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The Story of the Greeks Review by Amber SmithChristine Miller
Nothing New Press
P.O. Box 18335
Sarasota, FL 34276
In The Story of the Greeks, Christine Miller has updated and refined the 1896 edition of H. A. Guerber’s original historical work by the same name. The updated volume loses none of the richness or breadth, yet avoids sounding like a dry history text book. The tone is conversational with plenty of detail to keep younger listeners interested. We are reading it aloud with our three elementary students (7th, 5th and 4th), but this could just as easily be assigned to an upper elementary or junior high student to use on their own without trouble.
The Story of the Greeks covers the whole history of the Greek civilization from the time of creation to the Roman occupation in 146BC. Beginning with the dispersion from Babel, we follow the movement of the family of Javan; son of Japheth, to their settling in early Greece. As the populations grow and move, the book details all of the changing aspects of life in Greece; culture, arts, religion and government.
The whole ancient-focused, three-volume “The Story of…” series from Nothing New Press offers an overview of all early Western civilization, from Egypt, Greece and Rome. We jumped right into the 228-page, Volume II without hesitation. We found it could be used fully independent of the other volumes as we are using it, but would make a great complete history curriculum when combined as well.
Greek history is often a source of hesitation for parents of elementary children. Mythology, with its scandalous god figures and fantastic legends is sometimes avoided by parents who fear it could cause their children confusion. The Bible has fantastic stories which are true, while Greek mythology has fantastic stories that are not. There is a struggle in how to present the two in a way that a child can understand.
We have found that the Greeks and their love of the god’s of their own making are actually a great place to affirm the veracity of scripture. If given the opportunity we see the true character of a loving creator compared against the fleshly desires of his fallen creation. Nothing illustrates these differences better than the Mythologies and legends of the Greeks.
The Story of the Greeks presents the history of the Greeks from a biblical perspective. The author is careful to point out the many times Greek Myths parallel the Biblical account. Explaining that even though the people had forgotten about the creator and their origin they still remembered the biblical events. They are reflected in their Mythology. Such events as the great flood and the creation are mirrored in the Greek stories and oral traditional stories. Miller and Guerber are careful to direct the reader back to the Biblical account to again reaffirm the veracity and trust-worthiness of scripture.
This book makes a great companion to a unit study of Mythology or a component for a full-scale study on Greek History. The history is more in depth than any other source I have read, without being too dry or dull. There are plenty of maps and a detailed timeline is added for further study or clarity. We also found the recommended reading list in the appendix to be a great resource since we are going to spend more time studying Greek history and culture. We are looking forward to adding a few of the resources to our reading list.
As a mythology buff, The Story of the Greeks has been a great way to bridge my love of Greek Myths with homeschool history. I have read single stories to the children before, but I have gained more context from reading this book than from any other source previous.
-Product review by Amber Smith, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2017