Old Western Culture is our literature curriculum which guides students through the great books of Western civilization from the ancient Greeks to the Early Modern period. It is divided into four years (The Greeks, The Romans, Christendom, and Early Moderns), and each year has four units. We publish details about each year and unit on their own pages, but below is all 192 lectures from Old Western Culture in one place!

COMPLETE LECTURE LIST FOR THE GREEKS

THE EPICS:
Lecture 1 – Introduction to Old Western Culture
Lecture 2 – The Backdrop to the Iliad.
Lecture 3 – The Anger of Achilleus. (Iliad I-IV)
Lecture 4 – The First Critical Turning Point. (Iliad V-IX)
Lecture 5 – The Deception of Zeus. (Iliad X-XV)
Lecture 6 – The Second Critical Turning Point. (Iliad XVI-XXI)
Lecture 7 – The Death of Hektor. (Iliad XXII-XXIV)
Lecture 8 – The Telemachy. (Odyssey I-IV)
Lecture 9 – The Court of Alkinoös. (Odyssey V-VIII)
Lecture 10 – Odysseus Tells of his Wanderings. (Odyssey IX-XII)
Lecture 11 – The Homescoming of Odysseus & The Judgement of the Suitors. (Odyssey XIII-XXIV)
Lecture 12 – he Legacy of Homer in Western Civilization.

DRAMA AND LYRIC:
Lecture 1 – Background of Greek Drama: Development of Theater
Lecture 2 – Background of Greek Drama: The Period, the Poets, and the Presentation
Lecture 3 – Aeschylus’ Oresteia: The Agamemnon
Lecture 4 – Aeschylus’ Oresteia: The Libation-bearers and The Eumenides
Lecture 5 – Sophocles’ Oedipus the King
Lecture 6 – Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus
Lecture 7 – Euripides’ Medea and Trojan Women
Lecture 8 – Aristophanes’ The Frogs and The Clouds
Lecture 9 – Lyric Poetry: Sappho and Pindar, and Theocritus
Lecture 10 – Lyric Poetry: Hesiod
Lecture 11 – Lesser Epics: Quintus of Smyrna, The Fall of Troy
Lecture 12 – Lesser Epics: Apollonius of Rhodes, The Argonautica

THE HISTORIES:
Lecture 1 – Overview of Greek History
Lecture 2 – Herodotus 1: Introduction and Croesus
Lecture 3 – Herodotus 2: Stories of Egypt and the other nations
Lecture 4 – Herodotus 3: The Beginning of the Persian Wars and the Battle of Marathon
Lecture 5 – Herodotus 4: The Battle of Thermopylae
Lecture 6 – Herodotus 5: The Battle of Salamis, and the End of the Persian Wars
Lecture 7 – Thucydides 1: Introduction, Thucydides’ Philosophy of History, and the Beginning of the Peloponnesian War
Lecture 8 – Thucydides 2: The Early Years, Pericles, and the Great Plague
Lecture 9 – Thucydides 3: Mytiline, Exile, Revolution, and Melos
Lecture 10 – Thucydides 4: The Sicilian Campaign, and the Downfall of Athens
Lecture 11 – Xenophon: The March of the Ten Thousand
Lecture 12 – The Lessons of Greek History

THE PHILOSOPHERS:
Lecture 1 – Overview of Greek philosophy, introduction to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
Lecture 2 – Plato: The Apology: Socrates, St. Paul, and The Doctrine of Wisdom
Lecture 3 – Plato: The Crito and Phaedo: Socrates, Christianity, and the doctrine of body and soul
Lecture 4 – Plato: The Phaedrus: Socrates, Augustine, Dante, C. S. Lewis, and the Dialectic of Desire; True teaching
Lecture 5 – Plato: The Republic: understanding morality
Lecture 6 – Plato: The Republic: The Forms and the influence on Medieval Christendom
Lecture 7 – Aristotle: The Metaphysics: Aristotle, Aquinas, and the Doctrine of Wisdom
Lecture 8 – Aristotle: The Metaphysics: the Cosmos in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Lecture 9 – Aristotle: The Ethics: Happiness the Chief End of Man
Lecture 10 – Aristotle: The Ethics: Friendship
Lecture 11 – Aristotle: The Poetics: Stories, Oedipus, and Jane Austen
Lecture 12 – The Lessons of Greek Philosophy

COMPLETE LECTURE LIST FOR THE ROMANS

THE AENEID:
1. Introduction to The Romans: Overview of Roman History, its importance to Old Western Culture, and a Survey of the books Covered in this series
2. Introduction to the Aeneid: Vergil, Secondary Epic, and the Writing, Worldview, and Influence of the Aeneid
3. Rome is an Idea (Aeneid Book I)
4. The Fall of Troy and The Wanderings of Aeneas (Aeneid Book II & III)
5. The Tragedy of Dido (Aeneid Book IV)
6. The Underworld (Aeneid Book V & VI)
7. The Broken Truce and the Shield of Aeneas (Aeneid Book VII & VIII)
8. The Tragedy of Nisus and Euryalos (Aeneid Book IX & X)
9. Camilla, Juno’s Surrender, and the Death of Turnus (Aeneid Book XI & XII)
10. Metamorphoses I
11. Metamorphoses II
12. The Epics of Lucretius, Lucan, and Statius

THE HISTORIANS:
1. Livy I: Philosophy of history and the monarchy
2. Livy II: Beginning and Heroes of the Republic
3. Livy III: Threats to the Republic
4. Tacitus I: Philosophy of history and Tiberius
5. Tacitus II:Claudius
6. Tacitus III:Nero
7. Sallust: The Jugurthine War and the The Conspiracy of Catiline: The Republic in Decay
8. Julius Caesar: The Gallic wars
9. Plutarch’s Lives I: Demosthenes and Cicero
10. Plutarch’s Lives II: Alexander and Caesar
11. Cicero: Against Verres and Against Antony
12. Overview of The Historians

EARLY CHRISTIANITY:
1. The Roman Background of Christianity
2. The Jewish Background of Christianity
3. The Didache
4. The First Letter of Clement
5. The Roman World in the Second and Third Centuries
6. Ignatius and Polycarp
7. The Apologists
8. Justin Martyr
9. Irenaeus
10. Clement of Alexandria and Origen
11. Eusebius I
12. Eusebius II

NICENE CHRISTIANITY:
1. Constantine and The Council of Nicea
2. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Age
3. Athanasius’s On the Incarnation
4. Athanasius’s Life of Anthony
5. John Chrysostom
6. Augustine’s Confessions I
7. Augustine’s Confessions II
8. Augustine’s City of God I
9. Augustine’s City of God II
10. Augustine’s City of God III
11. Augustine’s City of God IV
12. Boethius and the Consolation of Philosophy

COMPLETE LECTURE LIST FOR CHRISTENDOM

EARLY MEDIEVALS:
1. Historical Overview of Christendom
2. Benedict’s Rule and Monasticism
3. Transition to the Middle Ages
4. Procopius and Gregory
5. Maximus the Confessor
6. Celtic Christians
7. Beowulf
8. Bede I: Early History of England
9. Bede II: The Coming of Christianity
10. Bede III: The Confirming of Christianity
11. Lives of Charlemagne and Alfred
12. John of Damascus

DEFENSE OF THE FAITH:
1. Historical Overview of the High Middle Ages
2. Anselm’s Ontological Argument
3. Anselm’s Monologium 1
4. Anselm’s Monologium 2
5. Anselm’s Why God Became Man 1
6. Anselm’s Why God Became Man 2
7. History of the Kings of Britain 1
8. History of the Kings of Britain 2
9. The Golden Legend
10. Historical Overview of the Crusades
11. The Conquest of Constantinople
12. The Life of St. Louis

THE MEDIEVAL MIND:
1. Introduction to The Medieval Mind
2. Aquinas’ Compendium I
3. Aquinas’ Compendium II
4. Aquinas’ Compendium III
5. Introduction to Dante
6. The Inferno I
7. The Inferno II
8. Purgatorio I
9. Purgatorio II
10. Paradiso I
11. Paradiso II
12 Conclusion

THE REFORMATION:
Lecture 1: Introduction to Renaissance and Reformation (Callihan)
Lecture 2: Canterbury Tales 1 (Callihan)
Lecture 3: Canterbury Tales 2 (Callihan)
Lecture 4: Canterbury Tales 3 (Callihan)
Lecture 5: From Premodern to Modern Times (Schlect)
Lecture 6: Predecessors to the Reformation (Schlect)
Lecture 7: Luther and 16th Century Reform (Schlect)
Lecture 8: International Calvinism (Schlect)
Lecture 9: The Reformation in England (Schlect)
Lecture 10: Spenser 1 (Callihan)
Lecture 11: Spenser 2 (Callihan)
Lecture 12: Spenser 3 (Callihan)

COMPLETE LECTURE LIST FOR EARLY MODERNS

RISE OF ENGLAND:
1. Introduction to Early Moderns (Wesley Callihan)
2. Introduction to Shakespeare (Peter Leithart)
3. Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Peter Leithart)
4. Shakespeare’s King Lear (Peter Leithart)
5. Shakespeare’s Richard III (Peter Leithart)
6. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (Peter Leithart)
7. Metaphysical Poets: John Donne (Wesley Callihan)
8. Metaphysical Poets: George Herbert and Marvell (Wesley Callihan)
9. Introduction to Milton (Wesley Callihan)
10. Paradise Lost I (Wesley Callihan)
11. Paradise Lost II (Wesley Callihan)
12. Paradise Lost III (Wesley Callihan)

POETRY AND POLITICS:
1. Introduction to Enlightenment
2. Alexander Pope I
3. Alexander Pope II
4. Edmund Burke I
5. Edmund Burke II
6. Romantic Poetry I
7. Romantic Poetry II
8. Victorian Poetry and Democracy in America
9. Edgar Allen Poe
10. Victorian Poetry I
11. Victorian Poetry II
12. Victorian Poetry III

THE ENLIGHTENMENT:
1. Introduction: What Is the Enlightenment?
2. The Scientific Revolution: An Overview
3. Galileo Moves the Earth
4. The Galileo Affair
5. Descartes & Skepticism
6. Descartes’ Search for Certainty
7. Did Descartes Succeed?
8. Descartes & the Scientific Revolution
9. Isaac Newton Takes the Throne
10. Hume: Taking Skepticism Seriously
11. Kant’s Answer to Hume
12. Thomas Reid & Genuine Enlightenment

THE NOVELS:
1. Introduction to The Novels (Callihan)
2. Jane Austen I (Callihan)
3. Jane Austen II (Callihan)
4. Charles Dickens (Callihan)
5. Fyodor Dostoevsky (Callihan)
6. Russian Short Stories (Callihan)
7. J. R. R. Tolkien I: Fairy-Stories and The Lord of the Rings (McIntosh)
8. J. R. R. Tolkien II: Escape, Consolation, and Eucatastrophe (McIntosh)
9. J. R. R. Tolkien III: Themes in The Lord of the Ring (McIntosh)
10. C. S. Lewis I (Callihan)
11. C. S. Lewis II (Callihan)
12. Overview of Old Western Culture and the 20th Century (Callihan)

Comments

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