Pascal: The Pensées

800px-Blaise_Pascal_2The Pensées (literally thoughts) is a fragmentary collection of writings prepared by the French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal for a projected defence of Christianity, left unfinished at his death in 1662. The proper order of the work has been the subject of much controversy, and older public domain works may not reflect recent scholarship.

Pascal was closely associated with the Jansenist movement in French Catholicism, and the Pensées reflect the Augustinian belief that man can be saved only by a divine grace he can do nothing to earn. This spirit is reflected in the most famous argument of the Pensées, 'Pascal's wager', which suggests that it is better to live as if God exists because one avoids infinite loss is one is right and suffers only finite loss if one is wrong.

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Bartleby: Thoughts. Harvard Classics Volume 48, Part 1. English translation. HTML format.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Pensées. Translated by William Finlayson Trotter. Multiple formats.

Classical Library: Pensées. English translation. HTML format.

Gallica: Pensées, Tome 1. French text edited by Léon Bruschvicg (1904). Image file format.

Gutenberg: Pascale's Pensées. English translation. Introduction by T.S. Eliot. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. 1941 Modern Library edition. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Pascal's Pensées, translated by Gertrude Burford Rawlings. Multiple formats.

Intratext: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. HTML format.

Samizdat.qc.ca: Pensées. French text. PDF based on 1671 edition.

University of Adelaide: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. Multiple formats.

University of Freiburg: Pensées. French text. PDF format.

University of Dusseldorf: Pensées. French text, 1812 Renouard edition. Image file format.

Wikisource: French texts and English translation by William Finlayson Trotter. HTML and other formats.

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Descartes: Discourse on Method

Frans_Hals_-_Portret_van_René_DescartesThe Discourse on Method (French: Discours de la méthode) by René Descartes was published in French in Leiden in 1637, alongside essays on optics, meteorology and geometry. It offered the an autobiographical of Descartes skeptical method and the positive metaphysical conclusions that he would later develop more fully in the Meditations. Notable among these is the first formulation of the famous 'Cogito', the principle that 'I think therefore I am' and cannot doubt my own existence.

Of the accompanying scientific essays, that on geometry is notable for introducing Cartesian co-ordinates.

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Bartleby: Discourse on Method. English translation. Harvard Classics, Volume 34, Part 1. HTML format.

Gallica: Discours de la méthode pour bien conduire sa raison et chercher la vérité dans les sciences , plus la dioptrique, les météores et la géométrie qui sont des essais de cette méthode. French text. Image file format.

Gutenberg: Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences, translated by John Veitch. Multiple formats. 

Gutenberg: Discours de la méthode. French text. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Discourse on the Method, Meditations on First Philosophy, Objections against the Meditations and Replies, The Geometry, by René Descartes. The Ethics, by Benedict De Spinoza. Great Books of the Western World, no 31 (1925). Multiple formats.

Liberty Fund: The Method, Meditations and Philosophy of Descartes, translated by John Veitch. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: French text and English translation. HTML and other formats.

Zulu Ebooks: Discours de la méthode. French text. PDF format.

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Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy

Descartes3Meditations on First Philosophy (Latin: Meditationes de prima philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animae immortalitas demonstrantur) by Réne Descartes was first published in Latin in 1641, appearing in a French translation in 1647.

The six meditations which make up the book describe a series of mental exercises, undertaken over consecutive days.  The first meditation introduces Descartes' method of universal doubt. The second introduces the famous argument often summarised as 'I think therefore I am' (Latin: cogito ergo sum), and cannot doubt my own existence. 

In the later meditations, Descartes arrives at conventional opinions about God and the world, while more subtly introducing the foundations of his own system of physics. It is however, the first two meditations which have more often been seen as a foundational influence on modern philosophy, although the 'Cartesian dualism' which they introduced between mind and matter has been a target of persistent criticism.

Alongside the Meditations, Descartes published seven sets of objections by distinguished scholars along with his replies. These were 1. Johannes Caterus 2. Marin Mersenne 3. Thomas Hobbes 4. Antoine Arnauld 5. Pierre Gassendi 6. Further objections collected by Mersenne. 7. Pierre Bourdin.

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The Classical Library: The Meditations, translated by John Veitch. HTML format.

Gallica: Méditations métaphysiques. French text (1690). Image file format. 

Gutenberg: Meditationes de prima philosophia - Latin text. Multiple formats.

Early Modern Texts: Meditations on First Philosophy - adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Internet Archive: Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Discourse on the Method, Meditations on First Philosophy, Objections against the Meditations and Replies, The Geometry, by René Descartes. The Ethics, by Benedict De Spinoza. Great Books of the Western World, no 31 (1925). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Meditationes - Latin text. HTML format.

Liberty Fund: The Method, Meditations and Philosophy of Descartes, translated by John Veitch. Multiple formats.

Marxists.org: Meditations on First Philosophy, translated by John Cottingham. HTML format.

Philosophy-Index: Meditations on First Philosophy, translated by John Veitch. HTML format.

University of Leeds/Internet Archive: Hobbes' Objections to Descartes' Meditations. HTML format.

Wikisource: Latin text, French and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Wright State University: Descartes' Meditations. English, French and Latin texts. HTML format.

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Thomas More: Utopia

UtopiaUtopia by Thomas More inaugurated a new literary genre on its first publication in Latin at Louvain, Belgium in 1516. It's title, from a Greek term meaning 'nowhere', has become the established term for any imaginary, ideal Commonwealth.

More's Utopia took inspiration from the voyages of discovery of his own day, being ostensibly the account of Raphael Hythloday, a traveller with Amerigo Vespucci. In book 1, Hythloday and More discuss the role of the philosopher in civic life, touching on many of the ills of contemporary Europe. In book 2 before Hythloday introduces his account of the idealised society he encountered on the island of Utopia in book 2. The Utopian system of common property contrasts sharply with the enclosures then underway in contemporary England, and the sharpness of the book's satire may have contributed to its publication on the continent, under the editorship of Erasmus.

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Bartleby: Utopia - Harvard Classics, Vol. 36, Part 3. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Utopia. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Utopia, Robinson translation and Latin text (1895). Multiple formats.

Marxists.org: Utopia. 1901 Cassell & Co. edition. HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: Ideal Empires and Republics. Rousseau’s Social Contract, More’s Utopia, Bacon’s New Atlantis, Campanella’s City of the Sun, with an Introduction by Charles M. Andrews (1901). Multiple formats.

Open Utopia - 2016 translation, including letters, commendations and marginalia, with Creative Commons license. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Utopia. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation by Gilbert Burnet (1901). HTML format.

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Erasmus: In Praise of Folly

Marginal_Drawings_for_The_Praise_of_Folly_(3) _by_Hans_and_Ambrosius_HolbeinIn Praise of Folly (Latin: Moriae Encomium or Stultitiae Laus) is an essay originally written by the great Dutch classicist Desiderius Erasmus while staying in London with Sir Thomas More, who is the subject of a punning reference in its Latin title.

The work is written from the perspective of Folly herself, whose self-praise provides the vehicle for a wide-ranging satire of contemporary society.

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Christian Classics Ethereal Library: In Praise of Folly, translated by John Wilson (1688). Multiple formats.

Fordham University Modern History Sourcebook: In Praise of Folly. Single page HTML format.

Gutenberg: In Praise of Folly. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: In Praise of Folly, translated by John Wilson. Clarendon (1913). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: In Praise of Folly, translated by John Wilson. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation. HTML and other formats.

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Xenophon: Oeconomicus

800px-Woman_spinning_MAR_Palermo_NI2149The Oeconomicus (Greek: Οἰκονομικός) by Xenophon is a work about management of the household or oikos, the original root of our modern term, economics.

The bulk of the dialogue consists of a discussion between Socrates and the wealthy farmer Ischomachus, as recounted by Socrates in a framing introduction to Critobolous, son of Crito. Ischomachus' account of his relationship with his wife has been a frequent topic in modern debates about Greek social attitudes.

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Gutenberg: Oeconomicus, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Xenophon's Minor Works, translated by John Selby Watson. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 168 Xenophon IV Memorabilia Oeconomicus Symposium Apologia. Loeb edition, Greek text with English translations by E.C. Marchant and O.J Todd. Multiple formats.

Perseus: Greek text and English translation. HTML and XML formats.

University of Adelaide: Oeconomicus, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text. HTML and other formats.

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Virgil: The Georgics

Mosaïque_des_Saisons_(Louvre)_élevage_de_chèvresThe Georgics (Latin: Georgica) is a didactic poem by Virgil (70-19 BC) on agriculture and rural life, after the manner of Hesiod's Works and Days. Completed in 29 BC, it was his second major poem after the Eclogues.

Book 1 focuses on arable farming and the disruption caused by the murder of Caesar, underlining that Virgil's portrait of rural peace had political undertones. The same could be said of his praise of rural Italy in book 2, which concentrates on the cultivation of trees such as the olive and the vine, while Book 3 covers cattle farming. Book 4 deals with bee-keeping, introducing an influential metaphor for human society.

English translators of the Georgics include John Dryden, who famously accounted it 'the best poem of the best poet.'

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Gutenberg: The Georgics. English translation. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Georgics of Virgil, translated by William Sotheby (1808). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Georgics. HTML and TXT formats.

Liberty Fund: Georgics, translated by Arthur S. Way. Multiple formats.

LoebulusL063N - Virgil -- Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid, Books 1-6. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Perseus: Latin text and English translation by J.B. Greenough. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Georgics, translated by A.S. Kline (2001). Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts: Georgics. Latin text and prose translation by J.W. MacKail. HTML format.

Theoi: Georgics, translated by H.R. Fairclough. HTML format.

Times Literary Supplement: The Bees (Virgil’s Georgics: Book IV), translated by Peter McDonald. 6 September 2016.

University of Adelaide: The Georgics, translated by J.B. Greenough. Multiple formats.

University of Michigan: Virgil's Georgics, translated by John Dryden. HTML format.

Wikisource: Latin text and multiple English translations. HTML and other formats.

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Ovid: Metamorphoses

ActaeonThe Metamorphoses is a a Latin narrative poem in fifteen books by Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC-17/18 CE), better known in English as Ovid. The theme of transformation unites a disparate collection of legendary stories which progress from the beginning of the universe to the deification of Julius Caesar. In some tales, however, the metamorphosis is a minor element in the story, leading many scholars to look for other interpretations of the poem.

Notable English translations in the public domain include the 1567 edition of Arthur Golding, the version known to Shakespeare, who mentions no classical poet in his works except for Ovid; an edition by George Sandys in the 1620s, and the 1717 edition of Sir Samuel Garth, whose translators included John Dryden, Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope and William Congreve as well as Garth himself.

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Elizabethan Authors: The Fifteen Books of Ovid's Metamorphoses, translated by Arthur Golding. HTML format.

Gutenberg: The Metamorphoses of Ovid, translated by Henry T. Riley (1893). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Shakespeare's Ovid, translated by Arthur Golding, edited by W.H.D. Rouse. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Metamorphoses, translated by Sir Samuel Garth, John Dryden, et al. HTML and TXT formats.

Latin Library: Metamorphoses. Latin text. HTML format.

Loebulus: L042 - Ovid -- Metamorphoses I: Books 1-8. L043 - Ovid -- Metamorphoses II: Books 9-15. Public domain Loeb edition. PDF format.

Open Book Publishers: Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.511-733. Latin Text with Introduction, Commentary, Glossary of Terms, Vocabulary Aid and Study Questions. HTML and PDF formats free, others paid.

Perseus: Latin text with Golding and Brookes More translations. HTML and XML format.

Poetry in Translation: The Metamorphoses, translated by A.S. Kline (2000). Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts: Metamorphoses, translated by Garth et al. HTML format.

Theoi: Metamorphoses, translated by Brookes More (1922). HTML format.

University of Adelaide: Ovid's Metamorphoses, translated by Garth et al. Multiple formats.

University of Virginia Library: The Metamorphoses. Multiple texts and other resources.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

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Seneca: Medea

Medea, by Artemisia GentileschiMedea by Seneca is a Latin adaptation of Euripides' play of the same name. Seneca alters some details of the plot and makes Medea a more calculating figure than in Euripides' portrayal.

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Gutenberg: Two Tragedies of Seneca - Medea and The Daughters of Troy by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, verse translation by Ella Isabel Harris. Multiple formats. 

How To Be a Stoic: Seneca on anger: the Medea, by Massimo Pigliucci.

Internet Archive: Two tragedies of Seneca, Medea and The daughters of Troy, edited by Ella Isabel Harris (1899). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Medea. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L062N -  Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Theoi: Medea, translated by Frank Justus Miller. HTML format.

Wikisource: Multiple English translations. HTML format.

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