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    Retelling of Illia and Odyssey?

    My son is due to do the Illiad and the Odyssey next year (after Christmas). He has not read any other retelling (eg Children's Homer or Black Sails Before Troy). Do you think it is necessary or even just worthwhile for him to do so?

    Thank you,

    Natalie

    #2
    Hi Natalie!

    ​​​​​​My oldest son read narrative retellings of The Iliad, but not of The Odyssey. I thought it was useful in helping get a basic sense of the story, so that when they read the books afterwards, the focus was on the beauty of the language and perhaps a deeper understanding after having lived with the characters a bit longer. But, as I said, he didn't read any "easier" version of The Odyssey and did well with it. I did think his understanding of The Iliad was enhanced by the prior reading, though.

    The books you mentioned could be read over Christmas break as just a "free read" where your not discussing, necessarily, but just letting him get the flavor of the story. I think it's a useful thing to do. I did choose to have my oldest read a retelling of The Aeneid on his own before we tackle that book later this year. If you just don't have the time, rest assured that they can both be read and understood without any prior knowledge, and the Teacher Guide is extremely helpful in pulling out the really important points that you don't want to miss.

    Best of luck!
    Tracy
    Tracy
    My boys: JR, Riley, and Jack
    MP 8A, 7A, and MP2

    Comment


      #3
      Naxi,
      Absolutely, yes! Agreeing with Tracy that it's so helpful. You can often find retellings of these on audio as well. We have list of resources here for Iliad and Odyssey (scroll down): https://nashvillelatinschool.com/book-club/
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      2020-2021
      11th year HSing · 9th year MP
      @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
      11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

      Comment


        #4
        I think that it would be helpful but not necessary. If he hasn't read any adaptations when he start to read the actual works, I suggest taking some time to make an overview reference sheet that he can look at as he reads. It's easy to get lost in the narratives if you don't have the roadmap either in your head or on paper. This will be especially important with the Odyssey because it jumps around both chronologically and geographically. You'll want both a map and a chronology of the Trojan War and Odysseus' journey for that one.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Meg323 View Post
          I think that it would be helpful but not necessary. If he hasn't read any adaptations when he start to read the actual works, I suggest taking some time to make an overview reference sheet that he can look at as he reads. It's easy to get lost in the narratives if you don't have the roadmap either in your head or on paper. This will be especially important with the Odyssey because it jumps around both chronologically and geographically. You'll want both a map and a chronology of the Trojan War and Odysseus' journey for that one.
          Do you have any idea where I might find one already done? I am not sure I am confident to do it myself.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you! I will have a look and see what I can find. He is reading through D'Aulaire's Greek Myths at the moment and enjoying them (my younger two are studying them). He loves ancient Rome but has no interest in Greece at all. I am hoping he will enjoy next year at least half as much as I am expecting to do.

            Comment


              #7
              My son loves everything related to Greek myths and Trojan War. This year he read the Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge (included in 7th grade core) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was often needing to slow down his reading to make sure he was completing the study guide simultaneously. So I think it would be an enjoyable "free read" to help get the basics of the story in a student's mind. My kids have also previously read the graphic novels of The Iliad and The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds. They are true to the original in details, but some of the pictures are...graphic. It's a tale of war, violence, illicit romance, and betrayal, so that wasn't a surprise or a problem for us, but a sensitive kid might be grossed out by a few things. Just a heads up. If he's got the maturity to handle that, I would highly recommend those books. After reading them, I think my son feels like Diomedes is his friend and that he personally knows and despises Paris :-) I'm sure that reading the original works will be enhanced by this familiarity.
              Amy

              DS 12 MP7
              DD 10 MP5
              DS 8 MP3
              DD 5 MPK
              DS 3
              DS 3 months

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Naxi View Post

                Do you have any idea where I might find one already done? I am not sure I am confident to do it myself.
                Much of this is already provided in the appendix to the MP teacher manuals for each epic.
                Festina lentē,
                Jessica P

                2020-2021
                11th year HSing · 9th year MP
                @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
                11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

                Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Naxi View Post
                  Thank you! I will have a look and see what I can find. He is reading through D'Aulaire's Greek Myths at the moment and enjoying them (my younger two are studying them). He loves ancient Rome but has no interest in Greece at all. I am hoping he will enjoy next year at least half as much as I am expecting to do.
                  Bonus! Troy is ancient Rome in a manner of speaking, so maybe he can cheer for Priam, Hector, and Aeneas against the Greeks. 😆
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  2020-2021
                  11th year HSing · 9th year MP
                  @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
                  11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post

                    Much of this is already provided in the appendix to the MP teacher manuals for each epic.
                    I would have him use the MP materials to make his own summary/outline before he begins reading. It's important that he have it on a separate piece of paper that he can have in front of him while he reads until he can hold the entire narrative structure in his mind. I would think 1-3 sentences on each book would be sufficient.
                    With the Odyssey you should also have him note the location of the current protagonist and the year. The best way is to count by years of Odysseus' absence from home. You can also think about Telemachus' approximate age since he was a baby when Odysseus left for Troy (think of this as age 0 for simplicity) and a young adult upon Odysseus' return (think of this as age 20). The Trojan War takes up years 1-10. The journey home takes years 11-20. The story can be confusing at first because Books 1-4 (the Telemachy) are about what Odysseus' son, Telemachus, is doing in year 19. In Books 5-12 Odysseus tells the Phaeacians about his travels during years 11-13 and his 7-year stay with Calypso in years 13-19. In Books 13-24 (the Nostos), we return to year 19 to hear about Odysseus' homecoming.
                    I hope that he enjoys Homer. You can remind him that the Romans he loves also read the Homeric epics as classics!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post

                      Bonus! Troy is ancient Rome in a manner of speaking, so maybe he can cheer for Priam, Hector, and Aeneas against the Greeks. 😆
                      😂

                      Actually, I always feel very sad for Priam...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Meg323 View Post

                        I would have him use the MP materials to make his own summary/outline before he begins reading. It's important that he have it on a separate piece of paper that he can have in front of him while he reads until he can hold the entire narrative structure in his mind. I would think 1-3 sentences on each book would be sufficient.
                        With the Odyssey you should also have him note the location of the current protagonist and the year. The best way is to count by years of Odysseus' absence from home. You can also think about Telemachus' approximate age since he was a baby when Odysseus left for Troy (think of this as age 0 for simplicity) and a young adult upon Odysseus' return (think of this as age 20). The Trojan War takes up years 1-10. The journey home takes years 11-20. The story can be confusing at first because Books 1-4 (the Telemachy) are about what Odysseus' son, Telemachus, is doing in year 19. In Books 5-12 Odysseus tells the Phaeacians about his travels during years 11-13 and his 7-year stay with Calypso in years 13-19. In Books 13-24 (the Nostos), we return to year 19 to hear about Odysseus' homecoming.
                        I hope that he enjoys Homer. You can remind him that the Romans he loves also read the Homeric epics as classics!
                        Thank you. This is a very helpful idea. I always try and keep it straight in my head - this would be a much better option! (Can't believe I never thought of doing that myself!)

                        Comment

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