Christianity

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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Free online texts

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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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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Free online texts

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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Free online texts

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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Gregory of Tours: History of the Franks

Saint_Grégoire_Sacramentaire_de_Marmoutier_à_l'usage_d'AutunThe Ten Books of Histories (Latin: Decem Libri Historiarum), more commonly known as The History of the Franks (Latin: Historia Francorum) are the major work of St Gregory of Tours (538-594 CE).

The first major historian of post-Roman Western Europe, Gregory relates the Christianization of Gaul and the rule of Merovingian Frankish kings down to his own time. He is less concerned with the interests of the Frankish Kingdom as such than with those of the church, and some modern historians have therefore seen the History of the Franks title, which was not Gregory's own, as something of a misnomer.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive: History of the Franks, translated by Ernest Brehaut (1916). Multiple formats.

Internet History Sourcebook: History of the Franks, Books I-X, abridged translation by Ernest Brehaut (1916). HTML format.

Latin Library: Libri Historiarum. Latin text. HTML format.

Wikisource: Historiarum Francorum libri X. Latin text. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

Wikimedia Commons: Division of Gaul  511 CE, map of Gaul at the death of King Clovis.

Wikipedia: Gregory of Tours

YouTube: Clovis and The Franks. YaleCourses. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210), with Paul Freedman.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Virgil: The Aeneid

Sallust: The War with Catiline - one of the classical works known to have been read by Gregory.

Martianus Capella

Orosius: Seven Books of History Against the Pagans.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Aquinas: Summa Theologica

St Thomas Aquinas by Carlo Crivelli (1476). Wikimedia CommonsThe Summa Theologica or Summa Theologiae by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is one of the best known philosophical works of the Middle Ages. Intended as a comprehensive guide to theology for beginning students, the first part of the work deals with God, nature and man, the second part with law and morality, while the third, unfinished part deals with Christ and the sacraments, seen as the route of humanity's return to God, thus giving the whole a cyclical structure.

Summa Theologica at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Summa Theologica, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1947). Multiple formats.

Corpus Thomisticum: Summa Theologiae - Latin text. HTML format.

Google Play: STh lt - App containing the text of the Summa from the Corpus Thomisticum Project.

Gutenberg: Summa Theologica - Part I-I | Part I-II | Part II-II | Part III. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Summa Theologica, Latin text (1894). Multiple formats.

Intratext: Summa Theologica, English translation. HTML format.

New Advent: The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1920). HTML format.

Sacred Texts: Summa Theologica, translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1947). HTML format.

SummaTheologica.info: Summa Theologica, English translation with onsite Google search. HTML and PDF formats.

University of Notre Dame: Summa Theologica, ongoing translation by Alfred J. Freddoso. PDF format.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation, by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: St Thomas Aquinas. Melvyn Bragg with Martin Palmer, John Haldane and Annabel Brett.

History Of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: 243 The Ox Heard Round the World - Thomas Aquinas | 244 Everybody Needs Some Body: Aquinas on Soul and Knowledge | 248 - Scott MacDonald on Aquinas, podcast by Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia  of Philosophy: Thomas Aquinas.

Librivox: Summa Theologica, public domain audiobook.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Wikipedia: Summa Theologica.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Plato

Aristotle, referred to by Aquinas as 'The Philosopher': Metaphysics, Ethics.

Cicero

St Paul 'the Apostle'

Dionysius the Areopagite

Augustine 'the Theologian'

Boethius

Ulpian 'the Jurist'

Eriugena

Avicenna

Averroes 'the Commentator'

Al-Ghazali

Anselm 

Abelard

Hugo of St Victor

Peter the Lombard: The Sentences.

Dante: The Divine Comedy - has been described as 'the Summa in verse'.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Dante: The Divine Comedy

Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia di Dante (Dante and the Divine Comedy). 1465 fresco, in the dome of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Wikipedia.The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is a poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). In three canticles; Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, it describes Dante's progress on a mystic journey, through hell and purgatory, escorted by the poet Virgil, and through Heaven guided by Beatrice, an idealised portrait of the historical Florentine woman who was the object of Dante's unrequited love.

The poem is generally considered one of the central works of western literature. It gave profound expression of the medieval worldview, in an educated vernacular which would pave the way for renaissance humanism. Itself densely allusive, the work has inspired poets, painters and artists of all kinds ever since.

The Divine Comedy at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Danteonline.it: Commedia. Italian text. HTML format.

Dartmouth College: DanteLab - a customisable digital reader.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by H.F. Cary. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by Charles Eliot Norton. Vol I. Hell | Vol. II Purgatory | Vol III Paradise. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry F. Cary. Harvard Classics Edition. Multiple formats.

ItalianStudies.org: The Divine Comedy, translated by James Finn Cotter. HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: The Divine Comedy, Italian text and English translation by Courtney Langdon. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Divine Comedy, prose translation by A.S. Kline. Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts: The Divine Comedy -  Italian textEnglish translation by H.F. Cary (1888). TXT format.

University of Adelaide: The Divine Comedy - The Vision of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, translated by Henry Francis Cary; illustrated by Gustave Doré. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Divina Commedia - Italian text, multiple formats. Divine Comedy, translated by Longfellow. HTML and other formats.

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Pliny the Younger: Letters

The Letters (Latin: Epistulae) of Pliny the Younger (61-c.113 CE) stand alongside those of Cicero as one of the most intimate records left to us by any individual from the ancient world, although the fact that Pliny published them during his lifetime should give us pause about how candid a picture they really present.

Pliny was a politically active member of the equestrian order, who rose to become governor of Bithynia under Trajan. His correspondence with the Emperor famously illustrates the centralisation of Roman administration with advice sought and given on matters great and small. This includes a discussion of how to deal with the rising sect of Christianity, an important piece of evidence on the early history of the Church.

The Letters also shed light on Pliny's role in the leading literary circles in the time. A number of them show Pliny in the role of patron to Suetonius, who may have served on his staff in Bithynia. It was in a letter to another historian, Tacitus, that Pliny recounted the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder, the author of the Natural History, while attempting to investigate the eruption of Vesuvius.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: Letters of Pliny

Glossa.dk: C. Plinii Caecilii Secundi epistulae. Latin text, html format.

Internet Classics Archive/Internet Archive: Pliny's Epistles In Ten Books, translated 1723. HTML format.

Latin Library: Epistularum Libri Decem. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L055 - Pliny the Younger -- Letters I: Books 1-7. Also available at the Internet Archive.
Loebulus. L059 - Pliny the Younger -- Letters II: Books 7-10. Also available at the Internet Archive.

Perseus: Letters. Latin text, html and xml formats.

Pomona.edu (Trevor Chinn): Letters Books 1-5 (complete), Letters Books 6-9 (excerpts) and Book 10 (complete). English text, HTML format.

Wikisource: Epistularum Libri Decem, Latin text, HTML and other formats. Letter II, IX. Latin and English text, HTML and other formats.

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Augustine: The Confessions

The Confessions (Latin: Confessiones) is a work by St Augustine, written between 397 and 400 CE, recounting his conversion to Christianity. It is often regarded as founding the genre of autobiography.

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Free online texts

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: The Confessions and Letters of St. Augustine, with a Sketch of his Life and Work. Confessions translated by J.G. Pilkington. Multiple formats.

Georgetown University: The Confessions of Augustine - An Electronic Edition. Latin text with commentary by James J. O'Donnell. HTML format.

Georgetown University: Augustine's Confessions, translated by E.B. Pusey. TXT format.

Gutenberg: The Confessions of St Augustine. Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Augustine of Hippo, Latin texts.

Loebulus. L026 - Augustine -- Confessions I: Books 1-8. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Loebulus. L027 - Augustine -- Confessions II: Books 9-13. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Wikisource: Confessions, translated by Albert Outler. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Confessions, translated by J.G. Pilkington. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Augustine's Confessions. Melvyn Bragg with Kate Cooper, Morwenna Ludlow and Martin Palmer.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Life and Time: Augustine's Confessions - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

PhilPapers: Augustine - bibliography with open access option.

Wikipedia: Confessions (Augustine).

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Augustine: The City of God.

Cicero: Hortensius.

Latin resources: Learn to read Latin texts in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Confessions is listed.


Augustine: The City of God

The City of God Against the Pagans (Latin: De Civitate Dei contra Paganos) is a major philosophical work written by the Latin Christian St Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th Century AD.

Written as a refutation of those who blamed Christianity for the sack of Rome in 410 AD, the work cast history as a cosmic struggle between the Earthly City and the City of God, with the latter destined to be victorious. It had profound effect on the worldview of the Latin West in the Middle Ages.

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Free online texts

Bibliotheca Augustana: de Civitate Dei. Latin text, HTML format.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: St. Augustine's City of God and Christian Doctrine, translated by Philip Schaff. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The City of God, Volume I, Volume II. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: City of God Complete Vols 1 and 2. Translated by Dods (1871). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Augustine of Hippo, Latin texts.

Wikisource: Latin text. English translation by Marcus Dods. Multiple formats.

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Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

The Church History (Greek: Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἱστορία; Latin: Historia Ecclesiastica or Historia Ecclesiae) of Eusebius was the first major historical work written from a Christian point of view. It details the history of the church from the time of Christ down to the early fourth century AD. As Bishop of Caesarea, had access to many earlier sources which are quoted in the work.

Free online and downloadable texts

Archive.org: Church History. Life of Constantine the Great. Oration in Praise of Constantine. Multiple formats.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine.  From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890.) . Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L153 - Eusebius - Ecclesiastical History I: Books 1-5. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Loebulus. L265 - Eusebius -- Ecclesiastical History II: Books 6-10. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

New Advent: Church History (Eusebius). Translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.

Documenta Catholica Omnia: Eusebius Caesariensis Historia ecclesiastica - Greek text only.

Other Resources

Librivox: Eusebius History of the Christian Church - public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Church History: Eusebius.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.