by Cristian Violatti
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
- c. 335 BCE
In this excerpt from Poetics, Aristotle offers a definition of tragedy, as well as several examples and non-examples of the genre.Pair “On Tragedy” with “Greek Philosophy” and ask students to discuss the ideas and writing of Aristotle. Is Aristotle’s definition of the perfect tragedy still relevant today? Based on both of these readings, what impact did Aristotle have on Western culture? How do his philosophies affect our society and culture today?
Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism
“Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” contemplates the relationship between the ancient Greeks’ human-oriented polytheism and their cultural endorsement of individualism.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Greek Philosophy” and ask students to discuss ancient Greece’s impact on Western culture. How did the Greeks’ emphasis on the individual contribute to the development of the Western world? What does our modern society have in common with ancient Greece?
- Mark Cartwright
This text explains how Athens created and organized one of the world’s first recorded democracies. Athenian democracy, especially given its systems of checks and balances and citizen participation, has been highly influential to many modern democracies.Pair “Athenian Democracy” with “Greek Philosophy” and ask students to discuss the roles of democracy and philosophy in ancient Greece. How did these two ideas or institutions interact in Greek life? Why did Athens inspire the rise of democracy and Socratic thinking? What was special about Athens that didn’t exist elsewhere?
Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania
- Benjamin Franklin
In “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania,” Benjamin Franklin proposes what an academy in Pennsylvania should look like and the subjects it should teach students.Pair “Greek Philosophy” with “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania” and ask students to discuss how the Greeks’ views on education compared to Benjamin Franklin’s. Why do students think Franklin believed it was important for students to learn about Greek history? What aspects of Greek education do students think influenced Franklin?
- Mark Cartwright
In the informational text “Gymnasium,” Mark Cartwright discusses the purpose of gymnasia in ancient Greek life.Pair “Greek Philosophy” with “Gymnasium” to provide students with additional information about Greek philosophers. Ask students to discuss the positive contributions Plato and Aristotle made to philosophy. How did gymnasia help these philosophers spread their ideas?