The Iliad focuses on the greatest hero of the Trojan War, Achilleus, and is often the first book taught in Classical Literature. This six-week unit is a book-by-book analysis of the epic, integrating quizzes, tests, compositions, and creative assignments. It also includes introductory lectures by Douglas Wilson and Christopher Schlect. The material is suitable for any secondary level study of classical literature, and can easily be used as a self-teaching course. This guide is written and compiled by Trude Marston.
Iliad: A Teaching Unit assumes the student will spend one hour in class each day clarifying, discussing, completing the daily worksheet, and approximately 30-60 minutes reading the book on his own. The 24 books of the epic should be read at a pace of one per night, with a few additions. Two days are spent in introducing classical literature, characteristics of epic, the Greek pantheon, and an overview of the Trojan War (including its causes). An extra day in the middle of the unit is spent taking a test over the first half, and there is also a day spent on a final exam. Done as scheduled, this course should take about 29-30 days, or 6 weeks.
Line references, quotations, and name spelling are based on Richmond Lattimore's translation of the Iliad. In addition, he has written an excellent introduction which may make more sense to the student if read at the end of the unit rather than before (the teacher should still read it before).
If used in a classroom, there is no time given for compositions, other than the review of manuscript form and relevant discussion during class time. At least two compositions should be assigned during the six weeks, preferably not due at the same time as the two exams.
The lessons included tend to be geared toward a descriptive or analytic written response. Teachers may find that some students benefit more from oral reading, listening, drawing, enacting, etc. Consider your students' needs and use your own teaching intuition.
Did you find this review helpful?