Ancient Greece Study Program

The Ancient Greece study program covers the History and Mythology of Greece, from the Heroic age to the Hellenistic period. The first three divisions cover the legendary age of Greece, including the Homeric epics. The final five divisions cover recorded history from the earliest city states to the conquests of Alexander the Great. The Ancient Greece study program is part of the Heritage Classical Curriculum and includes:

See the Heritage Curriculum FAQs page for more information.

Why Study Ancient Greece?

There is so much of interest in Greek history that it is hard to know where to begin. Greek History is attractive to younger students because it is rich in mythology and its romantic conflicts, including the Persian War and Alexander's Conquest of Persia, are of striking interest. The wars of the Greeks appeal to young people because of their heroic quality, but they are of enormous interest to historians as well. Herodotus, who wrote of Ancient civilizations and the Persian war, is known as the 'Father of History'. And Thucydides, who was an Athenian general as well as author of 'The Peloponnesian War' has been studied in military colleges for centuries.

The fantastic stories of the Greek Gods and Heroes are a very important port of Greek history, and many legendary stories, from Pandora to Hercules, are known to almost all. The Olympians represent not only the Greek but the multitude of Pagan Gods worshipped throughout the ancient world. Even Aesop's Fables, some of the wisest and most universal of all children stories, came to us from the Ancient Greeks.

Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are among the most important Epic poems of all time, but Homer is only one of many Greek poets, playwrights, and philosophers who are still studied. Scientists and Philosophers like Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Socrates, and Plato are well known to almost everyone, and Greek civilization produced dozens of other great thinkers.

There are many other great scholars and cultural achievements of the Greeks. Greek civilization and Greek writers have been studied and quoted by scholars for generations, from the Apostle Paul to Winston Churchill. The founders of the United States spent much time studying the Ancients and strove to emulate their best institutions. Even the Romans, who conquered the Greeks in the second century B.C., recognized the value of Greek philosophy, science, and literature, and emulated it.

The New Testament was written in Greek because it was the language of learning throughout the eastern Mediterranean from the Age of Alexander until the fall of Constantinople. And the rebirth of art and science in Europe during the Middle Ages came about largely due to the resurgence of classical learning. In short, the Greeks are credited with laying the foundation of Western Culture in realms as diverse as art, science, philosophy and government. Any student who wants to understand the progress and perils of Western Civilization should start with an introduction to Greek History.

Reading Recommendations

The Heritage Ancient Greece Library contains almost twenty volumes dedicated to Greek Mythology and literature. The subject is so extensive it is difficult to identify a single volume that adequately the main major stories. The following selections provide a good introduction to Greek mythology and are Recommended Reading for the first three units. The first two books cover Greek Gods and Heroes. The final two are simplified versions of the Homeric Epics, The Iliad and the Odyssey.

The portion of Greek history recognized as authentic begins with the story of the first Greek city states around 800 B.C. and continues to the Hellenistic period following the conquests of Alexander the Great.

The quality of supplemental texts for advanced students in the Ancient Greece collection, especially those by Alfred Church and Jacob Abbot is outstanding. Both writers excelled at rewriting the Classics in a manner that preserved their riches but made them more accessible to the general reader. A few we highly recommend include:

The following links provide additional information about reading options for Ancient Greece.

Study Aids

Study Aids are provided to help students review important characters and events. Some resources relate to all of Greek history and others to specific historical eras.

Historical Maps Outline Maps
Timeline Major Characters
Wars and Battles Era Summaries

Study Aids organized by Historical Era

Review Questions

Students who are using the Heritage Quest Quiz Game to study British Middle Ages may find these sample questions from British History helpful. They can use the Quiz Game App to find answers or complete the worksheet as a homework assignment.

Gods and Myths Heroes and Monsters
Homeric Epics Early City-States
Persian War Athenian Empire
Late Classical Hellenistic Era

Download History Quest program from Android or Apple App Stores to review study questions interactively.