A lexicon is the collected vocabulary of a person. Over the course of 26 weeks, students will explore a cluster of words from translations of ancient works. Using these words in an original way, with inspiration from The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, and The Eclogues, will help the budding wordsmith recognize the plasticity of language and delight in its beauty.
Why read ancient, texts? What is gained? One could just as well ask, “Why read any story?” Though these myths, poems, and epic tales tell of people and places we may find hard to understand or relate to, and though they tell of events we can barely imagine, ultimately, they are tales common to all of humanity, all of history. These stories teach us to admire men and women of character, and to revile men and women of treachery. And though we are separated from these authors by thousands of years and thousands of miles, by the power of the written word, we are really no farther from them than we are from the Mississippi of Twain, the California of Steinbeck, or the England of Austen. These distant times and places are ultimately tied together because they tell of our hopes and dreams, our triumphs and failures, our virtues and vices.
Included in the 12th Grade Collection