2015 Great Books Challenge for Parents (and how to earn FREE curriculum)

2015 Great Books Challenge from Roman Road MediaAre you giving your kids (or have given them) the classical education you never had?

My invitation to you this new year is to dive in yourself! Old Western Culture is for parents too! While it may be daunting to pick up the Great Books and start reading, make 2015 the year you do it WITH your kids, and earn some FREE curriculum in the process!

So here is my NEW YEARS CHALLENGE TO PARENTS:


As a parent, use our newly released unit of Old Western Culture, The AeneidWITH your kids (or if they’re still young, or graduated, try to find a companion) before May 15th, 2015. Then email us to let us know you did, and we’ll give you the next unit (or any unit of Old Western Culture of your choice) for FREE! ($56 value).

In order to qualify for a free unit, you must:

  • Be a parent.
  • Watch all 12 lectures of The Aeneid (with your kids if possible).
  • Read the assigned reading.
  • Complete (in writing or in oral discussion) at least 1 of the workbook assignments for each lesson.
  • Complete the above by May 15th, 2015.

And on top of that (as they say, “But wait, there’s more!”), get 20% off of any Old Western Culture product (you will need The Aeneid for this challenge) by using code CHALLENGE2015 during checkout.

“Why are YOU giving away free curriculum?”

We are convinced that parents who use Old Western Culture will LOVE it. And when a parent loves a curriculum, they tell their friends. And word-of-mouth is the BEST way to let people know about this curriculum. We’re spending most of our time making this the best literature curriculum available, and we need help spreading the word. So help us by USING it, and telling your friends!

 

Should the time ever come…

The United States was founded by men who not only knew their classics, but considered them an essential part of who they were, and who we are as a nation.
Old Western Culture is designed as a tool to give this heritage to the current and next generation of Christian students (and adults)!

“Should the time ever come when Latin and Greek should be banished from our universities and the study of Cicero and Demosthenes, of Homer and Virgil, should be considered as unnecessary for the formation of a scholar, we should regard mankind as fast sinking into an absolute barbarism, and the gloom of mental darkness is likely to increase until it should become universal.”
Western Review III, 145 (October 1820).
Latin and Greek founders

Ted Cruz and Marcus Cicero

O tempora, O mores! (Oh the times! Oh the customs!)
Ted Cruz, a republican senator from Texas, made a daring move Thursday—and put a good classical education to work! In a speech against what Cruz perceives as Obama’s overreaching policies and unconstitutional moves, Ted Cruz adapted a famous speech delivered by Marcus Tullius Cicero in 63 B.C. Cicero, a Roman statesman (whose work you get to read in Old Western Culture: The Romans!), discovered a plot by Catiline to overthrow the government and ignite a general insurrection in Italy. Cicero delivered a series of speeches, now called the Catiline Orations, exposing Catiline’s plot and calling him out. The first speech, which is the most famous of the series, was addressed to the Roman senate—while Catiline was in attendance! Here’s an article that compares the two speeches, comparing the speeches word-for-word.

Regardless of your political convictions, you have to agree that Senator Cruz certainly has talent for integrating the great men of old into the present day’s issues! However, he apparently decided against using Cicero’s advice to “slap one’s thigh and beat one’s head” in certain speaking situations.
Cicero delivers his speech to the Roman senate.

Cicero delivers his speech to the Roman senate.

Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

We’re thrilled that the Old Western Culture curriculum will be included in Cathy Duffy’s upcoming book “102 Top Picks“!

You can read Cathy Duffy’s online review of Old Western Culture here: HERE.

102 Top Picks by Cathy Duffy - Old Western Culture

The Relationship Woes of Dido and Aeneas

Advice for all men: When you mess up, fess up!

Part of what makes the Aeneid such a timeless classic is that it captures so many aspects of human nature. Wes Callihan brings these alive in the Old Western Culture curriculum.

This excerpt from The Aeneid (unit 1 of The Romans) is an example of how Wes Callihan brings the classics alive. This is learning literature re-imagined!

The Hunt of Dido and Aeneas, by Jean Raoux. AD 1730

The Hunt of Dido and Aeneas, by Jean Raoux. AD 1730

7 Ways Henry the V was a Christian King

King Henry the VThe Mirror of a Christian King

Was Henry the V a “Christian King?” William Shakespeare, in his play Henry V, seems to say “yes!”.

There is a famous line in the play which calls Henry “the mirror of all Christian kings.”What does Shakespeare tell us about his ideals of kingship through Henry V? Let’s look at some examples:

He is valiant. We began to see this in Henry IV Part One, when Henry is wounded, he keeps fighting. In Henry V, he courageously leads his men, both at Harfleur and Agincourt. He sends away the French herald who has come to arrange ransom in advance, telling the herald that he would rather die than be captured and ransomed.

He is just. Henry wants to be sure that his claim to the French throne—and therefore the war he is raging—is just, asking for the sincere advice of the bishop of Canterbury in a long conversation (Henry V, 1.2). Later, during the campaign, his old tavern companion, Bardolph is caught stealing. The king upholds the sentence of hanging, and then declares that “we give express charge that…there be nothing compelled from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language…” (Henry V, 3.6)

He is merciful. Though he uses strong threats when addressing the besieged Harfleur, he tells his aide to be merciful to them when they surrender. He does not prosecute the man who challenged him unknowingly to fight.

He is honor-driven. In the famous “St. Crispin’s Day Speech,” when his cousin wishes they had with them more of the men they left in England, Henry replies “…I would not lose so great an honor as one man more, methinks, would share with me, for the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!” (4.3) How different from another of Shakespeare’s characters, the inimitable Falstaff! Falstaff disdains honor as a mere word that can do nothing to help the soldier who died in its name. (Henry IV, Part I, 5.1). Henry, on the other hand, cares not whether or not he dies so long as he has honor.

Non Nobis

Non nobis Domine, non nobis,
sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
but to Your name give glory.

He is humble. More so than one would typically expect of royalty—and certainly more so than his cocky French enemies! He sees the king as another man with an extra load of responsibility, not as a god among men. After the battle, he refuses to take glory for the incredible victory, or to let his men do so. Instead, he orders that the Non Nobis and Te Deum be sung. When he engages in a different kind of campaign, the campaign to woo a princess’ heart, he is self-deprecating about his ability to woo either with words (“I am glad thou canst speak no better English, [Kate,] for if thou couldst, thou wouldst think I had sold my farm to buy my crown.”) or with good looks (“If thou canst love a fellow…whose face is not worth sunburning, that never looks in his glass for love of anything he sees there…”)(Henry V 5.2).

He is devout. His piety is not simply put on for the show—in his most intimate moments, it is what shapes him. Before the Battle of Agincourt, he muses alone and then prays a heartfelt prayer for help and forgiveness for his father’s sin. In the opening scene of the play, the Bishop of Ely calls Henry “a true love of the holy Church” (Henry V 1.1)

He is crowned. The crux of his development as a character lies in taking up the royal crown and scepter. If “the mission makes the man, ” by extension, there is a sense in which the crown makes the man. A crown is a symbol of responsibility. It is a mission and covenant. It is a great privilege, but one that can be misused.

King Richard II, the shallow and unjust king whom Henry V’s father deposed, took this mission and the concept of divine right in the wrong sense and perverted it, using his position for license. Henry V understood this mission and divine right (hence his guilt over his father’s murder of Richard) in a much truer sense than Richard.

Crowned King Henry the VThe crown, he realizes, is not a tool that he can use; rather it represents a higher authority that will turn him into a tool to serve others. He must decrease in order for his people to increase. In fact, perhaps a better description of this relationship would be “divine covenant.” By taking up the crown, Henry has sacrificed his own desires, put away “the old man,” and become a new creation of sorts. Henry discusses some of these sacrifices in his pre-battle musings on the nature of ceremony, saying that the peasant little knows “What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace, whose hours the peasant best advantages” (Henry V 4.1)

It is not inappropriate to say that coming into the kingship required a kind of conversion on Henry’s part. This is where Richard II failed. Richard was under the same set of covenantal obligations as Henry V, but rejected those obligations. As a result, he was pruned from the tree of royalty, cut off from the kingly covenant. This does not excuse Henry V’s father, Henry IV, from the responsibility of having done the deposing, but it does help us understand Henry V in contrast to his predecessors. Called to the kingship, he has become something greater and nobler than himself.

Valerie FoucachonValerie grew up in France where her father Francis Foucachon was a church planter with Mission to the World. She studied under Wes Callihan in high school through Schola Classical Tutorials, and then attended Logos School where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is currently a Senior at New Saint Andrews College, and an official Latin Nerd. She shows her love for the classics by quoting from the Aeneid at random times (in Latin of course). 

The Chrysler Motor Company and Classical Art

The Benefits of a Classical Education for…Car Design?

We can see the influences of ancient classical art all around us, from the symmetrical lines of early 19th century architecture and the imposing columns on government buildings, to the classically inspired clothing of Jane Austen’s day.

But have you ever heard of a classically-inspired car? I certainly hadn’t! However, while doing work for a project, I came across this 1929 Chrysler car advertisement:
Chrysler: Tracing from the origins of classic art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, in the 1920s, Chrysler decided to look forward by looking back to the classical age for inspiration in the design of their elegant new Coupe. In this and its related ad, we find references to the Parthenon, Egyptian lotus leaf, and “wave border.” Rather than start from scratch with designers’ ideas, Chrysler, in good twentieth century spirit, has applied a “scientific” approach to finding the best aesthetic ideals from the “canons of ancient classic art.” And this is not an isolated case! Other car ads from this era reflect the same classical references, though some come across as comically contrived and forced.

But men in togas and ancient stone temples hardly seem to fit with the relatively-recent development of the automobile. Were the car marketers simply trying to make any possible appeal to an intellectually elite audience? Or cultivate a more rooted image ethos in the fast-growing market? Or was there something more widespread going on?

The clue lies in the popular artistic developments of the 1920s and 30s, the Art Deco movement. We can often pick out Art Deco by its iconic combinations of clean-cut lines, swirled curves and jagged straight lines that influenced architecture, interior design, and fashion after World War One. Car design rhetoric reflected the influences on the art of the time. Art Deco represented a bold new step away from the florid and busy Art Nouveau of earlier decades, yet “symbolically referenced ancient civilizations.” It seems that automobile customers were so aware of Art Deco’s classical connections that even the Vestal Virgins helped make some car sales!

Watch Chrysler trace the early history of man as it pertains to the development of the car, from a day when engineers were classically educated!

Next Week’s Friday Foray: What the Well-Dressed Roman-About-Town is Wearing

Valerie FoucachonValerie grew up in France where her father Francis Foucachon was a church planter with Mission to the World. She studied under Wes Callihan in high school through Schola Classical Tutorials, and then attended Logos School where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is currently a Senior at New Saint Andrews College, and an official Latin Nerd. She shows her love for the classics by quoting from the Aeneid at random times (in Latin of course). 

How do Credits and Transcripts work with Old Western Culture? | Webcast

Credits and Transcripts for HomeschoolersI’ve received several questions from parents about how to record Old Western Culture on a transcript, and how much credit it’s worth in terms of completeing high school.

I created a 10 min webcast to answer these questions. I hope this helps you, and don’t hesitate to post a question or comment below, or be emailing info@romanroadsmedia.com.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO:

– A blank high school transcript. Download: Word (RTF)  or PDF
– Completed example transcript: PDF

OVERVIEW:

Old Western Culture is an integrated humanities, double credit high school course. Those credits most often fit into the “Social Studies” category. Depending on the unit, Old Western History can be “de-integrated” for the purpose of fulfilling specific transcript requirements. It can fill requirements for Ancient Literature, Ancient History, Medieval History, Medieval Literatures, Early Modern History, British Literature, Poetry, Theology/Doctrine, Philosophy, Art History, and English and Writing (see video).