Classical Literature

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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Free online texts

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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Free online texts

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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Free online texts

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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Free online texts
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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Seneca: The Trojan Women

Marie-Lan Nguyen - Wikimedia CommonsThe Trojan Women (Latin: Troades) by Seneca is a Latin adaptation of Euripides' play of the same name, along with elements of the latter's Hecuba.

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Free online texts

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

Internet Archive: The Ten Tragedies of Seneca. Latin text with English translation by Watson Bradshaw (1902). Multiple formats.

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

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

Wikisource: The Trojan Women, English translation by Miller. HTML and other formats.

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Seneca: The Madness of Hercules

Picture by Marie-Lan Nguyen - Wikimedia CommonsThe Madness of Hercules (Latin: Hercules Furens) by Seneca the Younger is a Latin adaptation of Euripides' play of the same name. There are some differences in the plot. For example, instead of threatening to kill Hercules' children, the Theban usurper Lycus seeks to marry his wife Megara.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive:  Three tragedies of Seneca: Hercules furens, Troades, Medea, edited by H.M. Kingery (1908). Latin text, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Ten Tragedies of Seneca. Latin text with English translation by Watson Bradshaw (1902). Multiple formats.

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

Perseus: Hercules Furens. Latin text. HTML and XML formats.

Theo.com: Herculens Furens, translated by Frank Justus Miller (1917). HTML format.

Wikisource: English translations. HTML and other formats.

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Euripides: Rhesus (disputed)

Rhesus (Greek: Ῥῆσος) is an Athenian tragedy transmitted in the corpus of Euripides, though its authorship has been disputed since ancient times. It is based on the 10th book of the Iliad, in which Odysseus and Diomedes kill the Trojan spy Dolon and raid the Trojan camp.

Free online texts

Gutenberg : Rhesus, translated by Gilbert Murray (1913). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Rhesus, verse translation by Gilbert Murray. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Rhesus, HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus: L009 - Euripides -- Euripides I: Iphigenia at Aulis. Rhesus. Hecuba. The Daughters of Troy. Helen. Greek and English parallel text. Loeb edition, PDF format.

Perseus: Greek text and English translations by E.P. Coleridge (1891) and Gilbert Murray (1913). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Rhesus, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Rhesus, translated by E.P. Coleridge. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translation by E.P. Coleridge. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

Gutenberg: Euripides and His Age, by Gilbert Murray.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Euripides, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Wikipedia: Rhesus (play)

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

Homer: The Iliad

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

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


Euripides: Iphigenia at Aulis

The Anger of Achilles, by Jacques-Louis David. Image by Wikimedia Commons user GuyStairSaintyIphigenia in Aulis or at Aulis (Greek: Ἰφιγένεια ἐν Αὐλίδι) is a tragedy by Euripides, probably first produced at Athens after his death in 405 BC. It dramatises the story of the sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon, in order to ensure the success of the Trojan Expedition.

The play is notable for the emphasis on the characters at the expense of the chorus.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Ιφιγένεια εν Αυλίδι, Greek text. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Tragedies of Euripides, Vol I, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley (1892). Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Iphigenia at Aulis of Euripides. Greek text with English notes by Edwin Bourdieu England (1891). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Iphigenia at Aulis. Edition of earliest English translation by Jane Fitzalan Lumley (1577). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Iphigenia at Aulis. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus: L009 - Euripides -- Euripides I: Iphigenia at Aulis. Rhesus. Hecuba. The Daughters of Troy. Helen. Greek and English parallel text. Loeb edition, PDF format.

Perseus: Greek text and English translation by E.P. Coleridge. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Iphigenia at Aulis, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Iphigenia at Aulis, translated by E.P. Coleridge. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Iphigenia at Aulis, English translation by T.A. Buckley. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

Gutenberg: Euripides and His Age, by Gilbert Murray.

History of Ancient Greece: Euripides at War, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Iphigenia in Aulis. Public domain audiobooks.

Wikipedia: Iphigenia in Aulis.

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

Euripides: Iphigenia in Tauris.

Euripides: The Bacchae.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

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

Bloom's Western Canon: Iphigenia at Aulis is listed.


Euripides: The Bacchae

Pentheus being torn by maenads. Casa dei Vettii. Via Wikimedia Commons.The Bacchae (Greek: Βάκχαι) is a tragedy by Euripides, found at his death in 406 BC, and produced in 406 BC. The play dramatises the introduction into Greece of the worship of the god Dionysus. Visiting Thebes, he is rejected by king Pentheus, and takes his revenge by driving the women of the city into a frenzy of madness. Among them, is Pentheus' mother Agave, who tears her son to pieces before recovering her senses and realizing what she has done. The play ends with their family being banished from the city.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Bacchae, translated by Gilbert Murray (1906). Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Tragedies of Euripides, Vol I, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley (1892). Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Bacchae. Verse translation by Gilbert Murray. Multiple formats.

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

Loebulus: L011N - Euripides -- Euripides III: Bacchanals. Madness of Hercules. Children of Hercules. Phoenician Maidens. Suppliants. Greek and English parallel text. Loeb edition, PDF format.

Perseus: Greek text and English translation by T.A. Buckley. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Bacchae, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Bacchantes, translated by E.P. Coleridge. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translation by Arthur Way. HTML and other formats.

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Euripides: Orestes

Orestes (Greek: Ὀρέστης) is a tragedy by Euripides, first produced in Athens in 408 BC. Based on similar legendary material to Aeschylus' Oresteia, it recounts the flight of Orestes and Electra from the vengeance of the Furies after killing their mother Clytemnestra, the intervention of their uncle Menelaus, and the resolution of matters by the god Apollo.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Ορέστης, Greek text. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Tragedies of Euripides, Vol I, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley (1892). Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive:  The Plays of Euripides, v.II: Andromache, Electra, The Bacchantes, Hecuba, Heracles mad, The Phoenician Maidens, Orestes, Iphigenia among the Tauri, Iphigenia at Aulis, The Cyclops. English translation by E.P. Coleridge. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Orestes, translated by E.P. Coleridge. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus: L010N - Euripides -- Euripides II: Electra. Orestes. Iphigeneia in Taurica. Andromache. Cyclops. Greek and English parallel text. Loeb edition, PDF format.

Perseus: Greek text with English translation by E.P. Coleridge. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Orestes, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Orestes, translated by E.P. Coleridge.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translation by Arthur Way. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

Gutenberg: Euripides and His Age, by Gilbert Murray.

History of Ancient Greece: Euripides at War, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Orestes, public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Orestes (play)

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

Aeschylus: The Libation Bearers.

Aeschylus: The Eumenides.

Euripides: Electra.

Euripides: Andromache.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

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

Bloom's Western Canon: Orestes is listed.