The Classical Period of Literature

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Last updated: May 10, 2019
Classical Greek Period
This is a time where democratic city-state in Athens produced various literature that is still referenced today.

Classical Roman Period
Rome conquered Greece and the rise of Roman writing often inspired by Greek counterparts arose.

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Patristic Period
This is when the first versions of the Bible emerged and when Christianity began to spread.

Classical period of Literature
This is recognized as the first period of historical time when literature was written and recognized.

When was the Classical Period of Literature?
1200 BCE to 455 CE

What does BCE stand for?
Before Common Era

What does CE stand for?
Common Era

What is the difference between BCE and BC?
Nothing, this was written to avoid making reference to Christianity. BC Stands for Before Christ.

What is the difference between CE and AD?
Nothing, this was written to avoid making reference to Christianity. AD stands for Anno Dominio, which translates to mean The Year of Our Lord.

Who wrote THE ODYSSEY?
Homer

Who wrote OEDIPUS?
Sophocles

Who wrote AENIED?
Virgil

Who wrote CITY OF GOD?
St. Augustine

Greek or Roman? Gorgias
Greek

Greek or Roman? Aesop
Greek

Greek or Roman? Plato
Greek

Greek or Roman? Socrates
Greek

Greek or Roman? Aristotle
Greek

Greek or Roman? Euripides
Greek

Who contributed to the Classical Period of Literature first? Greeks or Romans?
Greeks

Greek or Roman? Platus
Roman

Greek or Roman? Ovid
Roman

Greek or Roman? Horace
Roman

Greek or Roman? Virgil
Roman

Greek or Roman? Marcus Arelius
Roman

Greek or Roman? Cicero
Roman

Who was the first person to write the Bible in the Classical Period of Literature?
St.

Jerome

True or False. Literature from the Classical Period uses fantasy to get stories across to listeners and readers.
False

True or False. Literature from the Classical Period was heavily focused on allegory which often challenged the thoughts of readers and/or listeners.
True

True or False. Literature from the Classical Period was made to reflect the daily life of the people or challenge the ways of behavior considered ‘the norm’.
True

True or False.

Literature from the Classical Period was purely focused on mythology with little or no focus on philosophy.

False

What work is this from? Oedipus, rule of my native land,you see how people here of every ageare crouching down around your alters,some fledglings barely strong enough to flyand others bent by age, with priests as well–for I’m a priest of Zues–and these are ones here, the pick of all our youth.
Oedipus

Who is the author of this? “First,the sky and the earth and the flowing fields of the sea, the shining orb of the moon and the Titan sun, the stars: an inner spirit feeds them, coursing through all their limbs, mind stirs the mass and their fusion brings the world to birth.From their union springs the human race and the wild beasts, the winged lives of birds and the wondrous monsters bredbelow the glistening surface of the sea. The seeds of life–fiery is their force, divine their birth, but theyare weighed down by the bodies’ ills or dulled by earthly limbs and flesh that’s born for death. That is the source of all men’s fears and longings, joys and sorrows, nor can they see the heavens’ light,shut up in the body’s tomb, a prison dark and deep.
VirgilFrom THE AENIED

Who is the author of this? I will now call to mind my past foulness, and the carnal corruptions of my soul; not because I love them, but that I may love Thee, O my God. For love of Thy love I do it; reviewing my most wicked ways in the very bitterness of my remembrance, that Thou mayest grow sweet unto me (Thou sweetness never failing, Thou blissful and assured sweetness); and gathering me again out of that my dissipation, wherein I was torn piecemeal, while turned from Thee, the One Good, I lost myself among a multiplicity of things.

For I even burnt in my youth heretofore, to be satiated in things below; and I dared to grow wild again, with these carious and shadowy loves: my beauty consumed away, and I stank in Thine eyes; pleasing myself, and desirous to please in the eyes of men.

St. AugustineFrom THE CONFESSIONS OF ST.

AUGUSTINE

The literature from the Classical Period was known to
teach a lesson and inspire thought.

What is a type of writing that uses a symbolic story to represent a greater idea?
Allegory

What is a famous allegory written by Plato?
The allegory of the Cave

Who wrote the following? Envision human figures living in an underground cave, with a long entrance across the whole entrance of the cave. Here they’ve been form their childhood and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning their heads around. Above and behind them a fire is blazing in the distance. They see only their own shadows which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave. for how could see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?
PlatoFrom THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE

True or False. The literature from the Classical Period shaped western thought as we know it.

True

True or False. The writing of the Classical Period involved hectic and unorganized literature.
False

True or False. The writing of the Classical Period includes The Bible.

True

True or False. Even poetry during the Classical Period was intended to serve a purpose.
True

Greek Philosophy was a historical influence on writers in the Classical Period of Literature.
True

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