Best classical literature for children?
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What I really want is a good Herodotus for children. But I haven't found it.
I'm thinking some of Plutarch's lives might work. Individual stories from Herodotus, definitely, but much would have to be skipped or glossed.
After that? I'm not sure. Looking at my shelf, I can only really see Aelian, but that's hardly in the top five tiers. Maybe Plutarch? It's hard to know unless I read it to myself again, thinking about how it would go reading it to Liam.
Gibson seemed reasonably true to the originals to my layman's eyes, but might be too 'reworked' for Tim's classicist purposes.
My wife nixed Medea. She's probably right. The Persians, maybe, since we'll be doing The Persian War a bit. At least the famous description of Salamis.
Roman: Ovid, Horace's satires, Plautus and Terence
Some excisions necessary according to age, of course. Re: Aristophanes, not too much need be taken out of The Clouds.
I don't know whether you use audiobooks, but Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame) has done splendid readings of the Fitzgerald translations of Homer.
I was wondering if the Characters would interest him. But I feel like Xenophon is too boring. (I'm bored by him, for starters.)
We did Lysistrata at our Gymnasium when I was 13, that was fun. Not the straight text though, an adaptation. Depends how far he is with the birds and the bees.
I read the Odyssey last year for the first time proper. It took me 25y to get to it. It could work, it helped me when I read several translations of the first chapters side by side so I could see the richness of the text.
I feel texts like these need introductions by people who are passionate about them, perhaps reading to the kid with some extra explanations for the first few chapters. Point some interesting tricks out. Give context. Reference modern retellings and references.
I had Aesop, some of Roger Lancelyn Green's greek and norse myths and selections from the Metamorphoses when i was a kid (about 6 or so) and found them entertaining then, and many years later a useful background when i started reading more 'literary' works.
Edit: I should specify Ovid here, not Apuleius :p
You can start with this and work further with the stories in English translation. I expanded the Perseus story and went towards explaining constellations and stars.