Ancient Greek Challenge 2016

Woo hoo!  After some not-so-subtle prodding by yours truly, Keely from We Went Outside and Saw The Stars has decided to host a Greek literature challenge for 2016.  I’m so excited about this challenge as it will allow me to choose books from one of my favourite periods.

General Rules: 
                the Ancient Greek Reading Challenge 2016 runs from the 1st of January to the 31st of December 2016
                I will be accepting sign ups throughout the rest of 2015 and all through 2016. 
                You don’t have to blog about each text, or any, but the purpose of this challenge is to encourage everyone to read Ancient Greek texts so it would be amazing if you spread Ancient Greek love around the blogosphere! 
                If there is enough interest I’ll make check in posts semi often so you can link your reviews or just general comments about this challenge as you see fit. 
                Everything counts for this challenge: plays, essays, non-fiction history, poetry, fragments of texts, criticism etc. As long as it is an Ancient Greek text or a modern text about Ancient Greece it counts! I’ll personally be reading texts from Ancient Greece and the Byzantine Era so you can make this challenge whatever you want it to be. 
                I’ll also love it if you would be interested in writing guest posts here related to this challenge. The more the merrier! 
                Most of all HAVE FUN and spread your passion for Ancient Greek texts. This genre could always use more love. 
The Levels: 
                Level One: 1-4 Texts 
                Level Two: 4-6 Texts 
                Level Three: 7-9 Texts 
                Level Four: 10-12 Texts
                Level Five: 12+ Texts 
I will be aiming for Level Five as I have plans to read as many Ancient Greek plays by the four greats (Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Aristophanes).
List of (some) Ancient Greek Texts: 
****a lot of ancient greek texts only survive in fragments but i’ve included these in this list if you’re still interested in reading some of them
                Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey 
                Hesiod: Works and Days and Theogony 
                Archilochus of Paros: Fragments 
                Sappho: Poems 
                Alcaeus: Fragments 
                Pindar: Epinikia and Fragments 
                Aeschylus: The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, Agamemnon, Choephoroe, Eumenides 
                Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, Ajax, Electra, Trachiniae, Philoctetes
                Euripides: Rhesus, Medea, Hippolytus, Alcestis, Heracleidae, The Suppliants, The Trojan Women, Ion, Helen, Andromache, Electra, The Bacchae, Hecuba, Heracles Mad, The Phoenician Maidens, Orestes, Iphigenia Among the Tauri, Iphigenia At Aulis, The Cyclops
                Aristophanes: the Archarnians, the Knights, the Clouds, the Wasps, the Peace, the Birds, the Frogs, the Lysistrata, The Thesmophoriazusae, the Ecclesiazusae, the Plutus
                Herodotus: Histories 
                Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War 
                Xenophon: Anabasis, Apology, Symposium, Memorabilia 
                Aristotle: Metaphysics, On the Soul, On Poetics, etc. A complete list can be found here (x)
                Plato: Republic, On Justice, On Virtue, etc. A complete list can be found here: (x
                Theocritus: Idylls and Epigrams
                Callimachus: Hymns, Fragments 
                Apollonius of Rhodes: Argonautica

                 Menander: Fragments 

I’m not sure what I’m going to choose to read, but I have some literature on my Classics Club list that I should get to, and then there are so many other possibilities.

Menander – Fragments
Aristotle – Nicomachean Ethics, Poetics
Ovid – Metamorphoses
Plato – The Republic, Meno, Crito, Phaedo
Plutarch – Lives
Aristophanes – Birds, Lysistrata
Euripides –
Aeschylus – The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound
Sophocles – Ajax, The Women of Trachis, Electra, Philoctetes

Ooo, I can’t wait to get started!

19 thoughts on “Ancient Greek Challenge 2016

  1. This is Beth Gould from GoodReads. I don't have a blog but I'm considering tackling some of Plato next year (what got me interested was Jo Walton's sf novel The Just City, which came out last June and is inspired by Plato). I might also read some Greek plays. Of the ones I've read so far, I love Lysistrata but some of the tragedies are fascinating too. I've never had a chance to see one performed but when I read Medea I checked out the movie version from my university library (by the German director Lars von Trier, with subtitles) and was really impressed.

  2. Hi Beth and welcome to my blog! I haven't read Lysistrata (but looking forward to it) or Medea. I've read Sophocles' The Theban Trilogy a couple of times and Aeschylus' Orestia. I would love to read both again, but I'm going to probably try to focus on the plays that I haven't read. I'd also like to fit in at least one Plato and Aristotle, even though they scare me. I'll keep my eyes open to see what you choose to read!

  3. Aw c'mon, you could do Level 1 and aim for one text. But I know that you have so many other challenges and projects to keep you busy. I have a sinking feeling that I'm going to bite off more than I can chew for next year!

  4. For busy readers, it's really helpful that you can read only one text to complete this challenge. I won't have any problem finishing this challenge, but I have other challenges I'm considering that will be harder to complete. I'll be interested to see what Greek text that you choose to read!

  5. The common suggestion with Plato is to start with 'the Apology' and I won't disagree with that. The trial of Socrates has inspired millenia of discussion. For Aristotle, I'd suggest his 'Poetics', which really describes how stories have been told ever since. Both are very readable and fundamental building blocks.

  6. Thanks for the recommendations, Peder. That's very helpful, especially because I'm pretty much in the dark with Plato, but moreso with Aristotle. I have read Plato's Apology, so I'll make sure to include the rest of the dialogues. And I have only read Greek tragedy, so comedy would be a great category to investigate!

  7. Woohoo!! I'm in! It's not my favorite time period to read from but I'm curious about the stories written during that time. Plus, I planned to read The Iliad and the Odyssey next year so why not join the challenge? I think I'll aim low though for Level two.

  8. Yay, you! I'm so glad that you're joining! I loved The Iliad and The Odyssey too, just not as much. The plays are easy reads and the more popular ones quite exciting. I hope that you develop a new love for Greek lit!

  9. Well, since my Classic Spin is…. Stung by Love: poems by Sappho and I have some ancient classics on my reading list
    i might as well join this challenge. I'll go to Keely's website and let her know. I'm stunned but ready to do my best!

  10. Stunned can be a good thing …… often favourite books come out of being stunned ….. 😉 I haven't read Sappho yet, but I think O has. One thing about the Greeks is that I don't worry about finding out plot, because it's not usually what's important in the story, so I'll read reviews before reading the book. It can be good because then, at least, you have a "trail" to follow.

  11. After wasting my time on a few books this year I finally realized the classics never disappoint. You can always learn something. Good advice about doing a 'quick scan' of story or play to read. Then I will know what to look for. Feels good to leave crime fiction behind me. French…I read the news on Le That will keep up my skills.

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you and have you join in the discussion!