Edith Hamilton's mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture-the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.
We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus. We hear the tales of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cupid and Psyche, and mighty King Midas. We discover the origins of the names of the constellations. And we recognize reference points for countless works for art, literature and culture inquiry-from Freud's Oedipus complex to Wagner's Ring Cycle of operas to Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra
Both a reference text for scholars of all ages and a book to simply enjoy, Mythology is a classic not to be missed.
Divided into twelve books, these meditations chronicle Aurelius’s personal quest for self-improvement. This enduring text from one of history’s greatest warriors and leaders has been compared to St. Augustine’s Confessions for its timelessness, clarity, and candor. These writings, composed between 161 and 180 CE, set forth Aurelius’s Stoic philosophy and stress the importance of acting in a way that is moral and just rather than self-indulgent.
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This long-awaited new edition of Lattimore's Iliad is designed to bring the book into the twenty-first century—while leaving the poem as firmly rooted in ancient Greece as ever. Lattimore's elegant, fluent verses—with their memorably phrased heroic epithets and remarkable fidelity to the Greek—remain unchanged, but classicist Richard Martin has added a wealth of supplementary materials designed to aid new generations of readers. A new introduction sets the poem in the wider context of Greek life, warfare, society, and poetry, while line-by-line notes at the back of the volume offer explanations of unfamiliar terms, information about the Greek gods and heroes, and literary appreciation. A glossary and maps round out the book.
The result is a volume that actively invites readers into Homer's poem, helping them to understand fully the worlds in which he and his heroes lived—and thus enabling them to marvel, as so many have for centuries, at Hektor and Ajax, Paris and Helen, and the devastating rage of Achilleus.
In Euthyphro, Socrates explores the concepts and aims of piety and religion: in Apology, he courageously defends the integrity of his teachings; in Crito, he demonstrates his respect for the law in his refusal to flee his death sentence; and in Phaedo embraces death and discusses the immortality of the soul. The four dialogues are presented here in the authoritative translation by the distinguished classical scholar Benjamin Jowett, renowned for his translations of Plato.
Reflecting the emperor's own noble and self-sacrificing code of conduct, this eloquent and moving work draws and enriches the tradition of Stoicism, which stressed the search for inner peace and ethical certainty in an apparently chaotic world. Serenity was to be achieved by emulating in one's personal conduct the underlying orderliness and lawfulness of nature. And in the face of inevitable pain, loss, and death — the suffering at the core of life — Aurelius counsels stoic detachment from the things that are beyond one's control and a focus on one's own will and perception.
Presented here in a specially modernized version of the classic George Long translation, this updated and revised edition is easily accessible to contemporary readers. It not only provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind and personality of a highly principled Roman of the second century but also offers today's readers a practical and inspirational guide to the challenges of everyday life.
Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death (399 BC) is a significant moment in Classical literature and the life of Classical Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates living and dying under his philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates goodness outside the courthouse; Apology sees him in court, rebutting all charges of impiety; in Crito, he refuses an entreaty to escape from prison; and in Phaedo, Socrates faces his impending death with calmness and skilful discussion of immortality.
Christopher Rowe's introduction to his powerful new translation examines the book's themes of identity and confrontation, and explores how its content is less historical fact than a promotion of Plato's Socratic philosophy.
Join Frank as he shares God's original intent for the church, where the body of Christ is an organic, living, breathing organism. A church that is free of convention, formed by spiritual intimacy, and unbound by four walls.
The three plays of the Oresteia portray the bloody events that follow the victorious return of King Agamemnon from the Trojan War, at the start of which he had sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia to secure divine favor. After Iphi-geneia’s mother, Clytemnestra, kills her husband in revenge, she in turn is murdered by their son Orestes with his sister Electra’s encouragement. Orestes is pursued by the Furies and put on trial, his fate decided by the goddess Athena. Far more than the story of murder and ven-geance in the royal house of Atreus, the Oresteia serves as a dramatic parable of the evolution of justice and civilization that is still powerful after 2,500 years.
The trilogy is presented here in George Thomson’s classic translation, renowned for its fidelity to the rhythms and richness of the original Greek.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
People have taken to living their lives after this text, and have thrived upon its valuable advice. For centuries, this famous book has inspired, enlightened, and also taught generations the importance of philosophy.
Both legal and educational scholars throughout Chinese history have called this book their favorite, and it seems as if a new section of society realizes the Tao Te Ching's beauty every decade.
Written by Lao Tzu, also known as the "Old Master," the Tao Te Ching is known for being both a permanent part of Chinese culture, as well as one of the most famous books of all time in the field of philosophy.
You will find that no less than a dozen sayings and idioms that Chinese people use in their daily life were originated from this book.
Translations of the Tao Te Ching are often accomplished after a lot of difficulties are overcome in the actual act of translating it. The original text was written in Ancient Chinese, a language that is filled with different connotations, meanings, and nuances to each word.
Even modern Chinese speakers have problems translating the original Tao Te Ching; being able to translate it while keeping its rich meaning intact has been a feat that isn't easily accomplished.
The biggest problems found in other English versions of the Tao Te Ching are that in many cases extras were added by the translators based on their own understanding; while in other cases words were lost or omitted from original Chinese text. Some translations were gibberish and difficult to understand.
Great care has been taken in this version to give a precise translation without adding the translator's own interpretation. You will find that this new translation is easy to understand, yet virtually unchanged from the original Tao. This new English translation of the Tao Te Ching will enlighten and entertain people for years to come.
Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably during the twelfth or thirteenth century, The Poetic Edda was rediscovered in Iceland in the seventeenth century by Danish scholars. Even then its value as poetry, as a source of historical information, and as a collection of entertaining stories was recognized. This meticulous translation succeeds in reproducing the verse patterns, the rhythm, the mood, and the dignity of the original in a revision that Scandinavian Studies says "may well grace anyone's bookshelf."
Written in the form of a dialog in which Socrates questions his students and fellow citizens, The Republic concerns itself chiefly with the question, "What is justice?" as well as Plato's theory of ideas and his conception of the philosopher's role in society. To explore the latter, he invents the allegory of the cave to illustrate his notion that ordinary men are like prisoners in a cave, observing only the shadows of things, while philosophers are those who venture outside the cave and see things as they really are, and whose task it is to return to the cave and tell the truth about what they have seen. This dynamic metaphor expresses at once the eternal conflict between the world of the senses (the cave) and the world of ideas (the world outside the cave), and the philosopher's role as mediator between the two.
High school and college students, as well as lovers of classical literature and philosophy, will welcome this handsome and inexpensive edition of an immortal work. It appears here in the fine translation by the English classicist Benjamin Jowett.
Difficult to guard and hard to restrain.
The person of wisdom sets it straight,
As a fletcher does an arrow.
The Dhammapada introduced the actual utterances of the Buddha nearly twenty-five hundred years ago, when the master teacher emerged from his long silence to illuminate for his followers the substance of humankind’s deepest and most abiding concerns. The nature of the self, the value of relationships, the importance of moment-to-moment awareness, the destructiveness of anger, the suffering that attends attachment, the ambiguity of the earth’s beauty, the inevitability of aging, the certainty of death–these dilemmas preoccupy us today as they did centuries ago. No other spiritual texts speak about them more clearly and profoundly than does the Dhammapada.
In this elegant new translation, Sanskrit scholar Glenn Wallis has exclusively referred to and quoted from the canonical suttas–the presumed earliest discourses of the Buddha–to bring us the heartwood of Buddhism, words as compelling today as when the Buddha first spoke them. On violence: All tremble before violence./ All fear death./ Having done the same yourself,/ you should neither harm nor kill. On ignorance: An uninstructed person/ ages like an ox,/ his bulk increases,/ his insight does not. On skillfulness: A person is not skilled/ just because he talks a lot./ Peaceful, friendly, secure–/ that one is called “skilled.”
In 423 verses gathered by subject into chapters, the editor offers us a distillation of core Buddhist teachings that constitutes a prescription for enlightened living, even in the twenty-first century. He also includes a brilliantly informative guide to the verses–a chapter-by-chapter explication that greatly enhances our understanding of them. The text, at every turn, points to practical applications that lead to freedom from fear and suffering, toward the human state of spiritual virtuosity known as awakening.
Glenn Wallis’s translation is an inspired successor to earlier versions of the suttas. Even those readers who are well acquainted with the Dhammapada will be enriched by this fresh encounter with a classic text
From the Hardcover edition.
In Works of Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns, highly acclaimed poet and translator Daryl Hine brings to life the words of Hesiod and the world of Archaic Greece. While most available versions of these early Greek writings are rendered in prose, Hine's illuminating translations represent these early classics as they originally appeared, in verse. Since prose was not invented as a literary medium until well after Hesiod's time, presenting these works as poems more closely approximates not only the mechanics but also the melody of the originals.
This volume includes Hesiod's Works and Days and Theogony, two of the oldest non-Homeric poems to survive from antiquity. Works and Days is in part a farmer's almanac—filled with cautionary tales and advice for managing harvests and maintaining a good work ethic—and Theogony is the earliest comprehensive account of classical mythology—including the names and genealogies of the gods (and giants and monsters) of Olympus, the sea, and the underworld. Hine brings out Hesiod's unmistakable personality; Hesiod's tales of his escapades and his gritty and persuasive voice not only give us a sense of the author's own character but also offer up a rare glimpse of the everyday life of ordinary people in the eighth century BCE.
In contrast, the Homeric Hymns are more distant in that they depict aristocratic life in a polished tone that reveals nothing of the narrators' personalities. These hymns (so named because they address the deities in short invocations at the beginning and end of each) are some of the earliest examples of epyllia, or short stories in the epic manner in Greek.
This volume unites Hine's skillful translations of the Works of Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns—along with Hine's rendering of the mock-Homeric epic The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice—in a stunning pairing of these masterful classics.
'We set about founding the best city we could, because we could be confident that if it was good we would find justice in it'
The Republic, Plato's masterwork, was first enjoyed 2,400 years ago and remains one of the most widely-read books in the world: as a foundational work of Western philosophy, and for the richness of its ideas and virtuosity of its writing. Presented as a dialogue between Plato's teacher Socrates and various interlocutors, it is an exhortation to philosophy, inviting its readers to reflect on the choices to be made if we are to live the best life available to us. This complex, dynamic work creates a picture of an ideal society governed not by the desire for money, power or fame, but by philosophy, wisdom and justice.
Christopher Rowe's accurate and enjoyable new translation remains faithful to the many variations of the Republic's tone, style and pace. This edition also contains a chronology, further reading, an outline of the work's main arguments and an introduction discussing Plato's relationship with Socrates, and the Republic's style, ideas and historical context.
‘Medea’, in which a spurned woman takes revenge upon her lover by killing her children, is one of the most shocking and horrific of all the Greek tragedies. Dominating the play is Medea herself, a towering and powerful figure who demonstrates Euripides’ unusual willingness to give voice to a woman’s case. ‘Alcestis’, a tragicomedy, is based on a magical myth in which Death is overcome, and ‘The Children of Heracles’ examines the conflict between might and right, while ‘Hippolytus’ deals with self-destructive integrity and moral dilemmas. These plays show Euripides transforming the awesome figures of Greek mythology into recognizable, fallible human beings.
John Davie’s accessible prose translation is accompanied by a general introduction and individual prefaces to each play.
Previously published as Alcestis and Other Plays
Towering over the rest of Greek tragedy, the three plays that tell the story of the fated Theban royal family—Antigone, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus—are among the most enduring and timeless dramas ever written. Robert Fagles's authoritative and acclaimed translation conveys all of Sophocles's lucidity and power: the cut and thrust of his dialogue, his ironic edge, the surge and majesty of his choruses and, above all, the agonies and triumphs of his characters. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by the renowned classicist Bernard Knox.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Recent translations of the plays, while linguistically correct, often fail to capture the beauty of Sophocles’ original words. In combining the skills of a distinguished poet, Ruth Fainlight, and an eminent classical scholar, Robert J. Littman, this new edition of the Theban Plays is both a major work of poetry and a faithful translation of the original works.
Thoughtful introductions, extensive notes, and glossaries frame each of the plays within their historical contexts and illuminate important themes, mythological roots, and previous interpretations.
This elegant and uncommonly readable translation will make these seminal Greek tragedies accessible to a new generation of readers.
This edition is a revised translation by D. C. H. Rieu of the translation done by his father, E. V. Rieu, in the first Penguin Classic to be published. Contains a preface by D. C. H. Rieu and an introduction by Peter Jones. Also includes a map, explanatory footnotes, a combined glossary and index, as well as suggestions for further reading of acclaimed criticisms and references.
In this revolutionary book, Joan Breton Connelly challenges our most basic assumptions about the Parthenon and the ancient Athenians. Beginning with the natural environment and its rich mythic associations, she re-creates the development of the Acropolis—the Sacred Rock at the heart of the city-state—from its prehistoric origins to its Periklean glory days as a constellation of temples among which the Parthenon stood supreme. In particular, she probes the Parthenon’s legendary frieze: the 525-foot-long relief sculpture that originally encircled the upper reaches before it was partially destroyed by Venetian cannon fire (in the seventeenth century) and most of what remained was shipped off to Britain (in the nineteenth century) among the Elgin marbles. The frieze’s vast enigmatic procession—a dazzling pageant of cavalrymen and elders, musicians and maidens—has for more than two hundred years been thought to represent a scene of annual civic celebration in the birthplace of democracy. But thanks to a once-lost play by Euripides (the discovery of which, in the wrappings of a Hellenistic Egyptian mummy, is only one of this book’s intriguing adventures), Connelly has uncovered a long-buried meaning, a story of human sacrifice set during the city’s mythic founding. In a society startlingly preoccupied with cult ritual, this story was at the core of what it meant to be Athenian. Connelly reveals a world that beggars our popular notions of Athens as a city of staid philosophers, rationalists, and rhetoricians, a world in which our modern secular conception of democracy would have been simply incomprehensible.
The Parthenon’s full significance has been obscured until now owing in no small part, Connelly argues, to the frieze’s dismemberment. And so her investigation concludes with a call to reunite the pieces, in order that what is perhaps the greatest single work of art surviving from antiquity may be viewed more nearly as its makers intended. Marshalling a breathtaking range of textual and visual evidence, full of fresh insights woven into a thrilling narrative that brings the distant past to life, The Parthenon Enigma is sure to become a landmark in our understanding of the civilization from which we claim cultural descent.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Alexander was born into the royal family of Macedonia, the kingdom that would soon rule over Greece. Tutored as a boy by Aristotle, Alexander had an inquisitive mind that would serve him well when he faced formidable obstacles during his military campaigns. Shortly after taking command of the army, he launched an invasion of the Persian empire, and continued his conquests as far south as the deserts of Egypt and as far east as the mountains of present-day Pakistan and the plains of India. Alexander spent nearly all his adult life away from his homeland, and he and his men helped spread the Greek language throughout western Asia, where it would become the lingua franca of the ancient world. Within a short time after Alexander’s death in Baghdad, his empire began to fracture. Best known among his successors are the Ptolemies of Egypt, whose empire lasted until Cleopatra.
In his lively and authoritative biography of Alexander, classical scholar and historian Philip Freeman describes Alexander’s astonishing achievements and provides insight into the mercurial character of the great conqueror. Alexander could be petty and magnanimous, cruel and merciful, impulsive and farsighted. Above all, he was ferociously, intensely competitive and could not tolerate losing—which he rarely did. As Freeman explains, without Alexander, the influence of Greece on the ancient world would surely not have been as great as it was, even if his motivation was not to spread Greek culture for beneficial purposes but instead to unify his empire. Only a handful of people have influenced history as Alexander did, which is why he continues to fascinate us.
“An elegant little book . . . still diverting to look at today. . . . The woodcuts reproduced from the 1587 Rome edition are alone worth the price of the book.”—Raymond A. Sokolov, New York Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Written near the end of Seneca’s life, Natural Questions is a work in which Seneca expounds and comments on the natural sciences of his day—rivers and earthquakes, wind and snow, meteors and comets—offering us a valuable look at the ancient scientific mind at work. The modern reader will find fascinating insights into ancient philosophical and scientific approaches to the physical world and also vivid evocations of the grandeur, beauty, and terror of nature.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Thucydides called his account of two decades of war between Athens and Sparta “a possssion for all time,” and indeed it is the first and still most famous work in the Western historical tradition. Considered essential reading for generals, statesmen, and liberally educated citizens for more than 2,000 years, The Peloponnesian War is a mine of military, moral, political, and philosophical wisdom.
However, this classic book has long presented obstacles to the uninitiated reader. Robert Strassler's new edition removes these obstacles by providing a new coherence to the narrative overall, and by effectively reconstructing the lost cultural context that Thucydides shared with his original audience. Based on the venerable Richard Crawley translation, updated and revised for modern readers. The Landmark Thucydides includes a vast array of superbly designed and presented maps, brief informative appendices by outstanding classical scholars on subjects of special relevance to the text, explanatory marginal notes on each page, an index of unprecedented subtlety, and numerous other useful features.
In any list of the Great Books of Western Civilization, The Peloponnesian War stands near the top. This authoritative new edition will ensure that its greatness is appreciated by future generations.