High School - Great Books Program

Readings

 

Below you will find the four year reading list for our Great Books Program for the 2013/14 academic year, beginning with the Greek year of the program.  In addition to the readings and two hour discussions each week, the students write papers which are evaluated, marked, and returned to them.  For students on our regular track the papers are generally about 900 words in length and there are two assigned each semester.  Our college track students write two 1800-2000 word essays each semester in addition to weekly writing assignments pertaining to each week's reading.  Reading and discussing great works is tremendously helpful to students in the development of their ability to write well.

Please note in the lists below that some of the selections are marked with an asterisk.  We read selections from those texts rather than the entire work. 

Eighty percent [80%] of the weekly readings can be found in Britannica's Great Books of the Western World 60 volume set. 

First semester classes begin the week of September 3 - 6.
Second semester classes begin the week of January 21 - 24.

YEAR 1 -  2014/15     Great Books Program
 First Year - The Ancient Greeks

Week First Semester
NOTA BENE: Reading before the second class: Theogony - Hesiod; Prometheus Bound - Aeschylus
1 Orientation:  Intro to the Great Books & Socratic Discussion. The Great Conversation, Adler
2 Theogony - Hesiod
Prometheus Bound - Aeschylus
3 The Iliad - Homer
4 The Iliad - Homer
5 The Odyssey - Homer
6 The Odyssey - Homer
7 Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides -       Aeschylus
8 Trojan Women, Alcestis - Euripedes
9 Aesop's Fables* - Aesop
10 Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus - Sophocles  
11 Antigone - Sophocles, Hippolytus - Euripides
12 Histories* - Herodotus 
13 Thanksgiving week -   No classes on Thurs. and Friday [11/27 & 28]
14 Histories* - Herodotus
15  Histories* - Herodotus
16  Lycurgus, Solon, Pericles, Alcibiades - Plutarch
17.

Oral Exams (December 9 - 23)

Week

Second Semester

18

Medea, Bacchae - Euripedes

19 Peloponnesian War*  - Thucydides
20 Peloponnesian War * Thucydides
21 Fragments* - Presocratic Philosophers
22 Ion, Meno - Plato  
23 Gorgias - Plato
24 Republic* - Plato
25 Symposium - Plato
26 Apology, Euthyphro - Plato 
27 Crito, Phaedo - Plato
28 Spring Break - March 30 - April 10
29

Spring Break - March 30 - April 10

30 Poetics, On the Heavens*, On the Soul* - Aristotle
31 Ethics*, Metaphysics* - Aristotle
32 Aristides, Alexander - Plutarch
33 The Oath, On Ancient Medicine, On Airs, Waters, Places - Hippocrates
34 Elements*, Euclid
   35 Oral Exams (May 19-30)
   
   
   
   
   
   

*Selections Only

Classes begin the week of September 3 - 6.
Second semester classes begin the week of January 21 - 24.

YEAR 2 -  2014/15    Great Books Program
 Second Year - Roman Readings

Week First Semester
1 Aeneid - Virgil
2 Aeneid - Virgil
3 Livy*
4 Livy*
5

Plutarch: Romulus, Numa Pomulus, Coriolanus, Caesar

6

Conquest of Gaul - Caesar

7 Plutarch: Cato the Younger, Antony, Brutus, Cicero
8 On Friendship, On Duties -- Cicero
9 Annals* - Tacitus
10 On the Nature of Things* - Lucretius
11 Discourses*- Epictitus; Meditations* - Marcus Aurelius
12 Almagest - Ptolemy 
13 On the Natural Faculties - Galen
No classes on Thurs. and Friday [11/27 & 28]
14 Enneads* - Plotinus
15 Old Testament - Genesis
16 Oral exams - [Dec. 9 -23]

  

*Selections Only

Week

Second Semester

17

New Testament*

18 Apocalypse (Book of
Revelation)- John
19 Confessions - Augustine
20 Confessions - Augustine
21 Consolation of Philosophy - Boethius
22 City of God* - St. Augustine
23

City of God* - St. Augustine

24 Qu'ran*; Muhammed 
25  History of the English People - Bede
26

Sir Galahad - Tennyson

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

27 Spring Break - March 30 - April 10
28 Spring Break - March 30 - April 10
29 Memoirs of the Crusades; Crusade of St. Louis - Al-Makrisi
30

Imitation of Christ - Kempis

31 The Divine Comedy- Dante
32 The Divine Comedy - Dante
33 The Divine Comedy- Dante
34 Oral Exams (May 19-30)

Classes begin the week of September 3 - 6.
Second semester classes begin the week of January 21 - 24.

YEAR 3 -  2014/15   Great Books Program
 Third Year - Medieval Readings

Week First Semester
1 Canterbury Tales  - Chaucer
2 Canterbury Tales  - Chaucer
3 Aquinas*
4 Aquinas*
5 Aquinas*
6 Aquinas*
7 Aquinas*
8

The Prince - Machiavelli

9 Utopia - Sir Thomas More
10

Praise of Folly - Erasmus  

11 On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres* - Copernicus
12 Institutes of the Christian Relgion* - Calvin
13 Essays* - Montaigne
No classes on Thurs. and Friday [11/27 & 28]
14 Don Quixote* - Cervantes
15 Don Quixote* - Cervantes
16 Oral Exams - (Dec.9 - 23)
   

*Selections Only

Week

Second Semester

17

Comedy of Errors,  Shakespeare

18

A Midsummer's Night's Dream;  Shakespeare

19 The Taming of the Shrew - William Shakespeare
20 Coriolanus - Shakespeare
21 Julius Caesar - Shakespeare
22  Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences* - Galileo
23 The Merchant of Venice - Shakespeare
24 Henry V - Shakespeare
25

Rules for the Direction of the Mind*, Discourse on Method*, Meditations- Descartes

26 The New Atlantis and Novum Organum* - Bacon 
27 Spring Break - March 30 - April 10
28 Spring Break - March 30 - April 10
29

Leviathan* - Hobbes

30

Paradise Lost - Milton

31

Paradise Lost - Milton

32 Pensees* - Pascal
33 Romeo & Juliet - Wm. Shakespeare
34 Oral Exams - (May 19-30)

Classes begin the week of September 3 - 6.
Second semester classes begin the week of January 21 - 24.

 

YEAR 4 -  2014/15     Great Books Program
 Fourth Year - Modern Readings

Week First Semester
1

Hamlet - Wm. Shakespeare

2 Othello - William Shakespeare
3  MacBeth - William Shakespeare
4 King Lear  - William Shakespeare
5 The Tempest - William Shakespeare
6 Tartuffe - Moliere; Phaedra, Racine
7

Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift

8 Essay Concerning Human Knowledge*, Second Essay on Civil Government*, Letter on Toleration* -John Locke (
9 Essay Concerning Human Knowledge*, Second Essay on Civil Government*, Letter on Toleration* - John Locke
10

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, - David Hume

11 The Social Contract*, On the Origin of Inequality* - Jean-Jacques Rousseau
12 The Federalist Papers*; - Q 105, Art. 1 - Aquinas
13 U.S. Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, & Constitution
No classes on Thurs. and Friday [11/27 & 28]
14 Democracy in America*, - De Tocqueville; Representative Government*, J.S, Mill
15 Emma Jane Austen
16 Oral Exams (Dec. 9 - 23)

*Selections Only

Week

Second Semester

17

Critique of Pure Reason*, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals* - Immanuel Kant

18 Faust - Goethe
19 Philosophy of Right*, The Philosophy of History* - Georg Hegel
20 War and Peace* - Tolstoy
21 War and Peace - Tolstoy
22 The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky
23 The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky
24 Wealth of Nations* - Adam Smith; Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx
25 1st & 2nd Inaugural Addresses, Gettysburg Address; Emancipation Proclamation - Abraham Lincoln
26 Walden, Civil Disobedience - Henry David Thoreau
27 Spring Break - March 30 - April 10
28

Spring Break - March 30 - April 10

29

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

30 The Origin of Species* - Charles Darwin
31

Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

32

Relativity: The Special and General Theory - Einstein

33 My Antonia - Willa Cather
34 Oral Exams (May 19 - 30)


 

"This has been a wonderful year on-line for Jack and Emily. I have enjoyed all the topics and the discussions were so impressive. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this."
M.T., California

"Our entire family is so pleased with your program.  You and the whole staff are wonderful."
D.K.G., Pennsylvania

 

Enroll Now

Homer, Shakespeare, Dante, Plato, Augustine, Chaucer, Aesop, Stevenson, Virgil, Twain, Cervantes, Milton, More, Aristotle, and many more are your children's inheritance.

Give your students the experience of reading and discussing, with their peers from all over North America as well as with students who live abroad, the best that has been written.


 

 

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