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By: Plato (424/423 BC - 348/347 BC)

Book cover Apology

The Apology of Socrates is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he unsuccessfully defended himself in 399 BC against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" (24b). "Apology" here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word "apologia") of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions (from the Ancient Greek ἀπολογία).

By: Euripides (480-406 BC)

Book cover Medea

Euripides' tragedy focuses on the disintegration of the relationship between Jason, the hero who captured the Golden Fleece, and Medea, the sorceress who returned with him to Corinth and had two sons with him. As the play opens, Jason plans to marry the daughter of King Creon, and the lovesick Medea plots how to take her revenge.

By: Various

Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books by Various Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books

Charles W. Eliot, 21st President of Harvard University, edited this volume of prefaces ... authored by a Who's Who of World Literature: Bacon, Calvin, Caxton, Condell, Copernicus, Dryden, Fielding, Goethe, Heminge, Hugo, Johnson, Knox, Newton, Raleigh, Spenser, Taine, Whitman and Wordsworth. Eliot wrote in his preface to these prefaces, "No part of a book is so intimate as the Preface. Here, after the long labor of the work is over, the author descends from his platform, and speaks with his reader as man to man, disclosing his hopes and fears, seeking sympathy for his difficulties, offering defence or defiance, according to his temper, against the criticisms which he anticipates."

By: Gaius Petronius Arbiter

Book cover The Satyricon

Satyricon (or Satyrica) is a Latin work of fiction in a mixture of prose and poetry. It is believed to have been written by Gaius Petronius, though the manuscript tradition identifies the author as a certain Titus Petronius. As with the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, classical scholars often describe it as a "Roman novel", without necessarily implying continuity with the modern literary form.The surviving portions of the text detail the misadventures of the narrator, Encolpius, and his lover, a handsome sixteen-year-old boy named Giton...

By: Plato (426-347 BCE)

Book cover Meno

Meno (Ancient Greek: Μένων) is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. Written in the Socratic dialectic style, it attempts to determine the definition of virtue, or arete, meaning in this case virtue in general, rather than particular virtues, such as justice or temperance. The goal is a common definition that applies equally to all particular virtues. Socrates moves the discussion past the philosophical confusion, or aporia, created by Meno's paradox (aka the learner's paradox) with the introduction of new Platonic ideas: the theory of knowledge as recollection, anamnesis, and in the final lines a movement towards Platonic idealism.. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

Book cover Laws

Νόμοι (Laws) is Plato's final dialogue written after his attempt to advise the tyrant Dionysius II of Syracuse. The dialogue takes place between: an Athenian Stranger (Socrates? A god in human form?); the quiet Lacedaemonian Megillus; and the Cretan Cleinias. The Stranger asks whether humans live to be more effective at waging war or if there is something more important a legislator should seek to achieve. During their pilgrimage Cleinias discloses his role in the establishment of a new colony...

By: Plato (Πλάτων) (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

Book cover Republic (version 2)

The Republic is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC concerning the definition of justice and the order and character of the just city-state and the just man. It is Plato's best-known work and has proven to be one of the most intellectually and historically influential works of philosophy and political theory. In it, Socrates along with various Athenians and foreigners discuss the meaning of justice and examine whether or not the just man is happier than the unjust man by considering a series of different cities coming into existence "in speech", culminating in a city (Kallipolis) ruled by philosopher-kings; and by examining the nature of existing regimes...

Book cover Gorgias

This dialogue brings Socrates face to face with the famous sophist Gorgias and his followers. It is a work likely completed around the time of "Republic" and illuminates many of the spiritual ideas of Plato. The spirituality, as Jowett points out in his wonderful introduction, has many ideas akin to Christianity, but is more generous as it reserves damnation only for the tyrants of the world. Some of the truths of Socrates, as presented by Plato, shine forth in this wonderful work on sophistry and other forms of persuasion or cookery.

By: Unknown (427? BC - 347? BC)

Book cover Theaetetus

Theaetetus (Ancient Greek: Θεαίτητος) discusses concepts including perception, true judgment and knowledge. Socrates compares the human mind to a piece of wax and is critical of lawyers who seek only to persuade.

By: George F. Dillon (1836-1893)

Book cover Song Celestial; Or, Bhagavad-Gîtâ

By: Unknown (427? BC - 347? BC)

Book cover Parmenides

Parmenides (Ancient Greek: ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΔΗΣ) recounts a meeting between Socrates, Zeno and Parmenides. Topics discussed include universals, plurality and the One.

By: Confucius 孔子 (551-479 BCE)

Book cover Analects of Confucius

The Analects, or Lunyu, also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held. Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BC - 221 BC), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today. William Jennings was a rector of Grasmere, and late colonial chaplain. He served at St. John's Cathedral in Hong Kong.

By: Plato (Πλάτων) (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

Book cover Protagoras

Jowett, in his always informative introduction, sees this dialogue as transitional between the early and middle dialogues. Socrates meets with Protagoras and other sophists and pursues his inquiry into virtue. The dialectic brings the thinkers to a surprising ending. Socrates narrates this dialogue.

By: Aeschylus (c. 525/524-456/455 BC)

Book cover Prometheus Bound (Buckley Translation)

"Prometheus Bound" is the only complete tragedy of the Prometheia trilogy, traditionally assumed to be the work of Aeschylus. Jupiter has turned against Prometheus for protecting mankind and has ordered him to be chained to a rock. But Prometheus is comforted by his knowledge of a way to bring about the downfall of Jupiter.

By: Aristophanes (446-389 BCE)

Book cover Frogs

Athens is in a sorry state of affairs. The great tragedian, Euripides, is dead, and Dionysus, the god of the theater, has to listen to third-rate poetry. So, he determines to pack his belongings onto his trusty slave, Xanthias, and journey to the underworld to bring back Euripides! Hi-jinks ensue.

By: Virgil (70 BC - 19 BC)

Book cover Aeneid, prose translation

The Aeneid is the most famous Latin epic poem, written by Virgil in the 1st century BC. The story revolves around the legendary hero Aeneas, a Trojan prince who left behind the ruins of his city and led his fellow citizens to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, while the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ victorious war upon the Latins. This is the recording of J.W.MacKail's prose translation.

By: Unknown (427? BC - 347? BC)

Book cover Statesman

Statesman (Ancient Greek: Πολιτικός) discusses God's role in maintaining the universe and describes the statesman as a good shepherd who promotes intermarriage between the orderly and courageous.

Book cover Sophist

Sophist (Ancient Greek: Σοφιστής) discusses being and not-being while drawing a distinction between the philosopher and the sophist.

By: Plato (Πλάτων) (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

Book cover Critias

This is an incomplete dialogue from the late period of Plato's life. Plato most likely created it after Republic and it contains the famous story of Atlantis, that Plato tells with such skill that many have believed the story to be true. Critias, a friend of Socrates, and uncle of Plato was infamous as one of the bloody thirty tyrants.

By: Unknown (427? BC - 347? BC)

Book cover Cratylus

Cratylus (ΚΡΑΤΥΛΟΣ) discusses whether things have names by mere convention or have true names which can only be correctly applied to the object named and may have originated from God.

Book cover Charmides

Charmides (Χαρμίδης) discusses the virtue of temperance.

Book cover Laches

Laches (Λάχης) discusses examples of courage including weapons masters, soldiers who stand firm in battle, ferocious animals and the wise person who endures evils.

By: Plato (Πλάτων) (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

Book cover Alcibiades I

As Jowett relates in his brilliant introduction, 95% of Plato's writing is certain and his reputation rests soundly on this foundation. The Alcibiades 1 appears to be a short work by Plato with only two characters: Socrates and Alcibiades. This dialogue has little dramatic verisimilitude but centres on the question of what knowledge one needs for political life. Like the early dialogues, the question is on whether the virtues needed by a statesman can be taught, on the importance of self-knowledge as a starting point for any leader...

By: Unknown (427? BC - 347? BC)

Book cover Philebus

Philebus (ΦΙΛΗΒΟΣ) discusses pleasure, wisdom, soul and God.

Book cover Lysis

Lysis (Λύσις) discusses friendship and love between the good and bad.

Book cover Menexenus

Menexenus (ΜΕΝΕΞΕΝΟΣ) is thought to have been written by Plato (ΠΛΑΤΩΝ). The dialogue consists of Socrates (ΣΩΚΡΑΤΗΣ) recounting a funeral oration he claims to have learned from the female philosopher Aspasia (ΑΣΠΑΣΙΑ) who may have been wealthy, a courtesan or both.

Book cover Euthydemus

Euthydemus (Εὐθύδημος) and Dionysodorus the sophists discuss the meaning of words with Socrates.

By: Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC)

Book cover Iphigenia in Tauris (Murray Translation)

The apparent sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis by her own father Agamemnon was forestalled by the godness Artemis, who by an adroit sleight of hand that fooled all participants, substituted a deer for the daughter. Wafted magically away to the “Friendless Shores” of savage Tauris and installed as chief priestess presiding over the human sacrifice of all luckless foreigners, Iphigenia broods over her “murder” by her parents and longs for some Greeks to be shipwrecked on her shores so she can wreak a vicarious vengeance on them...

Book cover Alcestis

Alcestis is the earliest surviving play by Euripides. Alcestis, the devoted wife of King Admetus, has agreed to die in his place, and at the beginning of the play she is close to death. In the first scene, Apollo argues with Thanatos (Death), asking to prolong Alcestis' life, but Thanatos refuses. Apollo leaves, but suggests that a man will come to Pherae who will save Alcestis. Euripides' play is perhaps the most unusual Greek drama ever written: a tragedy that is not a tragedy.

By: Plato (Πλάτων) (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

Book cover Lesser Hippias

This work may not be by Plato, or his entirely, but Jowett has offered his sublime translation, and seems to lean towards including it in the canon. Socrates tempted by irony to deflate the pretentious know-it-all Hippias, an arrogant polymath, appears to follow humour more than honour in this short dialogue.

By: Unknown (427? BC - 347? BC)

Book cover Eryxias

Eryxias (ΕΡΥΞΙΑΣ) may not have been written by Plato (ΠΛΑΤΩΝ). The dialogue discusses whether wealth has value and what the aim of philosophy should be.

By: Raphael Kühner (1802-1878)

Book cover Elementary Greek Grammar

We have followed the Grammars of Kühner, known as his "Large" and "School" Grammars. [...] Omitting the learned dissertations and numerous details of the original, we have endeavored to furnish to the student, in a concise and simple form, whatever is of general application." (From the Foreword by Charles O'Leary)

By: Cuey-na-Gael (1858-1937)

Book cover Irishman's difficulties with the Dutch language

Jack O'Neill, an Irishman, has just returned from a month's holiday in The Netherlands. Before he left, he had boasted to his friends that he would learn the Dutch language within a fortnight. On his return, he has to admit that it wasn't quite that easy... He tells his friends stories about his clumsy attempts to speak Dutch, leading to many funny scenes.This audiobook contains both "An Irishman's difficulties with the Dutch language" and its sequel "Jack O'Neill's further adventures in Holland"...

By: Percival Leigh (1813-1889)

Book cover Comic English Grammar

This is a basic grammar, treating of the parts of speech, syntax, versification, pronunciation and punctuation. The listener is warned that there is quite a dated feel about this little grammar as the author, in keeping with the times (1840), is a frightful snob about social classes, scathing about 'vulgar speech' and also sometimes quite rude about American turns of phrase. The author is not remotely as comical as he thinks he is, but it has its moments.

By: Anonymous

Book cover How to Write a Novel

I address myself to the man or woman of talent—those people who have writing ability, but who need instruction in the manipulation of characters, the formation of plots, and a host of other points with which I shall deal hereafter. Although no school could turn out novelists to order there is yet enough common material in all art-work to be mapped out in a course of lessons. I shall show that the two great requisites of novel-writing are (1) a good story to tell, and (2) ability to tell it effectively...

By: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

Book cover Literature in the Making, by Some of its Makers

This is a collection of 23 essays based on interviews conducted by Joyce Kilmer with some of the most famous authors of the time . Kilmer's idea, as outlined in the Introduction, was that there is a deep divide between those who write literature, and those who write about literature. He thus bridges the gap and asks authors, the 'makers' as mentioned in the title of the work, about their opinion about various topics. - Summary by Carolin

By: Carolyn Wells (1862-1942)

Book cover Technique of the Mystery Story

For one, I have never been one of those who apologize for my frank and never-ending delight in mystery stories. Their mazes have led me unwearied through miles of printed pages, and if only the problem has been worth while, and its pursuit has led along surprising ways, past shuddery thickets and over fearsome bridges, my soul has returned to sober affairs refreshed and content. In a word, here is a remarkable volume which shows us how the wheels go round, not by dogmatic statement, but by an amazing breadth and variety of citation and quotation, showing not only what great mystery writers have thought of their art, but illustrating by apposite examples how they secured their effects...

By: Caleb Bingham (1757-1817)

Book cover Columbian Orator

The Columbian Orator, a collection of political essays, poems, and dialogues first published in 1797, was widely used in American schoolrooms in the first quarter of the 19th century to teach reading and speaking. Typical of many readers of that period, the anthology included many speeches celebrating "republican virtues" and promoting patriotism. The Columbian Orator is an example of progymnasmata, containing examples for students to copy and imitate. In his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, former slave and abolitionist writer Douglass describes how he "got hold" of a copy of the Columbian Orator at the age of twelve, with far-reaching consequences for his life...

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Book cover Mark Twain's Speeches, Part 2

This collection of the 195 known, publicly-printed speeches of Mark Twain was compiled by Paul Fatout and published by the University of Iowa Press. The speeches are in the Public Domain, and our thanks go to the University of Iowa for making them available for this Public Domain audio recording. They were compiled in the University of Iowa Press book entitled "Mark Twain Speaking" and are arranged, chronologically, from Twain's first authenticated public speech in 1864, to his last speech, exactly 7 months before he died. Extensive analysis , notes, appendix and index are included in the printed work. - Summary by John Greenman

By: E. Walter Walters

Book cover Confessions of a Book-Lover

"I am of the company of book men who read simply for the love of it," confesses E. Walter Walters, in this gently written tome. Walters documents his habit of "book fishing--" seeking and finding quality volumes in the discount binds at his booksellers, and as a connoisseur of wine might match varieties with courses, he matches his books with the contexts in which he reads them--in the garden, in the bedroom, with friends. He also provides a list of his favorite authors and favorite books, as well as favorite characters from the books he has read, not in a way to impose his choices on other readers, but to share his own personal experiences.

By: Pedro Carolino (1788-1866)

Book cover English as She is Spoke

English as She is Spoke is a 19th century Portuguese-to-English phrasebook that has become a classic of absurdist humor, owing chiefly to the apparent fact that its writer had absolutely no knowledge of English. It is thought that for utterly obscure reasons its unknown author, Pedro Carolino, used a dictionary to translate Portuguese words to French, then a second dictionary to convert French to English, producing an incoherent but hilarious result. Mark Twain said of this book, "Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect." - Summary by J A Carter

By: Frances Jermain

Book cover In the Path of the Alphabet

Language: we all use it and few of us think about the form it takes on the page. But how did the transmittal of ideas in written form evolve from Egyptian hieroglyphics to the ABCs in use in most countries around the world today? This work, written by a librarian and scholar, draws on previously published works and also direct correspondence with archaeologists still uncovering secrets in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Her death left this work unfinished, but others were able to polish it for publication. - Summary by Lynne Thompson

By: H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Book cover American Language

"It was part of my daily work, for a good many years, to read the principal English newspapers and reviews; it has been part of my work, all the time, to read the more important English novels, essays, poetry and criticism. An American born and bred, I early noted, as everyone else in like case must note, certain salient differences between the English of England and the English of America as practically spoken and written—differences in vocabulary, in syntax, in the shades and habits of idiom, and even, coming to the common speech, in grammar...

By: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Book cover Raven and The Philosophy Of Composition

Poe’s famous narrative poem and the author’s reflections on its composition.

By: George Lillie Craik (1798-1866)

Book cover Compendious History of English Literature and of the English Language, Volume I

The History of English Literature and Language may be recommended to the student as a guide always sure, and as satisfactory as its limits will admit, to the gathered harvest of a thousand years -- from ALFRED the Great to VICTORIA -- now existing in a language radically identical for the whole of that period, the common property of all who are born to its use, a personal endowment not to be limited by local accidents, but the rightful possession of those who "claim SHAKESPEARE's language for their mother tongue...

By: Mary Elizabeth Brown (1842-1918)

Book cover Dedications

Dedications is an anthology of the forms used from the earliest days of book-making to the present time. My purpose in the following anthology of dedications has been to make a representative, rather than an exhaustive collection. My first idea was to take only beautiful dedications, and above all those which showed thought and originality. I next sought those which were quaint and curious, grave and gay, and then wandering through the wide field of English literature, tried to have each section of it represented...

By: Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946)

Book cover English Language

A description and history of the development of the English Language and reflections on the influences that changed the language. - Summary by barbara2

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Book cover Europe and Elsewhere

This collection of articles came from Mark Twain's travels and experiences abroad. While many had been previously published, there also were many that had never before seen the light of day...which one reviewer said had never been Twain's intent for them, having consigned them to obscurity. With introductory essays by Brander Matthews and Albert Bigelow Paine, the book paints a clear picture of the complexity and wide variety of Samuel L. Clemens' thinking, where it originated and how it developed.

By: Van Wyck Brooks (1886-1963)

Book cover The Ordeal of Mark Twain (Version 2)

The Ordeal of Mark Twain analyzes the literary progression of Samuel L. Clemens and attributes shortcomings to Clemens' mother and wife. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says, Brooks' work "was a psychological study attempting to show that Twain had crippled himself emotionally and curtailed his genius by repressing his natural artistic bent for the sake of his Calvinist upbringing." Also, Brooks says, his literary spirit was sidelined as "...Mark Twain was inducted into the Gilded Age, launched, in defiance of that instinct which only for a few years was to allow him inner peace, upon the vast welter of a society blind like himself, like him committed to the pursuit of worldly success...

By: Francis Lister Hawks Pott (1864-1947)

Book cover Lessons in the Shanghai Dialect

A rare textbook on Shanghai dialect by Reverend F. L. H. Pott, an American missionary and educator who lived in China for more than 50 years. - Summary by Xiaoyan Arrowsmith


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