Classical Antiquity and the art of discourse

So, now we are finished with the first set of competency aims. We have left prehistoric times and we are now going to have a look at the following theme:

Classical Antiquity and the art of discourse

The competency aims are:

  • give an account of how Greek and Roman civilization, cultural and social conditions were influenced by encounters with other cultures
  • analyze the growth of democratic ideas in Greek city-states
  • give an account of Natural and Athenian philosophy and their influence on humanity and society
  • explain the origins of philosophical discourse, and apply these principles to this subject
  • discuss and give an account of Roman law and the meaning of Rhetoric for development of Roman society
  • discuss the difference between historical presentation through myth, fictional literature and factual prose
  • apply relevant source criticism and questioning to narratives, and show how these narratives can be used as sources of historical information from Classical Antiquity

History and philosophy is a five-hour subject, so we have chosen to focus on how thoughts are shaped in time. I am not saying our students won’t learn any history, because all second graders have the obligatory two hour history course.

For a fuller description of what the competency aims entails we have to look at what the authorities means by the heading “classical antiquity and the art of discourse”:

The main subject area Classical Antiquity and the art of discourse is concerned with the growth of cultures around the Mediterranean. Natural and Athenian philosophies, and their views on humans and society, are included in this main subject area. This subject is concerned with the earliest historical accounts created by man, and the significance of narratives and accounts for historical research. Philosophical discourse and conceptual development are key themes of this main subject area.

We are, in other words concerned with the following themes:

  • What was transferred from ancient Mesopotamia to the cultures around the Mediterranean?
  • What is natural philosophy? What are the names of the earliest philosophers? Where did they teach?
  • What is the earth made of?
  • What is the difference between the pre-socratics and Socrates, Plato and Aristotle?
  • What is knowledge? What is it possible to know?
  • How did philosophy develop in the Roman empire?
  • How did Christianity become the official religion of the Roman empire?

These are some questions that are relevant for this subject area. In addition, I am going to learn my students how to write a philosophical essay.

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