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Classics and Books from Antiquity

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By: Publius (Ovid) Ovidius Naso (c. 43 BC - 18 AD)

Book cover Fasti

The Fasti is a Latin poem in six books, written by Ovid and believed to have been published in 8 AD. The Fasti is organized according to the Roman calendar and explains the origins of Roman holidays and associated customs, often through the mouths of deities and with multiple aetiologies. The poem was left unfinished when the poet was exiled to Tomis, so only the first six months of the year appear in the poem.

By: Alfred John Church (1829-1912)

Book cover Stories from Virgil

Alfred J. Church created 26 stories from the original Greek version of Virgil's Aeneid. He included well-known ones, such as "The Horse of Wood" and "The Love and Death of Dido," as well as many others perhaps less well-known, such as "King Evander" and "The Funeral Games of Anchises."

By: Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus (c. 46 - c. 120)

Book cover Morals (Moralia), Book 2

The Moralia (loosely translatable as "Matters relating to customs") of the 1st-century Greek scholar Plutarch of Chaeronea is an eclectic collection of 78 essays and transcribed speeches. They give an insight into Roman and Greek life, but often are also fascinating timeless observations in their own right. Many generations of Europeans have read or imitated them, including Montaigne and the Renaissance Humanists and Enlightenment philosophers. The Moralia include "On the Fortune or the Virtue of...

By: Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Book cover Physics

Physics (Greek: Φυσικὴ ἀκρόασις; Latin: Physica, or Physicae Auscultationes) discusses concepts including: substance, accident, the infinite, causation, motion, time and the Prime Mover.

By: Sappho (c. 630 BC - c. 570 BC)

Book cover Sappho: A New Rendering

Sappho lived in the Greek-speaking Aeolian islands off the coast of Turkey. She is one of the very few female poets from antiquity. Although her work was very popular in ancient Greece and Rome, only small fragments survive today. This book includes translations of these fragments, as well as a poem from Ovid's Heroides, "Sappho to Phaon," a fictional letter from Sappho to her assumed lover.

By: Pliny the Elder (23-79)

Book cover Natural History Volume 4

Naturalis Historia (Latin for "Natural History") is an encyclopedia published circa AD 77-79 by Pliny the Elder. It is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman empire to the modern day and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available to Pliny. The work became a model for all later encyclopedias in terms of the breadth of subject matter examined, the need to reference original authors, and a comprehensive index list of the contents...

By: Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Book cover Magna Moralia

Magna Moralia (Ancient Greek: ΗΟΙΚΩΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΩΝ, English: Great Ethics) discusses topics including friendship, virtue, happiness and God. It is disputed whether Aristotle wrote Magna Moralia. This author concludes that it is absurd to suggest that God contemplates only God but does not propose an alternative activity for God.

By: Elizabeth Cary (1585-1639)

Book cover Tragedy of Mariam

The Tragedy of Mariam (1613) is the first original drama written in English by a woman. Elizabeth Cary drew on Jewish histories by Josephus to create a closet drama (written to be read, rather than performed live) about Mariam, the second wife of Herod the Great. At the beginning of the play, Mariam believes that Herod has been killed by Octavius, and struggles with how to respond. On the one hand, she is relieved, as she is angry with Herod for killing her brother and grandfather. On the other, she knows that he loved her, and she feels caught by her sense of duty as his wife. When Herod unexpectedly returns, Mariam must decide what to do.

By: Bernhard Pick (1842-1917)

Book cover Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas

The full title of this book, published in 1909, is The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas. As early as the second century, numerous legends concerning the fates of the Christian apostles were in circulation. These Acts, widely regarded as originating circa 150 CE, are among the earliest accounts still in existence of the lives, preaching and martyrdoms of the apostles Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas. They are written in a fantastic and romantic style, and although they were influential in later Christian conceptions of these apostles, they are historically worthless as biographies...

By: Emilie Kip Baker (1873-1951)

Book cover Stories of Old Greece and Rome

The Stories of Old Greece and Rome is an easy to read summary of all of the famous and not so famous Greek and Roman mythological stories. All of the famous Heroes are here: Theseus, Jason, Hercules, and all of the well known Deities. These stories tell the real detail of the myths, not the ones that have become sanitized (and dare I say it, 'Disneyfied') over the centuries. These are not stories for children, as the old gods and heroes were vengeful and some might say sadistic in their treatment of minor slights and misdemeanors...

By: Homer (c. 8th cen - c. 8th cen)

Book cover Odysseys of Homer

The Odysseys are a collection of stories about Ulysses' journey home from the war at Troy purportedly written in the 8th century BCE by Homer, a blind poet thought to have lived in the Greek colonies in Asia Minor, possibly at Smyrna. The events described are thought to have occurred centuries before being recorded by Homer, handed down orally since the twelfth century BCE, the golden era of the Greek Bronze Age when the world was populated by heroic mortals and often visited by the Gods. This verse...

By: Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (-2nd Cent.)

Book cover Satires

Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal, was a Roman poet active in the late 1st and early 2nd century AD. The details of the author's life are unclear, although references within his text to known persons of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD fix his terminus post quem (earliest date of composition). The Satires are a collection of satirical poems by Juvenal written in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD. Juvenal is credited with sixteen known poems divided among five books; all are in the Roman genre of satire, which, at its most basic in the time of the author, comprised a wide-ranging discussion of society and social mores in dactylic hexameter...

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

Book cover Quatrains of Omar Khayyam of Nishapur

In 1906, Eben Francis Thompson,scholar and poet, published a limited edition of his translation of the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam. This edition contains 878 quatrains, and represents the most extensive translation of Omar's rubai in any language.In the Introduction, Nathan Haskell Dole writes: Mr Thompson has put into English verse this whole body of Persian poetry. It is a marvel of close translation, accurate and satisfactory. He has succeeded in doing exactly what he set out to do - to add nothing and to take nothing away, but to put into the typical quatrain, as determined by Fitzgerald and others, exactly what Omar and his unknown imitators said.

By: Bhartṛhari (c. 400-500)

Book cover Vairagya Shatakam

Vairagya Shatakam is one of the best books that gives the true picture of Renunciation. The book talks on how a common man gets lured by the endless desires which when satisfied fetches him nothing but the desires again. It concludes saying how these unsatiable desires mislead the man from knowing his real nature-omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience!

By: Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)

Book cover On the Nature of the Gods

De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods) outlines Stoic, Epicurean and Academic (Skeptical) views on religious questions. Problems discussed include: evil, the origin of the world, divination, and characteristics of God(s).

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

Book cover Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Le Gallienne) - Version 2

One of the greatest works of poetry in history, this lyric poem presents the deep feelings and emotions of the poet on subjects such as life, death, love, God and destiny.

By: Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Book cover Constitution of Athens

The Constitution of Athens (Greek: Ἀθηναίων πολιτεία) was written by Aristotle or his student. The text was lost until discovered in the late 19th century in Egypt. Topics discussed include Solon's legislative reforms abolishing debt slavery and the rise and decline of democracy and tyranny in Athens.

By: Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 297-373)

Book cover Four Discourses Against The Arians

In spite of Nicea's condemnation of Arius in 325, Arianism was far from dead. For decades after Nicea, political intrigue and personality clashes continued to confuse the doctrinal issues. Additionally, the line separating othodoxy from Arianism was blurred by a number of "semi-Arians" who agreed with the theology of orthodoxy but continued to object to the "homoousios" of the Nicene Formula. In this milieu, Athanasius of Alexandria tirelessly worked to cut through the confusion and restore unity...

By: Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904)

Book cover Book of Good Counsels - From the Sanskrit of the "Hitopadesa"

The term ‘Hitopadesha’ is a combination of two Sanskrit terms, ‘Hita’ (welfare/ benefit) and ‘Upadesha’ (counsel). As the term suggests, The Hitopadesha is a collection of tales that gives good counsel. Hitopadesa was presumably written by Narayan Pandit and is an independent treatment of the Vishnu Sarman's Panchatantra (3rd century BC) which it resembles in form. In Hitopadesha, Vishnu Sarman is depicted as a Sage who undertakes to give good counsel to the sons of Sudarsana, the king of Pataliputra, through stories within stories involving talking animals...


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