Terms : 3 in English, 1.5 in History
Required for all freshmen

Our most dynamic cities are vibrant with the sights and sounds of the spiritual, artistic, commercial, and political expressions of humankind. For this course, we will consider how culture today was shaped by Ancient Iraq and Egypt; classical Athens and Rome; Cordoba and mercantile Florence. In tracing Western civilization from its origins in Mesopotamia through the classical period of the Mediterranean to The Middle Ages and the eve of the Renaissance, we will follow the progressions and impact of art and architecture, literature, politics, commerce, and religion. We will explore what modern society has in common with the ancient world, and you will write about the strikingly similar patterns found in the literature of the ancient world and those traceable in popular fiction and film. But, perhaps most importantly, you will be asked to note the resemblances between citizenship in one of the earliest forms of the city, the polis, and your experience as a new citizen in our small model of a city, Peddie School. We will emphasize the writing process through Peddie’s In-Class Writing Program and multi-draft essay approach. Classes will also mix discussions, Socratic dialogue, creative projects and various forms of media to deepen understanding and foster critical thinking. Books studied might include The Odyssey, Greek tragedy and mythology, Julius Caesar, portions of The Aeneid, medieval romance and adventure literature, and contemporary fiction.

  • English course