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By: Plato (428/427 BC - 348/347 BC)

Phaedo by Plato Phaedo

Plato's Phaedo is one of the great dialogues of his middle period, along with the Republic and the Symposium. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's seventh and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days (the first six being Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Sophist, Statesman, Apology, and Crito).In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking hemlock. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Athenian jury for not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the youth of the city...

Phaedrus by Plato Phaedrus

“For there is no light of justice or temperance, or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls, in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass, dimly…”Socrates and his earnest friend Phaedrus, enjoying the Athenian equivalent of a lunchtime stroll in the park, exchange views on love and on the power of words, spoken and written.Phaedrus is the most enchanting of Plato’s Erotic dialogues (capitalised in honour of the god). The barefoot philosopher urges an eager young...

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).

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: Publius Vergilius Maro (70 BC - 19 AD)

The Aeneid by Publius Vergilius Maro The Aeneid

The Aeneid is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled 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, and the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The poem was commissioned from Vergil by the Emperor Augustus to glorify Rome...

The Eclogues by Publius Vergilius Maro The Eclogues

This book of poems, written between 42 en 39 BC, was a bestseller in ancient Rome, and still holds a fascination today. Held to be divinely inspired not only by the Romans themselves, but by the Medieval Catholic church, The Eclogues is one of the most beloved collections of Latin short poetry.

By: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore Gitanjali

Gitanjali is a collection of 103 poems in English, largely translations by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. This volume became very famous in the West, and was widely translated into other languages. In England a slender volume was published in 1913, with an exhilarating preface by W. B. Yeats. In the same year, Rabindranath became the first non-European to win the Nobel prize.

The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore The Home and the World

Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), also known by the sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, Brahmo religionist, visual artist, playwright, novelist, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Home and the World is a 1916 novel, set in the estate of the rich Bengali noble Nikhil. He lives happily with his beautiful wife Bimala until the appearance of his friend and radical revolutionist, Sandip...

The Hungry Stones and Other Stories by Rabindranath Tagore The Hungry Stones and Other Stories

This is a collection of short stories written by the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The stories contained in this volume were translated by several hands. The version of The Victory is the author's own work. The seven stories which follow were translated by Mr. C. F. Andrews, with the help of the author's help. Assistance has also been given by the Rev. E. J. Thompson, Panna Lal Basu, Prabhat Kumar Mukerjii, and the Sister Nivedita.

Book cover My Reminiscences

These Reminiscences were written and published by the Author in his fiftieth year, shortly before he started on a trip to Europe and America for his failing health in 1912. It was in the course of this trip that he wrote for the first time in the English language for publication. (from preface)

Book cover First Jasmines

Rabindranath Tagore, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit...

By: Robert Wood Williamson

The Mafulu by Robert Wood Williamson The Mafulu

The Mafulu, Mountain People of British New GuineaBy Robert W. WilliamsonINTRODUCTION By Dr. A.C. Haddon It is a great pleasure to me to introduce Mr. Williamson's book to the notice of ethnologists and the general public, as I am convinced that it will be read with interest and profit. Perhaps I may be permitted in this place to make a few personal remarks. Mr. Williamson was formerly a solicitor, and always had a great longing to see something of savage life, but it was not till about four years ago that he saw his way to attempting the realisation of this desire by an expedition to Melanesia...

By: Romesh C Dutt

The Mahabharata by Vyasa: the epic of ancient India condensed into English verse by Romesh C Dutt The Mahabharata by Vyasa: the epic of ancient India condensed into English verse

The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. With more than 74,000 verses, Mahabharata is said to be the longest poem. Mahabharata tells the story of the epic Kurukshetra War and the fates of the cousin brothers Kauravas and the Pandavas. But more than that the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or 'purusharthas'. The latter are enumerated as dharma (right action), artha (purpose), kama (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). (Introduction by om123)

By: Samuel Johnson

Plan and Preface to a Dictionary of English by Samuel Johnson Plan and Preface to a Dictionary of English

The published dictionary was a huge book: with pages nearly 1½ feet tall and 20 inches wide, it contained 42,773 words; it also sold for the huge price of £4/10s. ($400?). It would be years before “Johnson’s Dictionary”, as it came to be known, would ever turn a profit; authors’ royalities being unknown at that time, Johnson, once his contract to deliver the book was fulfilled, received no further monies connected to the book. Johnson, once again a freelance writer, albeit now a famous one, faced a grim hand-to-mouth existence; however, in July 1762 the twenty-four year old King George III granted Johnson an annual pension of £300...

By: Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)

Book cover Golden Threshold

Sarojini Naidu was a remarkable woman. Known as the Nightingale of India, she started writing at the age of thirteen and throughout her life composed several volumes of poetry, writing many poems which are still famous to this day. As well as being a poet, Naidu was an activist and politician, campaigning for Indian independence and became the first Indian woman to attain the post of President of the Indian National Congress. This volume contains the beautiful 'Indian Love-Song', as well as many other moving verses...

By: Shaykh Hasan

Persian Self-Taught (in Roman Characters) with English Phonetic Pronunciation by Shaykh Hasan Persian Self-Taught (in Roman Characters) with English Phonetic Pronunciation

This volume is primarily intended to supply a working and practical knowledge of the Persian language, for the benefit of those who have not the time or the inclination to master the grammar, and yet require to use the spoken tongue for purposes of business or pleasure. With this object in view it supplies many vocabularies of words carefully selected to suit the needs of those holding communication with Persia and the Persians, classified according to subject, and a large number of colloquial phrases...

By: Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)

Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder) by Sholem Aleichem Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder)

Although written from a child’s perspective, this is not a kids book but a series of funny, poignant, and sometimes disturbing stories about life in a late 19th-century Russian-Jewish village — the world of my grandparents. Sholem Rabinovich (1859-1916) was born in Pereiaslav, Ukraine and later immigrated to New York. His short stories about Tevye and his daughters were freely adapted into the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Rabinovich’s will contained the following injunction: “Let my name be recalled with laughter or not at all.” His translator, Hannah Berman, was Irish of Lithuanian descent.Some of these stories may be too intense for younger children.

By: Sir Arthur Cotton (1803-1899)

Arabic Primer by Sir Arthur Cotton Arabic Primer

“Languages”, Sir Arthur Cotton writes, “are usually learnt as if it took a long time to learn the grammar &c., but that to speak with a good pronunciation and expression, and freely, and to catch the words from a speaker by the ear were easily and quickly acquired, but this is exactly contrary to fact.” Cotton’s “Vocal system” differs from the traditional grammatical method of learning languages in that it emphasises the development of correct pronunciation and the gradual acquisition of correct expressions and vocabulary...

By: Sophocles (495-406 BC)

Antigone by Sophocles Antigone

This is the final installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Oedipus's daughter Antigone deliberately breaks the laws of Thebes when she buries her brother's body and is sentenced to death. She clashes with Creon, the King of Thebes, over what constitutes justice and morality: the laws of the state or the laws of the individual.

By: Titus Lucretius Carus (94? BC - 49? BC)

On the Nature of Things by Titus Lucretius Carus On the Nature of Things

Written in the first century b.C., On the Nature of Things (in Latin, "De Rerum Natura") is a poem in six books that aims at explaining the Epicurean philosophy to the Roman audience. Among digressions about the importance of philosophy in men's life and praises of Epicurus, Lucretius created a solid treatise on the atomic theory, the falseness of religion and many kinds of natural phenomena. With no harm to his philosophical scope, the author composed a didactic poem of epic flavor, of which the imagery and style are highly praised.

By: Unknown

The Arabian Nights Entertainments by Unknown The Arabian Nights Entertainments

A collection of folklore stories accumulated during the Islamic Golden Age, The Arabian Nights Entertainments has entertained and fascinated readers for centuries. The book centers on a frame story concerning the sultan Shahrayah and his wife Scheherazade, who cleverly narrates captivating stories to her husband each night in order to save herself from his retribution and live another day. As a result the book encourages the literary technique of a story within a story. The frame story begins when the sultan Shahrayar learns of his brother’s adulterous wife and subsequently discovers his own wife is guilty of infidelity...

The Mabinogion by Unknown The Mabinogion

Sample a moment of magic realism from the Red Book of Hergest: On one side of the river he saw a flock of white sheep, and on the other a flock of black sheep. And whenever one of the white sheep bleated, one of the black sheep would cross over, and become white; and when one of the black sheep bleated, one of the white sheep would cross over, and become black. Before passing on to the Mabinogion proper, Lady Charlotte Guest devotes Volume I of her compilation of medieval Welsh tales to three brief romances of Arthur’s Court...

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.

Book cover Parmenides

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

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.

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 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.

Book cover Philebus

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


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