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What does it mean to call something "classic"? At once, the term implies age or antiquity, but the word also implies the material is somehow valuable. It somehow shapes what comes in later time periods. When traditional literary scholars refer to classical literature, they usually mean that this literature is widely acknowledged as having outstanding or enduring qualities. Often, Shakespeare's King Lear is considered a classic of English literature and The Scarlet Letter in American literature.

When scholars are speaking more specifically, however, the term classic is usually applied to the literature of the ancient world (Greek and Rome), especially between 1000 BCE and 410 CE. Literature written during this same interval in other cultures might be referred to as "Classical Hebrew" or "Classical Chinese" literature as well. You can download a PDF handout listing all the major periods of literary history in Western culture here, to see where the classical period fits in.

For the purposes of this website, we currently limit ourselves to Classical China, Classical Greece, Classical Rome, and the Bible as literature. Some of these sections are still under construction!

You can click below on the appropriate category that interests you. If the jargon becomes too thick, you can click on my list of Literary Terms to find useful definitions in alphabetical order.


Classical Greece: An Introduction

Weblinks and Handouts on this website:

Why should you read Greek and Roman classics?
Aristotle's Definition of Tragedy in The Poetics (PDF file)
The Epic: What is it? (PDF file)
Epithets (webpage)
Genealogy of the Greek Titans and early Olympian Gods (PDF file)
Genealogy of the later Greek Olympian Gods and Demigods
Greek Philosophers: An Overview
The House of Atreus: Generations of New Horrors
Pre-Homeric Greek Gods (PDF file)
Odd Legends/Accounts About the Spartans (PDF file)
Outline of Homer's Odyssey (PDF file)
The Poetics of Aristotle
Socratic Dialogue (Definition)
Some Thoughts About Tragedy (downloadable pdf file)
Sophocles and Tragic Drama (TBA)
Sophocles' Antigone and The Theban Genealogy (downloadable PDF file)
Sources of the Trojan War (PDF file)
Symposium Guestlist (PDF file)
Those Whacky Greek and Roman Gods: A Quick Cheatsheet
Tragedy and Comedy: A Comparison (downloadable PDF file)
Trojan War: A Cheatsheet (downloadable PDFfile)
Platonism and Plato's Cave (TBA)
What is an Epic Poem?
Classical Rhetoric: Schemes and Tropes
External Webpages:

Ancient Greek Religion and Philosophy
Beazley Archive (University of Oxford's repositor of photos related to classical art and archeology
Diotema (gender and womn in ancient world )

The Classics Pages
Electronic Resources for Classicists
Encyclopedia Mythica (7,000 articles!)
Greek and Latin Language Resources
Greek Mythology (The index link is a quick way to look up mythological allusions.
Internet Classics Archive
Kelsey Museum of Archeaology (University of Michigan has galleries of 100,000 classical artifacts)
Links on Classical and Patristic Philosophy
LSU Libraries Classics Resources
Perseus Digital Library
Perseus Art and Architecture Browser

Perseus Language Tools
Philosophy Around the Web
Pomoerium: Classical Resources
Stanford's History of the Trojan War
Teaching Euripide's Medea
Textkit: Greek and Latin Learning Tools
Theoi Project (an excellent resource)
Voice of the Shuttle: Classical Studies

 

MATER ROMA

Classical Rome: An Introduction

Weblinks and Handouts on this website:

Why Should You Read Greek and Roman Classics? (an essay by Georgia Billingsley II)
Genealogy of the early Roman Titans and Olympian Gods (pdf)
Genealogy of the later Roman Gods and Demigods (pdf)
Roman Antiquity (TBA)
Roman Names: Tria Nomina

Roman Poets (TBA)
Patristic Writers (TBA)
Links on Classical and Patristic Philosophy
Ovid's Metamorphosis: Internet Classics Archive (external website)
Common Latin and non-English abbreviations
(click here for the same Latin abbreviation material above in PDF format)
Stealing Egyptian Gold: Early Christian Writers React to Pagan Literature (pdf)
Theoretical Approaches to Myth (pdf)
Those Whacky Greek and Roman Gods: A Quick Cheatsheet (pdf)
What is an Epic Poem? (pdf)
Classical Rhetoric: Schemes and Tropes
External Webpages:

Ancient History Sourcebook (divided by period)
Encyclopedia Mythica (7,000 articles!)
Beazley Archive (University of Oxford's repositor of photos related to classical art and archeology)
The Classics Pages
Electronic Resources for Classicists
Encyclopedia Mythica
Forum Romanum (text collection)
Greek and Latin Language Resources

Kelsey Museum of Archeaology (the Kelsey Museum at the University of Michigan has galleries of 100,000 classical artifacts)
Latin Library
Links on Classical and Patristic Philosophy
LSU Libraries Classics Resources
Pomoerium: Classical Resources
Textkit: Greek and Latin Learning Tools
Virgil.org (biography and bibliography)
Maps from Virgil.org
Voice of the Shuttle: Classical Studies

The Bible as Literature: An Introduction

The Apocrypha (offline)
The Canon of the Hebrew Bible
Chronicles (offline)
The Bible: A Cheatsheet Part 1 (downloadable PDF file)
The Bible: A Cheatsheet Part 2 (downloadable PDF file)
The Bible: A Cheatsheet Part 3 (downloadable PDF file)
The Bible: A Cheatsheet Part 4 (downloadable PDF file)
The Hebrew Canon
Hebrew Poetry and Its Conventions
The J, E, and P Texts in Genesis
Mishal (offline)
Old Testament Hagiographia
Oneiromancy and the Bible (downloadable PDF file)
Religious Instruction in the Medieval Period
Parables, Fables, and Allegorical Narrative (downloadable PDF file)
The Vulgate

 

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Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2016. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated May 2, 2016. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.