Since our history classes and much of our literature this year all focus on Greece and Rome, I have been busy reading a variety of great books. I have been reading the actual course books again (or will be rereading the soon…) but there are a number of books I have also been reading for background information and inspiration.
Here is a quick look at the first on my list:
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, by Thomas Cahill
I am almost done with my second reading of this book, the first time being during my travels in Greece a couple years ago. I heard Michael Eatmon, one of my Classical Christian education heroes, say that this was one of the most influential books in his understanding of the importance of the the Greeks, so of course I had to read it.
Thomas Cahill is the clear, careful and captivating author of the Hinges of History book series. This book, like all in the series, focuses on the meaningful contributions and achievements of those in the past. This is not a chronicle of the wars, and advancements, downfalls and dreaded details that many histories contain, but a close look at key individuals, key ideas and key accomplishments.
Cahill’s own explanation of his writing approach explains his distinctive well-
“I tell you these things now because my methods of approaching the past have scarcely changed since childhood and adolescence. I assemble what pieces there are, contrast and compare, and try to remain in their presence till I can begin to see and hear and love what living men and women once saw and heard and loved, till from these scrap and fragments living men and women begin to emerge and move and live again-and then I try to communicate these sensations to my reader.”
Sailing the Wine-Dark Seabrings to life how the Greeks fought, felt, partied, ruled, thought and saw. I highly recommend this book for all, even those who are not teaching Ancient Greece this year!