The Classics spin

Every month the Classics Club asks its members a question about their reading, or sets them a small challenge. These things are totally optional, and I haven’t partaken as yet. At least, not until now.

The current challenge is called a Classics Spin. Instructions are to take 20 titles from your identified to-read list, number them 1-20, and on Monday 7th March, they will announce a number between 1 and 20. Members are then challenged to read the corresponding title from their own lists matching that number by the 2nd May. i can imagine someone somewhere ready with a gigantic chocolate wheel, or blindfolded and aiming at a dartboard, but the reality is probably an online random number generator such as

As it is reasonably important to my project to read my titles in their specific order, I wondered how I could apply this challenge to my list. Since the next couple of dozen titles I have are short plays, what I have decided is to list the next twenty plays, and when the Club announces the target number, try to read all the titles up to that number before the due date in May. So readers of this blog (yes, both of you!) will hopefully see a lot more activity in March and April.

The list is

1. Sophocles : The Trachiniae (Women of Trachis)
2. Euripides : The Heracleidae (Children of Heracles)
3. Sophocles : Oedipus the King
4. Euripides : Hippolytus
5. Euripides : Andromache
6. Aristophanes : The Acharnians
7. Euripides : Hecuba
8. Aristophanes : The Knights
9. Euripides : The Suppliants
10. Aristophanes : The Wasps
11. Aristophanes : Peace
12. Euripides : Electra
13. Aristophanes : The Clouds
14. Euripides : Heracles
15. Aristophanes : The Birds
16. Euripides : Ion
17. Euripides : Iphigenia among the Taurians
18. Euripides : Helen
19. Aristophanes : The Thesmophoriazusae
20. Aristophanes : Lysistrata

I will come back on Monday and let you know the number.




  1. Wow, imagine my surprise to see all these Greek plays! It’s wonderful! I love Greek literature but rarely find others who read it. I’m going through the Greek dramatists at the moment (among other reads), and am just finishing up Aeschylus. I read Lysistrata earlier this year and really enjoyed it, and have read the Theban Trilogy a couple of times, once in the trilogy order and once in the written order. I’m so glad to have found your blog, and have a great Classics Club Spin!


    • Hi Cleo. Because my quest is to read them in order, I finished Aeschylus earlier this year, and am now bouncing between Sophocles and Euripides. I have not read these two before (part of the quest is to read things I have never experienced) but soon I will be throwing Aristophanes into the mix which is great because his comedies will provide some contrast, as well as his references and jibes at the tragedian playwrights wil make more sense to me this time round. Good luck with your spin challenge too! If you get Heroodotus, we can compare notes!


    • Thanks TJ. I checked out your 20 book list last night and noticed The Secret Garden was included. I know this is a favourite with many people, but I must confess I preferred Burnett’s A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy. The image surrounding the latter almost put me off reading it but I enjoyed the others so gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised.


  2. So, if the spin pick is #10, you have to read the first 10? That’s impressive! I’ve never read any of the early classic plays, so I can’t recommend any of them. Best of luck with your spin pick!


    • That’s the optimistic plan. I wouldn’t be trying so much except the plays are quite do-able in one night each if the stars align. The challenge at the moment is to finish Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War before I can return to the tragedies. I’m also looking forward to revisiting Aristophanes. The real goal is to have read all the major Ancient Greek works by the end of 2016, so my spin on the spin will give me some kick along.


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