Greek leaders - PDF book by Leslie White Hopkinson

Greek leaders 

Greek leaders

Content of the book

Introduction.--Solon.--Themistocles.--Pericles.--Alcibiades.--Socrates.--Agesilaus.--Dionysius the Elder.--Epaminondas.--Demosthenes.--Alexander the Great.--Aratus.--Summary of Greek history

From the introduction:

this book is specially designed for use, in conjunction with a textbook, in high-school classes in ancient history. It bases its claim for consideration in this connection primarily on the fact that it consists of biographies of manageable length which combine attractive literary form with real merit as history. 

It is hoped that Greek Leaders may find a place in that select group of books that, being complementary to the textbook used by the class, is as indispensable to the schools as is the textbook itself. Ideally, such books should be in the hands of every pupil; but since this is not always practicable, it is now generally recognized that there should be at least one copy of them in the school library for every five pupils in the class. 

The teacher must have available such a number of copies of these books that pupils may be able to do the reading assigned by him without jostling one another. Nothing dampens the ardour for reading of students of history so quickly as the inability or time-consuming difficulty in "getting the books." The reasons for the existence of "collateral reading" in connection with history instruction in high schools and academies are generally recognized. One of them, however, has, I venture to think, been insufficiently emphasized. Perhaps it applies peculiarly in the field of ancient history. 

These circumstances have brought it about that writer of textbooks, forced not only to include in one volume of fixed dimensions the history of Greece and Rome and the history of the Near East and the early Middle Ages but also to enrich their narrative of events by taking account
 of social, economic, and cultural developments, have been unable to furnish more than well-proportioned summaries. 

Such manuals afford an excellent basis for classroom work, and they have been found indispensable in the teaching of history both in America and Europe. But they are commonly not good samples of history writing. They do not dwell long enough on situations and actors, or on societies and forces, to give the imagination a fair chance to construct plots or visualize communities.

 In them, there is no room for eloquence, no opportunity to linger Herodotus- wise on pleasant bypaths, no space to register the ups and downs of affairs. All is inexorable quick-march. They are, therefore, condemned in advance to be rarely or never interesting. They are too compact for that. In the schools of France, they are taken as the point of departure, not so much for analyses by the question-and-answer method, as for oral narratives developed with the literary and dramatic skill for which French teachers are distinguished. 

Thereby the French pupil is introduced to real history. In America, this introduction must be and commonly is, made through collateral reading. It is, therefore, important in the highest degree that the books by which the textbook is supplemented should be chosen, both as regards type and individual volume, with the utmost care. 

Yet of one kind of work the choice is in- evitable, as is shown by the accord in this particular, so seldom secured in other matters, of school teachers and college examiners: biography must form an essential part of the collateral reading of pupils taking up the study of ancient history in their secondary-school course.
the book details :
  • Author: Leslie White Hopkinson
  • Publication date: 1918
  • Company: Boston, New York [etc.] Houghton Mifflin Company

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