Liberal Arts Level 6: Ancient Classics History (Roman Year)
Two-Year Rotation: Click for Details
Our Liberal Arts Curriculum is designed to offer the heart of a classic literature–based education integrated into a single course. Taught in the spirit of Orthodox Christianity through a restful (scholé) pedagogy, the courses span 7 levels on a 2-year rotation, plus Level 7 and Level 8, for a total of 14 years of unique material. Class sizes are limited so that interactions within the classroom are personal and cultivate depth of learning.
Book lists for both Rotation A and Rotation B are listed under the Course Materials tab. For the 2023–2024 school year, you only need to purchase the books for Rotation B.
Great Books Pedagogy: This course offers high school students an in-depth exploration of the classics—the best, most beautiful, and most influential books of civilization. Students will read and discuss important texts from the 3 ancient cultures that became the inheritance of the classical Christian world: the Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Romans. Rooted in the tradition of the Great Books, Scholé Academy’s history and literature courses focus on primary sources.
Students will approach these works as both a window and a mirror. As a window, these texts offer a point of access to the cultures and stories of real people who inhabited the pre-Christian world. Yet classic texts speak not only of other times; they appeal to timeless truths. By considering oneself in the light of enduring concepts of wisdom, justice, and virtue, readers are compelled to take a careful look in the mirror. The study of classic works naturally leads to the practice of the Socratic method, the goal of which is to humbly “know thyself.”
Greek and Roman Years: This course features deep engagement with select works in a wide variety of genres—epic poetry, lyric poetry, drama, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, historical narrative, myth, biography, wisdom literature, laws, and speeches. Given the range of material available from antiquity, it is impossible to capture the full scope in a single-year course.
This course will operate on a two-year rotation. Both years will include selected works from four important traditions—Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and the early Christians. The first year will emphasize the Greek tradition (“Greek Year”), while the second rotation will emphasize the Roman (“Roman Year”). Students can take a single rotation to receive a strong introduction to the ancient classics, or they may take both years to get the full experience. A specific order is not required for students who wish to take both rotations—they are modular.
Goals: What should students expect from this course? First, we aim to create a supportive environment in which students may practice the art of close reading, grow in their love of the classics, and be inspired to return to them throughout their lives. The teacher will serve as an experienced guide and an encouraging coach.
Brief and informative secondary texts, such as a historical atlas, as well as brief in-class lectures by the teacher, will provide students with contextual understanding—geography, timeline, current historical research, and archaeological findings. Thus, while emphasizing close reading of primary texts, students will survey the historical period, acquire important background knowledge, and gain a clear historical perspective.
Faithful Scholarship: Study of the pre-Christian world offers ample opportunities to see the ways in which Christendom adopted and transformed—one might even say transfigured—the pagan world. The course will emphasize those aspects of antiquity which illuminate early Christianity and anticipate the rise of Christendom. We read pagan authors with charity, and we practice “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
This class is paired with our Liberal Arts Level 6: Ancient Classics Literature (Roman Year) course and scheduled back to back with that course in a block. Students who take both courses receive a discount. This course may also be taken as a standalone history study.
Placement: This course is suitable for rising 9–12 graders. Students are expected to have strong reading skills as well as an interest and a capacity for discussing literature and history. Compositions will be assessed according to the grade-level of the student.
Assessment: Students will be assessed on reading completion and comprehension. They will regularly report their progress to the instructor and answer questions about the reading. In addition to reading, students will be expected to participate in class (regular attendance, active attention, and appropriate contributions), complete short compositions (1–3 paragraphs), and memorize occasional brief passages (3–10 lines).
High School Credit: The modern subjects of “history” and “literature” do not do justice to the rich variety of works represented in the great books of civilization. Successful students will nonetheless gain both an understanding of ancient history and a facility in the art of reading ancient literature. Thus, graduates of Scholé Academy history/literature courses may list the combination as two credits—both “history” and “literature”—on their high school transcript.
How much time will students spend on homework?
Each course (history and literature) will require 2–3 hours of work each week. Students who enroll in both courses should plan for 4–6 hours of work per week outside of the live class sessions.
View Liberal Arts Curriculum Map
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- With Parent Support
- Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Schoology discussion boards.
- Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
- Be able to manage Schoology assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Schoology notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
- Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to set notifications settings to alert the student of class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Schoology messaging.
- Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
- Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
- Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
- Be able to build a logical, well-reasoned argument through a written essay providing sound reasoning (i.e. true premises, valid arguments, sound conclusions).
- Be able to hand-write answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
- Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.
- Be able to read material independently and identify questions which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
- Be able to identify key terms in a passage, and follow the author’s argument.
- Be able to listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
- Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).
- Be able to employ basic MLA formatting skills (i.e. 1-inch margins, double spacing, heading on paper).
- Be able to employ MLA citations for (for quoted material and referenced material) through the use of footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, work-cited page. Student should have a concept of what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it.
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).
- Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
- Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion, to identify areas needing clarification, and to make valuable connections with other course content.
- Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led note-taking and record notes during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led workbook completion and record answers during class.
- Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
- Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.
- Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.
Please obtain the following texts in a hard copy (no digital editions). Students will need their own text (not a family library copy) as they will be expected to annotate and mark up the text. Please resist the temptation to use a free edition, alternate translation, or a different version of a text that you already own. If you think your version is substantially the same and would like to check, feel free to contact your instructor.
Roman Year (2023/24):
• Twelve Caesars by Seutonius
• Church History by Eusebius
• Wars by Josephus
• St. Ignatius Letter to the Romans (will be provided)
• On Social Justice by St. Basil the Great (will be provided)
• The Didache (will be provided)
• Orthodox Worship: A Living Continuity with the Synagoge, Temple, and the Early
Church by Williams and Anstall.
• The Orthodox Study Bible
• Small readings will be added as I discover the natural interests of the class – these readings will be provided on Canvas.
Hellenic Year (2024/25):
• Hammurabi’s Code (will be provided)
• Histories by Herodotus
• Apologia by Plato
• Parallel Lives by Plutarch
• Antiquities by Josephus
• The Rise of Rome by Livy
• The Orthodox Study Bible
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Sarah Smith– Shalom! Or should I say, שלום! My name is Sarah Smith and I am very excited to join St. Raphael School this year. I am a wife, a mom of two young kids, and an avid reader. I joined the Orthodox Faith with my Chrismation in 2019 along with my husband. Before I inquired into the Orthodox faith I was an associate pastor in the Method church – specially there to serve the youth. I love the honest questions, the search for truth, and the fun-loving nature of teenagers.
Old Testament is more than something I study – it’s my absolute passion! I received my BA in Biblical Studies at Olivet Nazarene University in 2013 and continued my education with an MDiv at Asbury Theological Seminary in 2017 where I spent all my electives on the Ancient Near East. Some of my specialties include Biblical archaeology – I spent a summer living in Israel digging at Tel Abel Beth Maacah – as well as Biblical Hebrew as I was the teaching assistant and grader for two years in Seminary).
I came into the Orthodox Faith by way of Old Testament study – when I first attended the Divine Liturgy I was brought to tears because I saw the worship of the Old Testament taking place in front of me. My year as a catechumen was spent wrestling with theological ideas and personal ideas I had to let go of, but I never looked back. Orthodoxy is a clear continuation of the Faith of our ancient ancestors. I’m excited to get to know you and I hope to see you in one of my classes! email@example.com
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.