The Great Books List

sistine-chapel 0

The Great Books List

The Great Books List — A progressive list of the Great Books The Ancient Era – 2000 BCE – 8BCE Unknown, Sumer, ca. 2000 BCE. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Unknown, Egypt, ca. 1000 BCE. Egyptian Book of the Dead. Homer, Greece, ca. 800 BCE. The Iliad, The Odyssey. Hesiod, Greece, ca. 700 BCE. Theogony. Unknown, Israel, ca. 800-200 BCE. Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Job. Unknown, India, ca. 800 BCE. The Rig Veda. Unknown, India, ca. 600 BCE. The Upanishads. Confucius, China, 551-479 BCE. The Analects. Lao Tzu, China, ca. 550 BCE. The Tao Te Ching. Sappho, Greece, ca. 600 BCE. Hymn to...

handmaids 0

The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood, Canada.1985 Margaret Atwood is a prolific poet, novelist, literary critic, activist and writer whose works have found a worldwide audience beyond her native Canada. Atwood is a winner of the Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias award for Literature, and has been a finalist for the Canadian Governor General’s Award seven times, winning twice. While her novels have garnered her global recognition, her poetry is also highly regarded and she has published a number of anthologies. Blending both feminist and mythological themes her novels, usually set in the past or near future often explore...

Journey 0

The Journey to the West

Wu Cheng En, China. c 1590 Considered to be one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature (along with The Romance of the Four Kingdoms, The Water Margin and The Dream of the Red Chamber), The Journey to the West was first published around 1590 by an anonymous author. Scholars have settled on the 16th century writer Wu Cheng En as the probable creator or assembler of the novel. In China, the novel is also called Monkey; a title that has been used for a number of film and television adaptations of the story. Very little is known...

mabinogion 0

The Mabinogion

Unknown , Wales, c 1100 The Mabinogion is a collection of prose stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts. While the two main manuscripts from which the modern version of the Mabinogion derive, the White Book of Rhydderch (Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch) and the Red Book of Hergest (Llyfr Coch Hergest) were written in the late 1300s, most scholars agree that the tales are older. Scholars have noted that the language of the stories best fits the period between 1000 and 1100. Dating the stories of the Mabinogion is important because if it can be shown to have been written before Geoffrey of...

Nigeria-1 0

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe, Nigeria.1958 Chinua Achebe is one of the founders of the new literature movement in Africa and many critics have come to consider him the finest Nigerian novelist of his generation. His achievements, however, have not been limited to his own country and he is considered by many to be one of the best novelists now writing in the English language. Albert Chinualumogu Achebe was born in 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria. He attended Government College in Umuahia from 1944 to 1947 and University College in Ibadan from 1948 to 1953. In 1953 he left Nigeria to study in London...

books-shelves 0

Other Lists — 100 Most Influential Books Seymour Smith

The Great Book list will also include a few of the other more notable great book lists. 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written By Martin Seymour Smith The I Ching The Old Testament The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer The Upanishads The Way and Its Power, Lao-tzu The Avesta Analects, Confucius History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides Works, Hippocrates Works, Aristotle History, Herodotus The Republic, Plato Elements, Euclid The Dhammapada Aeneid, Virgil On the Nature of Reality, Lucretius Allegorical Expositions of the Holy Laws, Philo of Alexandria The New Testament Lives, Plutarch Annals, from the Death of the Divine...

Herodotus_trireme 0

The Peloponnesian War

Thucydides, Greece, 470-400 BCE Thucydides was an Athenian aristocrat  who was in his late twenties when the conflict that he would call the Peloponnesian War began in 431. He was keenly aware of the significance of the conflict and began writing its history almost immediately. In 424, Thucydides was elected one of Athens’ generals, but his failure to prevent the loss of the city of Amphipolis to the Spartans saw him exiled from Athens. He spent the rest of the War wandering around Greece as a non-combatant gathering evidence and talking with participants from both sides for his history on...

sistine-chapel 0

The Era of Reformation and Rennaisance

Thomas a Kempis, Germany, 1418. The Imitation of Christ. Niccolo Macchiavelli, Italy, 1513. The Prince. Thomas More, England, 1516. Utopia. Francois Rabelais. France, 1532. Gargantua and Pantagruel. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, France, 1580. Essays. Christopher Marlow, England, 1587. Tamburlaine. Wu Cheng-en, China, 1590. The Journey to the West. Francis Bacon, England, 1597. Essays. Miguel de Cervantes, Spain, 1605. Don Quixote. William Shakespeare, England, 1601-1613. Richard III, Hamlet, The Tempest. John Donne, England, 1633. Poems. Rene Descartes, France, 1637. Discourse on Method. Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spain, 1636. Life is a Dream. Thomas Hobbes, England, 1651. Leviathan. John Milton, England,...

Alhambra 0

1001 Nights

Unknown, Baghdad, c. 950 While the book is now a consistent collection of fables, the original of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights was compiled over hundreds of years and drew on stories from as far afield as Syria, Persia, Yemen and modern day Iraq. The collections began to take on their modern form around 800. What remained common throughout the early editions was the set-up story concerning the ruler Shahryar and his wife Scheherazade. Some editions contain all one thousand and one tales while most popular versions on contain a hundred or so stories. The book was...

machiavelli 0

The Prince

Perhaps the most famous book of the Renaissance is Machiavelli’s The Prince. It remains a standard political science text and has influenced political discourse since its publication in 1531. Machiavelli’s name has also become an adjective – Machiavellian today means using amoral and expedient methods to achieve political goals. Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was born in 1469 in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, a village near of the city-state of Florence. He was born into a wealthy family and received a broad classical education and followed his father into the legal profession. At the time of his youth,...