Samuel Wilmot

Learn the Past Understand your Present

History has always begun with a people, and with the fundamental need of all people to know where they stand in the world. Without knowing the path already travelled, and the why and the how of where one finds oneself in the present, moving forward becomes difficult - if not dangerous.

Our history course at Augustine Academy aims to capture the stories of the peoples who brought us to the place we stand today, and why and how it is that their stories matter still. From ancient conquerors to modern dictators, medieval serfs to renaissance traders, Augustine Academy's course in History tells stories from the broad and sweeping to the lives of everyday individuals - all so that we, in our everyday  moments, can better move forward as people and individuals.

  • History Provides Identity

  • Studying History Is Essential for Good Citizenship

  • History Contributes to Moral Understanding

  • History Integrates the Self into the World


The Classical Past


World War B.C.: The Greco-Persian and the Peloponnesian Wars
The story of East vs West makes for powerful rhetoric - as does that of tyranny vs freedom. In looking at the works of the first two Greek historians, we see the seeds of a story that has never ceased to echo in history.

    1. Reading 1: (selections of) Book 1, Herodotus' Histories
    2. Reading 2: 'The Melian Dialogue' (Thucydides, 5.84-116)

The Legend of the Great: Alexander's World Conquest
Alexander would put an end to the previous generations' struggles in the birth of a world conquest the likes of which had never before been seen - and most importantly, would birth a legend that would outlive his fractured empire and go on to inspire imitators, from Caesar to Napoleon.

    1. Reading 1: Selections of Arrian, 'The Campaigns of Alexander'

An Empire of Trade, A Republic of War: Early Histories of Rome and Carthage
Alexander's lightning conquest of an empire stretching from the Balkans to Bactria was not the norm. Most other great powers of the time took slower approaches, as exemplified by the contrasting expansions of two great rivals: Rome and Carthage. Understanding how each pursued dominion, and their eventual conflict, will reveal a pattern of state still ongoing.

    1. Reading 1: Selection of Livy's Early History of Rome
    2. Reading 2: Plutarch's Account of the Destruction of Carthage

New World Order - Julius Caesar and the Beginning of an Empire
The collapse of the Roman Republic into a new empire has created a story so powerful that its  repercussions may never cease. By examining the corruption of a line of emperors who stood as some of the most powerful men on the entire globe, we can understand better how the lure of power can overcome the story a people have told themselves for centuries.

    1. Reading 1: selections from Caesar's Gallic Wars
    2. Reading 2: Selections of Virgil and Livy

The Eternal City - Constantine and the Start of a New Era
What happened when the eternal city adopted for its model the heavenly city? The conversion of Constantine and the founding of a new capital would usher in a new era for the world once held under Rome's dominion...

    1. Reading 1: Eusebius' account of the Milvan Bridge

The Medieval Past


In term 2, we will look at the establishment of Charlemagne's court amidst the chaos of the West, and how the rifts were sown through it between the Eastern and Western Christendoms. The invasion of the Normans of England under William the Conqueror then set the stage for the Crusades, and the resulting chaos in the East will forever change Europe and its surrounds as an influx of new ideas - and new diseases - seem to bring about the very end of the world itself. Along the way, we will see how the legends of the classical past set the stage for the identities of peoples who would become the European nations we know today.

WEEK 1: The end of the pagan Empire and the beginnings of Christendom

    Diocletian, the Tetrarchy, and Constantine

    1. Reading: The Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Eusebius

    Justinian and the Eastern Roman Empire

    1. Reading: [selections from] the Secret History of Procopius/the Alexandrine World Chronicle

WEEK 2: The rise of Western Christendom and the challenge of pagan tribes

    Charlemagne and the Carolingian Rennassaince

    1. Reading: Einhard’s Life of Karl the Great (Charlemagne)

    The Vikings and their impact on Western Europe

WEEK 3: Anglo-Saxon England

    The rise of Wessex and Alfred the Great

    1. Reading: Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 878-886

    The Decline of the House of Wessex

    1. Reading: [selections from] the Knytlinga Saga, Knut’s Invasion of England in 1015-16

WEEK 4: The High Middle Ages

    The First Crusade

    1. Reading: Urban II's speech of 1095

    The Third Crusade and the decline of the ideal

The Early Modern era


This subject will address the shift of attitudes and ideas from the Middle Ages into the early modern period, with a focus on the birth of humanism and the scientific revolution. Students will learn about the great thinkers of this age and the social and religious tensions that surrounded them. Prominent figures of science such as Galileo, Copernicus, Newton and Bacon will be studied. The causes and ramifications of the Reformation will be explored.

Modern History


Term 4 of History will cover the intertwined concepts of colonialism and capitalism, and how they developed from the early modern era until today. In our study of Britain, America, India, Afghanistan, Australia, and Russia, we will chart not only their various forms across modernity, but the political and economic movements that emerged in challenge to the colonial and capitalist project.

WEEK 1: The Ages of Discovery and Mercantilism
Topics: The Rise of Europe on the World Stage//The Rise of the British Empire In this week, we will cover the expansion of European nations into global powers, and the development of merchant capitalism. The transatlantic slave trade, trading companies, and early colonialism will be discussed. The main European power we will focus on is the British Empire.

WEEK 2: Emancipation and Slavery
Topics: British Abolitionism//The American Revolution.
In this week, we will cover the developments in Britain that lead to the Thirteen Colonies in America forming a Union and declaring independence. The abolition of slavery in England, the American Founding Fathers, and the early American Republic will be discussed.

WEEK 3: Corruption and Conviction
Topics: The Industrial Revolution//The Settlement of Australia.
In this week, we will see how the social conditions of England lead to both the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution - but also the deportation of its unwanted and adventurous to the colony of New South Wales. Understanding England’s religious landscape, economic conditions, and legal structure will shed light on both the emergence of industrialisation, and the beginnings of our own Nation of Australia.

WEEK 4: Civil War and Civic Collapse
Topics: The U.S. Civil War and U.S. Abolitionism//The Great Depression.
In this week, we will chart a course through around 70 years of U.S. history, discussing President Lincoln’s two great achievements: the end of the U.S. Civil War and the 13th Amendment. We will examine U.S. social conditions in a brief overview of its history up until the Great Depression. 

WEEK 5: The Fall of the Third Rome and the Fall of the Iron Curtain
Topics: The Russian Revolution and the Cold War In this week, we will look at the collapse of Tsarist Russia into The Soviet Union, and the effect this had on the world stage after WWII. In the second half of the lecture, we will look at an overview of key moments in the Cold War of the 20th century.