civilization, and sets the world stage in more ways than one for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Next Page: Ancient Rome
Many of Rome’s institutions were incorporated part and parcel into those of Western Civilization, including representative government, federal government, and Roman law.

Classical World for Older Students
If you are beginning classical education or homeschooling with older grammar stage students, or need resources to fill in the facts of history with dialectic and rhetoric stage students, these will do that at a higher reading level.

Classical World Teacher’s Resources
The classical world blended with the foundation of the ancient world and the advent of Christianity to give us Western Civilization. These essential resources will help the homeschool parent grasp the big picture.

Ancient Greece

The Story of the Greeks is your narrative history spine for this section of the history study. In 115 brief chapters (most one to two pages in length), The Story of the Greeks covers Greek history from the Tower of Babel dispersion to the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC. The Story of the Greeks is intended to be a child’s first introduction to classical history in the grammar stage, and the chapters can be either read outloud by the teacher, or read silently by the child. Since The Story of the Greeks was written over 100 years ago before the dumbing down of American education, the rich vocabulary and literary style is also readily enjoyed by children of all ages, even into the higher stages of the trivium.

At the proper places in the narrative, set aside The Story of the Greeks for a day or two and read the following books to your children. (The proper place is indicated in each book’s description.) They elaborate on the events described in the narrative history, and were chosen specifically to provide a fuller picture of pivotal persons and events encountered in the narrative history study.

Not every additional book listed here is necessary to give children a complete knowledge of Greek history. Using only The Story of the Greeks will do that. Use these additional books as desired, some, all, or none.

Click to order The Story of the GreeksThe Story of the Greeks
H. A. Guerber

Far and above all other narrative histories of Greece for children, Guerber’s The Story of the Greeks is an excellent introduction to Ancient Greece. Rich in detail, effortlessly weaving the Biblical worldview throughout, Guerber’s history covers the complete scope of Grecian history from the early inhabitants through its incorporation as a province of Rome in 115 lessons. Best of all, the narrative reads like a story, nothing like the dry textbook histories we might remember from our own childhoods. We learn of her heroes: Oedipus, Paris, Achilles, Hector, Homer, Sparta, Lycurgus, Draco, Solon, the Greco- Persian wars, Leonidas, Athens, Pericles, the Peloponneisan War, Socrates, Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, and Greece’s great philosophers, scientists, and leaders. This captivating history has been recently reprinted from the 1896 edition of the text, is illustrated, and includes helpful maps and a comprehensive timeline harmonized with Greece’s own history as she herself has recorded it, and with biblical chronology.

Click to order D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek MythsD’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

“Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, winners of the Caldecott Medal, are author-artists of rare distinction. The folktale quality of their text--relaxed, humorous, earthy--is reflected in the handsome design and glowing color of their illustrations. Here they freshly describe the immortals of Olympus--mighty Zeus with his fistful of thunderbolts; mischievous Hermes; gray-eyed Athena, goddess of wisdom; Helios the sun; and the mortals that figure in the old tales: Asclepius, the first physician; Orpheus and his beloved Euridice; Helen of Troy--as they parade across the pages, their heroic deeds and petty squabbles illuminated in full dimension.” --The Publisher.
Introduce this book following chapter IV: Story of Deucalion, in The Story of the Greeks. When teaching Greek mythology, make the connections from the mythology to the true history which inspired the myths, to develop the biblical worldview in children concerning pagan mythologies. The story of Deucalion is the Greeks’ confused remembering of their ancestor Noah through his son Japtheth (Greek “Iapetos”, Roman “Jupiter”) and his grandson Javan (Greek “Ion”, from whence “Ionian” is derived). The separation of Father Sky (Roman "Uranus", Sumerian "An") from Mother Earth (Roman "Gaia", Sumerian "Ki") mirrors many ancient cultures who have heaven- earth separation myths, from their single place of origin at Babel, based on a perversion of Genesis 1:6-7. In Greek mythology, the Titans are evil giants, the result of the union of Sky and Earth. In ancient history, the Annunaki (Sumerian, Hebrew "Anakim") are evil giants, the children of Anki (Sumerian An + Ki, Hebrew "Anak", see Genesis chapter 6). The Pandora's Box myth contains clear elements of the true history of the entrance of sin, death, and everything evil into a perfect world: the first woman receives a gift which she is not to open (the first woman has access to fruit of which she is not to eat), and the result of her disobedience allows evil to enter the world. The Pandora's Box myth even has Hope remaining in the box, which the woman especially cherishes, mirroring the promise of the woman's Seed in Genesis 3:15. Another manifestation of the promised hero based in Genesis 3:15 in Greek mythology is found in Homer: Achilles, the invincible warrior who could only be wounded in the heel. The Persephone myth is a variation of the Babylonian myth of Ishtar and Tammuz, which again shows the root of Greek paganism to be the historical rebellion at Babel.

While children need to learn these myths to be culturally literate in Western Civlization, the main point to communicate to them is that myths arose from a confused half-remembrance of true history. Bits of true history became mixed with false stories; the false stories came from willful rebellion at Babel which in time degenerated to foolish ignorance. The Greeks, the descendents of Noah through Javan, forgot their true history and the true God, and all they had left of it was bits embedded in their mythology. In this way children will find it difficult to romanticize the Greek myths, and their appreciation for the accurate history contained in the Bible from the very beginning will be strengthened.

This book is also a 2nd Grade Literature suggestion.

Click to order The HeroesThe Heroes
Charles Kingsley

The stories of Jason and the Argonauts, Perseus and the head of Medusa, and Theseus and the Minotaur are told with power and grace by a master storyteller, Charles Kingsley. Kingsley’s wonderful retelling is back in print under the title Greek Fairy Tales. Another in-print alternative is The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles by Padraic Colum. The Kingsley edition is really the best there is; but if unsuccessful in obtaining a copy, the Colum edition will also work.
Introduce this book following chapter VII: Theseus Visits the Labyrinth, in The Story of the Greeks. Tell your children that now you will be putting aside the history for a few days to learn about the legendary heroes the Greeks honored, and what life was like back in the first days of Greece, when the people who were to become the Greeks were still simple farmers and herders, before her cities were strong and powerful, and before Greece was famous for her art, literature, science, and philosophy.
Out of Print. Search or via an author search using ‘kingsley’ and a title search using ‘heroes;’ see locating out of print books.

Click to order In Search of KnossosIn Search of Knossos
Giovanni Caselli

Subtitled: The Quest for the Minotaur’s Labyrinth. The legend of the Minotaur - the bull-headed monster slain by the Athenian hero Theseus - has captivated people since ancient times. Archaeologist Arthur Evans was determined to find out if there was any truth behind the myth. Digging on the island of Crete, he unearthed the magnificant palace of the ancient Minoans. In Search of Knossos tells the story of Evans’ discoveries. Superb illustrations invite the reader to share his excitement at unearthing an ancient civilization, and through this to learn about the everyday life of the Minoan people. Two-page spreads cover various aspects of Minoan life and history. Colorful, detailed drawings and photographs depict archaeological digs, buildings, interiors, architectural features, decorative arts, and artifacts. A number of maps are included.
Introduce this book following chapter VII: Theseus Visits the Labyrinth, in The Story of the Greeks.

Click to order Story of HerculesStory of Hercules
Robert Blaisdell

This delightful book for young readers tells the story of the immensely strong hero from his birth to his death and final ascension of Mount Olympus to live among the gods. Along the way young readers will enjoy Hercules’ many exploits, including slaying the Nemean lion, battling the centaurs, and dispatching the nine-headed hydra.
Introduce this book following chapter VII: Theseus Visits the Labyrinth, in The Story of the Greeks.

When your children ask where the fantastic legends of the Greeks came from, you can tell them that most legends have people and events in them that are exaggerated and impossible, but usually they begin with a grain of truth somewhere. For example, even though America is such a young country, we even have legends of Paul Bunyan with his big blue ox. The legends of Paul Bunyan illustrate in an exaggerated way the strength and skill of America’s early lumberjacks, and show how Americans must have been proud of their hard work and courage in doing such a difficult job.

In the same way, while Jason, Perseus, Theseus, and Hercules were probably real people, the tales of their exploits have been exaggerated to make them seem larger than life. The first commercial voyage to a strange country was a brave thing to do which benefited the people, so Jason is justly a hero, and the golden fleece probably represents the wealth the Greeks began to gain from trade. Snakes were symbols of demons and were worshipped by many ancient pagan cultures, and who knows what paganism or occultism Perseus either overcame or employed in ruling his people, back when the peoples of the nations had forgotten God?

As far as Theseus is concerned, many pagan cultures in the ancient world worshiped dieties with human bodies and animal heads - look at the gods of the Egyptians. A system of bull worship was prevalent throughout the ancient world at that time. The Assyrians had winged bulls built into their architecture; the Egyptians worshiped Apis, a bull-god, which God judged by bringing the plague on the cattle in Exodus, and when the Israelites rebelled against God in the wilderness, Aaron made for them an image of a calf, probably a bull. It is possible that the Minoans made human sacrifices to a bull diety, and Theseus was the hero who delivered the Athenians from a terrible Minoan tribute.

Hercules may have been an exceptionally strong and brave leader who delivered his people from attacks by wild beasts and may have even slain a dragon (the hydra of the tale), or dinosaur. Ancient peoples all have made heroes out of those who did similar deeds: Nimrod was known as a mighty hunter; Sigurd, Beowulf, and St. George all gained heroic status by slaying dragons (dinosaurs). We cannot know now where the truth ends and the fantasy begins exactly, but what we can know is that pagan peoples who had forgotten God may have had a dim recollection from their ancestors of a Hero who would one day save them, from God’s promise in Genesis 3:15, and in their despair and ignorance made and cherished heroes from their past to give themselves hope.

Click to order The Children’s HomerThe Children’s Homer
Padraic Colum

Colum retells in tight narrative form the tale of the siege of Troy as found in the Iliad, and the tale of the wanderings of Odysseus as found in the Odyssey. This is the best edition of Homer’s epics written for children today in print. Publisher’s Weekly says about it: “Colum’s stirring telling of the Greek epics is still unequaled as an introduction to the classic myths for young readers ... Illustrated with Pogany’s superb drawings, full of the driving force of the poetic prose.” I have rejected Rosemary Sutcliff’s Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus commonly found in homeschool catalogs for several reasons: her two books, for six times the price, tell with less detail, less literary power, and with Homer’s strong moral message watered down, what Colum takes one book to tell with detail, strength, and literary power; and some of the illustrations in The Wanderings of Odysseus are completely inappropriate for children, with several paintings of women with exposed torsos.
Introduce this book following chapter XVIII: The Burning of Troy, in The Story of the Greeks.

Click to order Ancient Greek OlympicsAncient Greek Olympics
Richard Woff

The Ancient Greek Olympics recounts the day-by-day activities of the ancient games: the athletes and their training, the spectators, the sporting events, the religious ceremonies, and the banquets. It guides the reader around the wonderful sights of ancient Olympia and provides an athlete’s view of the events. Some of them, like discus throwing and running, were similar to those of the modern Olympic Games. But others, such as chariot races, were very different. With more than 75 color illustrations, detailed sidebars, ancient athletic trivia, and sections on women at the Olympics and the birth of the modern Games, this book amplifies and illustrates the information brought out in the narrative history.
Introduce this book following chapter XXXXII: The Girls’ Games, in The Story of the Greeks.

Click to order Darius the GreatDarius the Great
Jacob Abbott

This wonderful biography for children of Darius the Great, the Great King, has been reprinted from the 19th century. This is the same Darius spoken of in Ezra and in the Old Testament prophecies. Darius, who had been a general under Cyrus and was of the nobility, and was thus related to Cyrus (although not directly), had siezed the throne some dozen years after Cyrus’ death from a usurper in 522 BC, and reigned over the vast Persian empire until his death in 486 BC. This is the same Darius who received Hippias, the exiled tyrant of Athens, and who began preparations for the invasion of Greece. The opulence and wealth in which the Persian kings lived far exceeded the wildest imagination of the Athenians, and the subservience which the people exhibited toward the Great King, and the absolute control he exercised over the life and death of his subjects was so different from the Athenian idea of citizen. The Athenian citizens had routinely revolted against and drove out tyrants rather than submit for long to those who would abuse their rights. The conflict between the Greeks and the Persians was really the first great conflict between the civilizations of the West and the East, and it is at this time that distinct separations can begin to be seen between them.
Introduce this book following chapter XLI: Hippias Visits Darius, in The Story of the Greeks.

Click to order Ancient GreeceAncient Greece
Peter Connolly

"In the 5th century BC Athens was home to some of the greatest artists and thinkers in history. Athenian ships ruled the sea, and their generals had defeated the mighty Persian army. But what was the city like, and what made it so special? Peter Connolly's Ancient Greece stunningly recreates the Athens of that time. Sail on an Athenian galley in the Battle of Salamis, discover how the philosopher Socrates ended up in a prison cell, and find out why young Athenians burned thier toys." This title covers the cities of Athens and Sparta, the Persian Empire, Daily Life, Athenian houses, Greek religion, Government, Work, Social Life, Sports and Games, and the Theater in the Golden Age of Greece during the age of Pericles.
Introduce this book following chapter LVIII: The Age of Pericles, in The Story of the Greeks.

Click to order Aesop for ChildrenAesop for Children
Milo Winter, illustrator

According to Herodotus, Aesop was a slave who lived in Samos in the 6th century BC, or during the Golden Age of Athens during the leadership of Pericles. His moral animal fables have delighted young and old for over two millennia. This fabulous full-color edition of the classic Aesop features the original illustrations of Milo Winter, and includes 126 of the best-loved fables, including such favorites as “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” “The Ants and the Grasshopper,” “The Goose and the Golden Egg,” “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” and “The Hare and the Tortoise.”
Introduce this book following chapter LVIII: The Age of Pericles, in The Story of the Greeks.

This book is also a 2nd Grade Literature suggestion.

Click to order Science in Ancient GreeceScience in Ancient Greece
Kathryn Gay

Science as a discipline began in ancient Greece with the famous Greek philosophers and their question, “What is true about the universe?” This book briefly introduces us to the most famous of the Greek philosopher-scientists, and their contributions to science, as well as Greek advances in mathematics and astronomy. This introduction assumes the truth of evolutionary theory, as the pagan (Greek) worldview leads to evolution.
Introduce this book following chapter LIX: The Teachings of Anaxagoras, in The Story of the Greeks.

Click to order Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great
John Gunther

This has got to be one of the better children’s biographies ever written. John Gunther tells the story of Alexander’s life with excitement and high-level interest, all the while leading you to think about the growing unrighteousness in his life. He does all this without ever sounding preachy or moralistic. Of course, it’s out of print, but this one is worth the effort to find.
Introduce this book following chapter CIII: The Death of Alexander, in The Story of the Greeks.
Out of Print. Search or via an author search using ‘john gunther’ and a title search using ‘alexander;’ see locating out of print books.

Click to order Cultural Atlas for Young People: Ancient GreeceCultural Atlas for Young People: Ancient Greece
Anton Powell

Beginning with a timeline that stretches from 1500 BC and the Mycenaean and Minoan civilizations through the empire of Alexander the Great ending in 240 BC, this book, like the others in the Cultural Atlas for Young People series, is lavishly illustrated with National Geographic- quality photos and full-page maps. Part One covers a history of Greece, including the Minoans and Mycenaeans, Homer’s Greece, the siege of Troy, aristocrats and poets, colonization, Magna Graecia and the Tyrants, Sparta, Athens and democracy, war against the Persian empire, Greek warships and soldiers, the Peloponnesian Wars, the siege of Plataia, Greek coins, trade, seafaring, and slaves, the Spartan empire and the ten thousand, King Philip and the rise of Macedon, the royal tombs at Macedon, Alexander’s campaigns, and the successor kingdoms. Part Two covers the culture and society of the different regions of Greece, and Knossos and Mycenae. An excellent resource.
Use this book during the entire Ancient Greece study as a supplement for the helpful full-page maps, beautiful photographs of artifacts, historical sites, and art and architecture, and when the topics covered are mentioned in The Story of the Greeks or any of the other books used (for example, use the illustrated two-page spread on the siege of Plataea when reading the brief account the battle with the Persians in Chapter LIII: The Battles of Salamis and Plataea).
Out of Print. Search or via an author search using ‘anton powell’ and a title search using ‘ancient greece;’ see locating out of print books.

Go to 2nd Grade History: Ancient Rome

Using the Online Catalog

This online catalog is made possible through an association with Barnes& Clicking on the book title or book cover will take you to Barnes&’s information page about that book. You can look at its price, availability, any discounts currently taken for that title, reviews of the book, and other information, as well as order it if you decide to purchase the book. You can even place books in your shopping cart and save them for purchase at a later time. You can continue to add or delete books from your shopping cart until you are satisfied with your order and ready to purchase. Clicking on any link to Barnes& will open a new window; to return to CCH, click on the “Window” menu on your browser’s menu bar, and choose Classical Christian Homeschooling.

Locating Out of Print Books
Sometimes books go out of print, or the publisher runs out of stock. Any book not available from Barnes& for any reason can be searched using, a book shopping site which will scan Barnes& as well as, Powell’s Books, Book Close Outs and many other new and used book sites. Be sure to also check for out of print book searches.

If all else fails, and you cannot find a book you need, check it out from the library, or request it from your library through interlibrary loan. Once you have the book home, take it to a copy store and copy it. You can even have color copies done of key maps or photographs. Copy stores can now do nice bindings on your copy projects. The U.S. Copyright Law contains a fair use provision which allows an educator to make a single copy of out of print (not in print) works if needed for use in teaching (not for profit or publication). Then return the book to the library, and you have your own book to keep, usually for less than it would be from a collector’s book shop.

Still have questions? Ask me!

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