Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Reflections on Year Two

I don't know that the second year had as simple a 'theme' as the first year, but that's ok.  What it did have was some pretty large blocks of related writings.

  • The first block was of Greek literature.  This started out with the 'Iliad' and moved on to five different Greek plays.  I'm putting Herodotus here too.  His 'The History' is sometimes fact and sometimes fiction but is clearly literature.  Aristotle's 'Poetics' belongs here too, even though it came up later in the list.  Among these pieces are the foundations of western story-telling, history and theater.  
  • The next block had to do with philosophies of life.  In here is Lucretius, Marcus Aurelius and Pascal.  Each of them give a fairly full 'code' to live by.  Marcus Aurelius and Pascal are even closely related in how their writings are grouped.  
  • Next I would put the Enlightenment writings on the relationship between citizen and state.  Here we get Hobbes' 'Leviathan', Milton's 'Aeropagitca', Rousseau's 'Discourse on Inequality' and Milton's 'On Liberty'.  You could put together a pretty good study course on this era of writing alone.  I'd throw Swift in here too, since 'Gulliver's Travels' is about comparing different forms of government and peoples.   
This doesn't cover all of the things that were read, nor do I mean that the other things weren't worthwhile but these were the things that seemed to more naturally group together.  


  1. I think I enjoyed Year 2 more than Year 1.

    1. I might have too. The narrative history was pretty good for this year.