Classical Studies

HLN students take Classical Studies every year until they have completed Classical Metaphysics.

The HLN sequence for Classical Studies starting in third grade is as follows:

  • D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths
  • Famous Men of Rome
  • Famous Men of the Middle Ages
  • Famous Men of Greece, Horatius at the Bridge poem
  • Book of the Ancient Greeks, The Iliad, The Odyssey
  • Book of the Ancient Romans, The Aeneid
  • Greek Tragedies: Aeschylus, Sophocles, & Euripides (*Honors)
  • Classical Political Philosophy: Cicero’s On Obligations, The Republic, and The Laws (*Honors)
  • Classical Metaphysics: Selections from Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Boethius, Aquinas, & Kreeft (*Honors)
  • A Classical History of Art (Currently awaiting publication from Memoria Press)

Click here for a HLN’s complete Scope and Sequence.


Grammar School Classical Studies

These classes successfully prepare students to read the great classics offered in HLN’s upper-level Classical Studies. Students will study Greek Mythology then Roman, Medieval, and Greek history over the course of one year for each subject. The memorization of Horatius at the Bridge is the crowning achievement of the Grammar School classical studies years. (Grades 3-7)

  • Greek Myths
  • Famous Men of Rome
  • Famous Men of Middle Ages
  • Famous Men of Greece & Horatius at the Bridge


Upper School Classical Studies:

This classes consists of a systematic study of Greek and Roman history followed by a detailed reading of the three great classical epics: Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. This high school-level content is covered in a way appropriate for slightly younger students. 

Book of the Ancient Greeks & Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey – Grades 7-8+ 

  • Prerequisite reading, if not already read: Famous Men of Greece & The Trojan War.

Book of the Ancient Romans & Virgil’s Aeneid – Grades 8-9+

  • Prerequisite reading, if not already read: Famous Men of Greece, Famous Men of Rome, Iliad, Odyssey, & Aeneid for Boys and Girls 


At the high school level, Classics courses take on the form of literature classes with discussion, papers, memorization, and recitations required. They can be counted as high quality English or Classics electives. 

Greek Tragedies – Grades 9+ (*Honors)

This course is a study of three great tragic playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Students will conduct a survey of Greek dramatic literature by reading a selection of Greek plays. Students will acquire a familiarity with Greek drama and cultivate skill in reading and understanding its dramatic and poetic forms. Additionally, the dramas will serve as a window into the Greek world and mind during the Golden Age of Athens. Students will seek to understand the Greeks both from the perspective of a Greco-Roman worldview and from our perspective, thus achieving an awareness of the weighty influence of Greek drama on Western civilization and subsequently developing an appreciation for the relevance it still holds for the modern reader. (Prerequisites: students must have read the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid--the complete books, not retellings–and Book of the Ancient Greeks, or similar.)

  • The Oresteian Trilogy, Aeschylus, Vellacott translation
  • Three Theban Plays, Sophocles, Fagles translation
  • Medea and Other Plays, Euripides, Vellacott translation

Classical Political Philosophy: Cicero’s On Obligations, The Republic, and The Laws – Grades 10+ (*Honors)

This course is a detailed study of three of the most important works of classical political history and their bearing on Western society. The first-century Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote The Republic, which later became the blueprint of the U.S. government, almost 2,000 years after it was written. In The Laws he defends his understanding of the moral life, becoming the first person outside of Scripture to ever posit the existence of natural law. In On Obligations, Cicero tries to provide the politicians of his day with solid principles to live by, even as they were driving his beloved Rome down the road of cultural decay. This course can be counted for credit as Civics, Government, Philosophy, or Literature.

  • On Obligations, Walsh translation
  • The Republic and The Laws, Rudd translation

Classical Metaphysics: Selections from Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Boethius, & Aquinas – Grades 11+ (*Honors)

Students begin with Plato’s Apology to define wonder, wisdom, and knowledge and to understand the purpose of philosophical study. Then they will embark on a historical survey, starting with the pre-Socratics, their search for the ἀρχή, and problems with multiplicity and change. Plato and Aristotle, the philosophical giants of the ancient world, will then become the guides. The historical journey will continue with an evaluation of Epicureanism and Stoicism through Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods. Next, Christian philosophical thought will be explored through Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy. The course culminates in Aquinas’ thought on epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and anthropology. This class can be counted for credit as Philosophy, Classics, or Literature.

  • A History of Philosophy, Volume I: Greece and Rome, Frederick Copleston, S.J.  
  • The Last Days of Socrates & The Republic, Plato, Rowe translation
  • The Nature of the Gods, Cicero, Walsh translation
  • A Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius, Watts translation
  • A Shorter Summa, Peter Kreeft

A Classical History of Art – Grades 11+

Awaiting publication by Memoria Press.

*Honors: These courses qualify for the designation of “Honors” on the student’s transcript if all coursework is completed as assigned.