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A friendly request for your guidance


b_pleb
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Ladies and Gents,

 

I am writing on this forum in order to ask for your guidance on a topic you all are undoubtedly well versed in advising on.

 

I am half way through completing my graduate studies in financial law. It has been during this time that my interest in the classics has peaked. It began with philosophy (Plato, Aristotle) and has matured into Ancient Greek History and more recently the Roman greats.

 

It began with listening to podcasts and audiobooks on ancient phil. (Nigel Warburton "Phil. Bites" then In Our Time episodes, then Oxford's Very Short Introduction and more) during my long daily commutes. I have always had an immense interest in history and I found myself looking to learn and expand my knowledge of these fascinating times with more information. Through ITunes Uni I downloaded Kagan's Yale Ancient Greek History course and listened to that. Subsequently, my interest in rhetoric and logic (as I have a quantitative undergraduate background) has increased in parallel to my job (I also work, full time hence the heavy emphasis on audio material) and my degree. This lead me to Seneca, Cicero and Quintilian. I have just recieved a rather obscene order from Amazon that contains works from Thucydides, Demosthenes, Virgil, Seneca, Cicero (Oxford World Classics translations) and two books on rhetoric (including Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student). Naxos's Plutarch audiobook series is also on its way.

 

I came to a realization that this afflication is more then a passing phase when I began to look up the classics program at my alma mater, go onto craigs list and look up "latin tutoring" and begin to talk to everyone I know about the things I take in from the consumption of the listed above.  I day dream sometimes that if only I had the chance to enjoy a trivium based primary school education *sigh*

 

Ladies and Gentleman, I hope I have been able to convey my situation to you. What I am asking from you is to help me with this. I am fully aware that with my current situation. Coupled with socialization and a relationship, it is difficult for me to have enough time to study (yes study as I have no intention of simply reading the material) and benefit from this material at this point. have gathered this material in the hope of accomplishing the following: I would like to develop a personal classical curriculum. I would like to learn more about rhetoric and logic as well as history and literature.I have no illusions that I can learn Latin or Greek at this point however.

My intention is to spend a significant amount of my time in the summer to reading and studying the neccessary material. I would like to plan my schedule for it to make sense and be organized before that.

 

In this regard, what are your suggestions.Are there other materials that you suggest. Tips, Tricks, advice, comments or thoughts.

 

Thank you in advance for entertaining this odd request

 

 

 

 

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Maybe send an email to a few professors who teach courses on rhetoric and logic and ask them to send you a syllabus. Explain your interest in the topic and I'd think most of them would be willing to give you their thoughts. If you ask a few different people you will probably get a pretty good feel for standard texts and the best order for reading. It might help to ask for syllabi from a few different course levels (introductory, intermediate, graduate seminars, etc.) Try a Google search for syllabi, too. I put in "classical rhetoric syllabus site:.edu" and got a whole list. Same thing for logic, history, etc. You can use a variety of syllabi as a sort of guide for your own curriculum. Cut out things you aren't interested in and maybe add others that you are.

 

I also don't think it's too late to learn one or both languages. Maybe check out the Textkit (http://www.textkit.com/) website. They have textbooks available for download and a whole forum of people learning Greek and Latin. Of course, the time commitment for properly learning the languages is immense, but you might find it rewarding ... especially if dealing with philosophical texts that can't always be translated properly into English.

 

If you want suggestion of additional sources I can throw out a few thoughts. I don't see Homer on your list. He's the beginning of Greek literature and references to Homeric characters/events show up all the time in other texts. Translations of Parmenides and Empedocles might interest you if you like philosophy. Lucretius, too, on the Latin side of things. Greek tragedy is great for anyone interested in rhetoric and logic. If you get really into a certain author or topic and want to read additional scholarship the Blackwell Companions might make a decent start. They tend to cover a wide variety of topics and generally include a good bibliography to continue your research. Check out the website at http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-324320.html.

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Thanks for the tips. I'll look into obtaining a syllabus.

 

I have read Homer and two works by Sophocles during secondary school. I definately want to revisit them at some point. I have noted the other mentioned authors for reference.

 

Are there any podcasts that you guys listen to for fun or learning that would be suggestable?

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There's a course on right now taught by Nagy online about the epic hero. His books on the subject are fascinating and I think he goes through the illiad in that course so I would suggest googling it and see if you like it. I think you can get a certificate, but it will also expose you to more Homeric values and concepts.

MIT and Stanford may also have online lectures. I know there's coursera (which has online courses) but they each might have their own online learning platform.

Good luck!

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  • 2 months later...

b-pleb,

 

 

I'll share my story, since it's similar to yours, and what's helped me as a self-learner.

 

 

I was about 2/3 done with my seminary education when I discovered the world of classics as a scholarly discipline. Fortunately in seminary I learned a lot about Greek and Hebrew, so I was able to learn Latin on my own before I graduated. After graduating, I set aside further theological studies to pursue this new passion on my own. I'm married and have four small kids, and I have a pretty good job as a military chaplain, so I can't afford to become a starving student all over again to study classics formally. I'll have to wait until I retire and put my kids through college to jump back into school to pursue this incredible interest.

 

So over the past several years this is what I've done to learn as much as possible without the benefit of a classics faculty to mentor me:

 

 

- Attended some professional meetings (APA, CAMWS, ACCS)

- Joined a Great Books community book club which met at a local bookstore

- Listened to iTunesU as you have

- Read everything I could get my hands on (original sources, commentaries, grammars, lexicons, archeology, biographies, etc.)

- Studied Clyde Pharr's Homeric Greek and the Wheelock's Latin series

- Purchased a gazillion grammars and dictionaries (you can often find great deals at used book stores)

- Taken up some studies in Sanskrit and German

- Visited several university bookstores and graduate advisors to ask questions about admissions and graduation requirements (UCSB, UCLA, KU, UC-Boulder, Mizzou, TTU, Georgia, Vanderbilt, St John's - Santa Fe). Some have even allowed me to visit their classes.  

- Exegeted and translated from original languages

- Started homeschooling my children through the trivium. In fact, I'll be teaching my 6-year old son about the Iliad soon, and he'll be my buddy to have fun with discussing classical literature and teaching him Latin.

 

 

Every advisor I've spoken to has told me the same thing about self-learnig and preparation for a grad program: read everything you can about the classical world. Thus, while I wait to apply, if God wills, I've designed my own self-study program after typical MA & PhD programs. And this should keep me quite busy with fun stuff for the next 10-15 years, and it helps me to cope with being disconnected from a community of classics students and professors.

 

 

Good luck!

Edited by Talmid
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b-pleb,

 

 

I'll share my story, since it's similar to yours, and what's helped me as a self-learner.

 

 

I was about 2/3 done with my seminary education when I discovered the world of classics as a scholarly discipline. Fortunately in seminary I learned a lot about Greek and Hebrew, so I was able to learn Latin on my own before I graduated. After graduating, I set aside further theological studies to pursue this new passion on my own. I'm married and have four small kids, and I have a pretty good job as a military chaplain, so I can't afford to become a starving student all over again to study classics formally. I'll have to wait until I retire and put my kids through college to jump back into school to pursue this incredible interest.

 

So over the past several years this is what I've done to learn as much as possible without the benefit of a classics faculty to mentor me:

 

 

- Attended some professional meetings (APA, CAMWS, ACCS)

- Joined a Great Books community book club which met at a local bookstore

- Listened to iTunesU as you have

- Read everything I could get my hands on (original sources, commentaries, grammars, lexicons, archeology, biographies, etc.)

- Studied Clyde Pharr's Homeric Greek and the Wheelock's Latin series

- Purchased a gazillion grammars and dictionaries (you can often find great deals at used book stores)

- Taken up some studies in Sanskrit and German

- Visited several university bookstores and graduate advisors to ask questions about admissions and graduation requirements (UCSB, UCLA, KU, UC-Boulder, Mizzou, TTU, Georgia, Vanderbilt, St John's - Santa Fe). Some have even allowed me to visit their classes.  

- Exegeted and translated from original languages

- Started homeschooling my children through the trivium. In fact, I'll be teaching my 6-year old son about the Iliad soon, and he'll be my buddy to have fun with discussing classical literature and teaching him Latin.

 

 

Every advisor I've spoken to has told me the same thing about self-learnig and preparation for a grad program: read everything you can about the classical world. Thus, while I wait to apply, if God wills, I've designed my own self-study program after typical MA & PhD programs. And this should keep me quite busy with fun stuff for the next 10-15 years, and it helps me to cope with being disconnected from a community of classics students and professors.

 

 

Good luck!

 

You are a rockstar.  ;)

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