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Where Do I Begin?: Some Lists (pre-1600) October 17, 2009

Posted by rebeccareid in Reading Ideas.

If you are trying to decide which really old classic(s) to read for the upcoming challenge, here are some lists and resources that may help you.

First, here is a (rather incomplete) list I compiled for last year’s Really Old Classics Challenge. I can’t include everything and it is rather skewed towards Western literature, but at least it is a start to get you thinking about which classics you might want to read.

  • Gilgamesh
  • Egyptian Book of the Dead
  • Holy Bible
  • The Apocrypha
  • Bhagavad-Gita
  • Homer Iliad, Odyssey
  • Aeschylus Oresteia, Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound,
  • Sophocles Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone
  • Euripides Orestes
  • Aristophanes
  • Herodotus The Histories
  • Thucydides  The Peloponnesian Wars
  • Plato Dialogues
  • Aristotle  Poetics, Ethics
  • Plutarch Lives; Moralia
  • “Aesop” Fables
  • Cicero On the Gods
  • Horace Odes
  • Virgil Aeneid
  • Ovid Metamorphoses
  • Juvenal Satires
  • Martial Epigrams
  • Seneca Tragedies
  • Apuleius The Golden Ass
  • Saint Augustine City of God; Confessions
  • The Koran (Al-Qur’an)
  • The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night
  • The Nibelungen Lied
  • Beowulf
  • The Poem of the Cid
  • Dante The Divine Comedy
  • Petrarch Lyric Poems; Selections
  • Giovanni Boccaccio The Decameron
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti Sonnets and Madrigals
  • Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince
  • Leonardo da Vinci Notebooks
  • Benvenuto Cellini Autobiography
  • Giordano Bruno The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast
  • Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales; Troilus and Criseyde
  • Sir Thomas Malory Le Morte D’Arthur
  • Sir Thomas More Utopia
  • Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene
  • Christopher Marlowe Poems and Plays
  • The Song of Roland
  • Michel de Montaigne Essays
  • François Rabelais Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • Erasmus In Praise of Folly
  • Christine de Pisan The Book of the City of Ladies
  • Romances of the Three Kingdoms
  • Sun Tzu’s Art of War
  • Confucius’s The Analects

Here are some other lists and resources on the web. Please note that not all works are pre-1600 A.D.



1. Catherine - October 21, 2009

Can we get a list of retellings, too?

2. rebeccareid - October 21, 2009

Hi Catherine, We’re working on it. Maybe by November 1, which is when the challenge begins!! Thanks for your excitement!

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