A Greek reading list

April 26, 2022

It was four or five years ago that I launched my little Roman reading project, and, now that that project is winding down, or up, I am beginning to plan for a similar project focused on the Greeks. Again, the guiding idea is to read primary sources in history and literature, with perhaps a few modern supplements to help with context.

I’ve put together a list of things I’d like to include, and am posting it here with an invitation for comment. Anything I should add? Anything I should delete? Following my reading intentions, I’ve done my best to arrange it chronologically.

In a number of cases — Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, some Plato, some Aristotle, the playwrights — I’ve read these books before, but I expect it to be both instructive and enjoyable to re-visit them in this chronological sequence.

***

Plutarch: Theseus
Plutarch: Lycurgus

Hesiod (c.750-c.650 BC)
Theogony
Works and Days

Homer (c.700 BC)
The Iliad
The Odyssey

Greek Lyric Poetry (7th-5th c. BC): an anthology

Plutarch: Solon (638-558)

Sappho (c.630-c.570 BC)
Poems

Aesop (c.620-564)
Fables

Plutarch: Aristides (530-468)

Aeschylus (c.525-c.455 BC)
Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides)

Plutarch: Themistocles (c.524-459)

Pindar (c.522-c.443 BC)
Odes

Plutarch: Cimon (510-450)

Herodotus (c.484-c.425 BC)
The Histories

Sophocles (c.500-c.405 BC)
Oedipus the King
Oedipus at Colonus
Antigone
Electra
Ajax

Plutarch: Pericles (c.495-429)

Euripides (c.480-c.406 BC)
Medea (431)
Hippolytus (428)
Electra (420)
The Trojan Women (415)
The Bacchae (405)
Cyclops

Diodorus of Sicily
Library, Books 11-14 [events 480-401 BC]

Plutarch: Nicias (470-413)

Thucydides (c.460-c.400 BC)
The Peloponnesian War

Hippocrates (c.460-c.370)
On Ancient Medicine
On the Art

Plutarch: Alcibiades (450-404)
Plutarch: Lysander (d.395)

Aristophanes (c.446-c.386 BC)
The Clouds
Lysistrata

Plutarch: Pelopidas (d.364)
Plutarch: Agesilaus (444-360)

Xenophon (c.430-354 BC)
Hellenika [events 411-362 BC]
Anabasis [c.370] — events c.400
Education of Cyrus
Socratic dialogues

Isocrates (436-338 BC)
Philippus
Other?

Plato (c.425-c.350 BC)
Euthyphro/Apology/Crito/Phaedo
Parmenides
Timaeus
Republic
Sophist/Statesman
Symposium
Phaedrus
Philebus
First Alcibiades
Lesser Hippias/Greater Hippias
Euthydemus
Gorgias/Protagoras/Meno/Theaetetus

Plutarch: Timoleon (411-337)
Plutarch: Dion (408-354)
Plutarch: Phocion (402-318)

Demosthenes (384-322 BC)
Philippics 1

Plutarch: Demosthenes (384-322)

Aristotle (384-322 BC)
Logic
Metaphysics (gulp!)
Nicomachean Ethics
Poetics

Plutarch: Eumones (362-316)

Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
Diodorus of Sicily — Library, Books 16-20 [events 382-300 BC]
Quintus Curtius Rufus — History of Alexander
Arrian — Anabasis
The Greek Alexander Romance

Plutarch: Alexander

Menander (c.340-c.290 BC)
Comedies

Plutarch: Demetrius (d.283)
Plutarch: Pyrhhus (319-272)

Euclid (fl.c.300 BC)
Elements

Theocritus (c.300-after 260 BC)
Idylls (+ other poems?)

Eratosthenes (c.276-195 BC)
Constellation myths

Apollonius of Rhodes (c.275 BC)
Argonautica

Plutarch: Agis (fl.245)
Plutarch: Cleomenes (d.219)
Plutarch: Philopoemon (253-183)

Longinus (1st c. AD)
On the Sublime

Epictetus (c.50-135 AD)
Discourses
Enchiridion

Longus
Daphnis and Chloe (c.150 AD)

**

Supplements:

Alexander the Great
Peter Green, Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: a historical biography
Pressfield, The Virtues of War (novel)
Alexander the Great: historical texts in translation (ed. Heckel and Yardley)
Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great

Mythology
D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths
Tales of the Greek Heroes — Lancelyn Green
Mythology – Edith Hamilton
Greek Myths – Robert Graves

History
Bury: A History of Greece
Kitto: The Greeks
Guardino: The Death of Socrates

****

This is going to take a while, but I’m excited about it. Again, guidance or constructive comments welcome!

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