Antigone and the Greek World
This chapter “describes the Greeks’ worldview: their pantheon, attitude toward nature, the development of tragedy, and science as responses to an unpredictable world.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
“’The Roots of Drama’ evokes the atmosphere of the Dionysian rites and the movement from ritual to drama, with sections on theaters and dramatists and the elements of Greek tragic form.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
“This chapter uses the play’s language alongside contemporary parallels to situate Antigone’s defiance of authority. Sections detail Sophocles’ use of contrast and introduce the play’s theme, language, plot, and character. A section on maxims provides a lead-in to the ‘NEXUS four-step method of explication.’ Another section explains how plays taught Athenians to debate, reason, and make decisions democratically.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
. (See “Antigone’s Challenge: Democracy of Dictatorship,” Antigone and the Greek World
Critical thinking exercises are embedded in the text.
“‘Recipe for Tragedy’ uses Oedipus Rex as the text in this overview of Aristotle’s tragic theory (The Poetics): recognition, reversal, necessity as a crucial element of plot, and, in the development of characters, the ‘tragic flaw.’” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
Reading Greek Vases and Cross-Curricular Art Lesson Plans
This section “invites students to enter the stories told by Greek vases. It also outlines the stylistic features and iconography of sixth- and fifth-century art and suggests an art project.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
Students learn to read the narrative, contrasts and symbols on a Greek vase that illustrates the climax of Euripides’ Medea
. This chapter is aligned with CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.7
– “Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.”
SAMPLE TEXT: “By exploring Greek art we can learn to see through ancient eyes. We can almost step across the ages to attend 5th-century B.C. Olympic Games and festivals, sit in on an Athenian play, or tour an ancient pottery factory. Scenes like these are depicted on Greek vases and sculptural works. In his poem Ode on a Grecian Urn, the 19th-century poet John Keats invites us to walk with him into the life depicted on a Greek vase. He resurrects the past as if it were a sleeping world waiting for someone to appreciate it to awaken…The urn is a doorway that allows Keats to enter a strange, long-ago world. Let’s step through that doorway with him and see if we can bring some ancient vase scenes back to life.”
“‘Sculpture and Symmetry’ shows the evolution of sculptural style over 200 years. Three statues, from an early kouros to Polykleitos’s Doryphoros, illustrate different ways of expressing harmony and balance while contrasting equal but opposite forces. – THE COLLEGE BOARD
This chapter “cites passages from Pindar and Philostratos, ‘the sportswriters of their day,’ to support a detailed depiction of the games. Students use the Oxford Classical Dictionary to interpret Pindar’s connections between athletes and mythology. A section describes the Panhellenic Heraia, women’s competitions.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
The Antigone and the Greek World Guidelines recommend related activities and lessons, including tracking Antigone’s lineage in Pindar’s second Olympian Ode and explicating metaphors and similes in Pindar’s Pythia 2 using the NEXUS four-step method.
“‘The Wizard of Syracuse’ presents a profile of the life and achievements of Archimedes that packs great detail into two pages. Includes an Archimedean geometry problem for students and a sidebar on Archimedes’ determination of pi.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
“The Art of the Muses” teaches students to transcribe ancient Greek music into modern western musical notation, describes Greek string and percussion instruments, and teaches students to make a panpipe.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD
For further study of Ancient Greek music see Ancient Greek Music
by M.L. West. Most surviving pieces of ancient Greek music performed on copies of period instruments can be heard on Music of the Ancient Greeks
(Pandourion Records) by De Organographia.
The History of Fifth-Century Greece
This chapter, written in an exciting narrative style, “includes sections on the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars and Athenian democracy. It also highlights relevant terms: tyranny, oligarchy, arbitrator, tyrant.” – THE COLLEGE BOARD. (See excerpts from “The History of Fifth-Century Greece, Antigone and the Greek World, NEXUS.
The Guidelines include Greek history lesson plans and recommended ancillary readings in related sections of Thucydides’ History (books, chapters and page numbers are listed), Herodotus and others, and comparison of rhetorical styles among ancient Greek writers.
Greek Myths and Modern Man
“This brief chapter surveys appropriations of Greek myths from Homer to Freud to Disney. An activity: Reinterpret a myth as ‘a poem, movie, cartoon, or as a reflection of a psychological state.'” – THE COLLEGE BOARD.
The Trojan Women, a Supplement on Euripides’ tragedy
John Keats’s Greek Odes, NEXUS Supplements
A highly engaging exploration of Keats’s famous poem that compares the Ode to a rock song with a similar theme and to the relief on an ancient sacrificial altar.
This supplement ties in to “Greek Myths and Modern Man” (see above).