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Echo and Narcissus
- Ovid, translated by Brookes More
- 1 A.D.
Ovid writes of a sadder version of love in his tale “Echo and Narcissus” which describes two cases of unrequited love. Echo, a mountain nymph , falls in love with a beautiful young man, but he has eyes only for himself. For both characters, Ovid shows how love can persist, even in unrealistic circumstances.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Echo and Narcissus” and have students discuss the nature of the lesson promulgated in the Roman mythological tale. Is it in contrast with the Greek ideas about society and how best to live, as they are presented in the article? What are we supposed to learn from the story of Narcissus? Does this reinforce or challenge the lessons we are meant to internalize based on Greek mythology and spirituality?
The Lion and the Mouse
- 620-560 BCE
In this classic fable by Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller, a tiny mouse proves to a powerful lion that she is greater than she seems.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “The Lion and the Mouse” and ask students to think about how the fable plays out the themes discussed in the informational text. Do you think Aesop’s use of animals in his fables is similar to the ancient Greeks’ use of gods and goddesses who meddled in human affairs and behaved irrationally in their mythology? Does the fable advance or contest the notion of individualism identified in the article as being characteristic of ancient Greek society?
The Rise of Greek City-States: Athens Versus Sparta
This text explores how vastly different city-states rose in Ancient Greece by comparing the cultures of Athens and Sparta.Pair “The Rise of Greek City-States: Athens Versus Sparta” with “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” and ask students to discuss what united and divided different Greek city-states.
- Mark Cartwright
This informational text explores the various tiers of ancient Greek society, and how class, age, and gender affected people’s daily lives in this classical civilization.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Greek Society” and ask students to discuss the building blocks of this ancient society (i.e. beliefs, social structure, etc.). How does the concept of individualism, sparked in ancient Greece, fit within or contradict the social structure of this society?
“Egyptian Mummies” discusses the process a deceased Egyptian noble goes through to be prepared for the afterlife.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Egyptian Mummies” and ask students to compare the two societies’ opinions on fate. Who controls their fates? How do they attempt to influence their own fates?
- Mark Cartwright
The informational text “Aztec Sacrifice” discusses the origins of human sacrifice in Mesoamerican culture, as well as the variety of reasons and methods sacrifices were made.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Aztec Sacrifice” and ask students to explore the notions of gods and fate. How do gods control the lives of these two civilizations and how do they attempt to take control of their fate?
- Cristian Violatti
In “Greek Philosophy,” this informational text recounts the development of ancient Greek philosophy, including its notable schools and philosophers, and the impact it has had on Western history and culture.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?
- Olivia E. Coolidge
In Olivia E. Coolidge’s adaption of the Greek myth “Arachne,” a talented weaver challenges the goddess Athena to a weaving contest.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Arachne” to provide students with additional information on Greek mythology. What role did this myth play in Greek culture? Do students think that the lesson that this myth teaches is still relevant today? Why or why not?
Excerpt from The Odyssey: The Sirens
- 8th Century BCE
In this excerpt from Homer’s The Odyssey, Ulysses must protect himself and his crew from the dangerous song of the Sirens.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Excerpt from The Odyssey” to provide students with additional information on Greek history and mythology. How does “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” explore the role that Greek mythology played in Greek life? How is the article’s depiction of humans and gods in Greek myths reflected in “Excerpt from The Odyssey”?
Design Par Excellence
- Lena Lambrinou
In the informational text, “Design Par Excellence,” Lena Lambrinou discusses temples built in ancient Greece to honor the gods.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Design Par Excellence” to provide students with additional information about ancient Greece. Ask students to discuss how both texts emphasizes the gods’ importance to the ancient Greeks. What did the ancient Greeks believed the gods did for them?
How did Greeks and Romans Write?
- Angela Murock Hussein
In the informational text “Let’s Write,” Angela Murock Hussein discusses the writing tools used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Let’s Write” to provide students with additional information about ancient Greece. Ask students to discuss the popular myths described in “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism.” How do students think writing help preserve and spread these stories? How do both texts show how ancient Greece influenced the rest of the world and modern-day?