The Reading List : The Ancients

This list and those that follow are based on the Great Books of the Western World list from How to Read a Book, with additions of my own, particularly of important Christian/Catholic writings that I want to read one day. It’s the work of a lifetime, so let’s get reading…

Homer (c. 9th century B.C.)

  • Illiad
  • Odyssey

Old Testament

Aeschylus (c. 525-465 B.C.)

  • Tragedies

Sophocles (c. 495-406 B.C.)

  • Tragedies

Herodotus (c. 484-425 B.C.)

  • History

Euripides (C. 485-406 B.C.)

  • Tragedies

Thucydides (c. 460-400 B.C.)

  • History of the Peloponnesian War

Hippocrates (c. 460-377 B.C.)

  • Medical Writings

Aristophanes (c. 448-380 B.C.)

  • Comedies

Plato (c. 427-347 B.C.)

  • Works

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

  • Works

Epicurus (c. 341-270 B.C.)

  • Letter to Herodotus
  • Letter to Menoeceus

Euclid (fl. c. 300 B.C.)

  • Elements

Archimedes (c. 287-212 B.C.)

  • Works

Apollonius of Perga (fl. c. 240 B.C.)

  • On Conic Sections

Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

  • Works

Lucretius (c. 95-55 B.C.)

  • On the Nature of Things

Virtuvius (c. 80-15 B.C.)

  • De Architectura

Virgil (70-19 B.C.)

  • Works

Horace (65-8 B.C.)

  • Works

Livy (59 B.C.-17 A.D.)

  • History of Rome

Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.)

  • Works

Plutarch (c. 45-120)

  • Lives
  • Moralia

Tacitus (c. 55-117)

  • Histories
  • Annals
  • Agricola
  • Germania

Nicomachus of Gerasa (fl. c. 100)

  • Introduction to Arithmetic

Epicetus (c. 60-120)

  • Discourses
  • Encheiridion

Ptolemy (c. 100-178)

  • Almagest

Lucian (c. 120-190)

  • Works

Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

  • Meditations

Galen (130-200)

  • On the Natural Faculties

Plotinus (205-270)

  • The Enneads
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