What is Old Western Culture?

“Old Western Culture” is a literature curriculum named after a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe the fabric of ideas that shaped Western Civilization. For centuries, a “Great Books” education lay at the heart of what it meant to be educated. It was the education of the Church Fathers, of the Medieval Church, of the Reformers, and of all the Founding Fathers of the United States. It is a Classical Education, based on the great books of western civilization. It is a Christian Education, which sees the history and literature of the West through the eyes of the Bible and historic Christianity. It is an Integrated Humanities Curriculum, bringing together literature, history, philosophy, doctrine, geography, and art. And it is a Homeschool oriented curriculum, made by homeschoolers with the needs of homeschooled in mind, including flexibility, affordability, and ease-of-use. We bring master-teachers into your home and encourage parents to gain an overview of Western Civilization themselves by watching the video lessons with
their children.

Try Old Western Culture | Lectures and Materials

Receive the first three lectures from Old Western Culture, as well as a sample workbook, Reader, Exam Pack, and other introductory material. Sign up below:

* indicates required


Each year of Old Western Culture is made up of three main parts, along with extra materials included as downloads.

1. The video course.
2. The workbook.
3. The Readers (primary sources).
Extras: Exams, and other resources by unit.

For each category there is a choice to upgrade to physical components (DVD or DVD + Streaming for the video, and physical books vs PDF for the workbooks and readers). All streaming and downloadable products are “forever streaming.” They do not expire!


But what if there was a single program that adequately covered key texts of Western literature; that was well-written, accurate, and Christ-centered; and that didn’t just mimic all the other courses? Well, there is. Old Western Culture: A Christian Approach to the Great Books is everything other Classical-style courses wish they were.

Caleb Crossman, Exodus Books

World class teaching by classical educator Wesley Callihan. Demanding, challenging, mesmerizing content that will leave your student, no matter how steeped in history and classical studies, begging for more.

– Lisa Nehring, Golden Grasses

This has to be the best curriculum we have found for studying the great classics! We’ve been homeschooling for about 15 years and have not found anything like this. Mr. Callihan is knowledgeable, engaging, and entertaining. He speaks to the students as if he is right there with them. Not only have they chosen excellent books but all the information that he shares with the student makes this a perfect Literature and Social Studies course. On top of that, they have included a booklet with some of the most beautiful artwork to accompany the course. It’s like walking through a museum. Frequently, my son shares a story at the dinner table about what Mr. Callihan said. We all get to enjoy his stories. It also lets me know he’s “getting it.” I would highly recommend this to any family interested in a Classical Christian education. You will not be disappointed with Old Western Culture or Roman Roads Media.

– Stephanie White, Homeschool mom

The Greeks is taught by Wes Callihan, quite possibly the most engaging teacher of classical material I have encountered since my days at the University of St. Thomas. It is obvious that he loves what he is teaching, which is the mark of a truly great teacher. When he talks about Achilles and Agamemnon, you know that he feels their conflict and their emotions. You never have any doubt that he is going to lead you safely through the turmoil of Achilles’ last days. He teaches with confidence and enthusiasm, and it is infectious. If you want your child to have a Great Books, classical education – either the kind you had or the kind you wish you had – Wes Callihan is the man to teach her.

Laura, Homeschool mom

Wes Callihan is an incredible mentor. His style is that of an armchair story teller. Instead of breaking down the technical nuances of a text (and the Vandiver Great Courses Company Course on The Iliad does that beautifully), he invites us into his personal library, shows us his well-worn Lattimore text and then proceeds to tell us stories. Friends have asked if the reading load in these courses will dominate their high school student’s reading time and leave no room for other goodness. As a former high school teacher, I confess to being impressed by the layout of the course and the breakdown of the work.

Sara Masarik, Plumfield and Paideia

It is a program my kids have loved the most this year. And I love that I am able to learn alongside then too. After many years of misunderstanding some of The Great Books, I can safely say I am closer to realizing what they mean now. I am truly amazed by this program!

Amy Fleeker, Homeschool mom

Callihan is a gifted teacher—so much so that I think parents might want to watch the lectures along with their students for their own enlightenment.

Cathy Duffy, 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

I really like the idea of a classical education for my children. I was considering Omnibus by VP but was very intimidated by teaching that myself and their online classes were so expensive. When I found this DVD series I felt like this was exactly what I was looking for! My ninth grader and I sit and watch Wesley Callihan talk to us from his study chair. He really makes the Greek Classics accessible to us. I also love that he comes to the classics from a Christian world view. This series fits the bill for a classical education!

R. Andrews, Homeschool dad

As a homeschool mom just venturing into classical education, I can tell you that Old Western Culture: The Greeks is super-easy to use. With schedules carefully laid out for you, you can easily plug and play. I like that all preparation is done for me and I need simply to enjoy listening to my children as they begin to think and talk and discuss ideology together.

Lynn, Homeschool mom

I’ve tried a lot of “great books” materials in the past. All have left me feeling inadequate and incapable. All of them. Old Western Culture though? This one is different.

Debra Brinkman, Footprints in the Butter


NOTE: After clicking “play,” hover over the video and click the “expand” button to watch in full screen. Chose “HD” if your connection is good.

The Greeks (Year 1)

Full Lessons and excerpts from Old Western Culture: The Greeks

Greeks: The Epics
Lecture 1 (FULL)
Greeks: The Epics
Lecture 3 (FULL)
Greeks: The Epics
Course Trailer
Greeks: The Epics
Iliad at Glance
Greeks: Drama & Lyric
Lecture 1 (FULL)
Greeks: Drama & Lyric
Lecture 5 (FULL)
Greeks: Drama & Lyric
Course Trailer
Problem of Reading Shakespeare
Greeks: The Histories
Lecture 2 (FULL)
Greeks: The Histories
Croesus and
Cyrus the Great
Greeks: The Philosophers
Lecture 4 (FULL)

The Romans (Year 2)

Full Lessons and excerpts from Old Western Culture: The Romans

Romans: The Historians
Lecture 9 (FULL)
A Glimpse at what we lost (Clip)
Relationship Woes of Dido and Aeneas (Clip)

Christendom (Year 3)

Full Lessons and excerpts from Old Western Culture: Christendom

Christendom: Early Medievals
Lecture 1 (FULL)