Greek History

Michael Psellos: Chronographia

Michael_PsellosThe Chronographia (Greek: Χρονογραφία) by Michael Psellos is a history of the Byzantine Empire in the century from 976 CE by Michael Psellos, who was himself an active courtier and political advisor during the latter part of this period. His chief interest is in the character of individual rulers, which he considers in fourteen biographies of individual emperors and empresses, from Basil II 'The Bulgar-Slayer' to Michael VII Doukas.

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Free online texts

English translations

Documenta Catholica Omnia: Chronographia, translated by E.R.A. Sewter (1953). PDF format.

Fordham University Medieval History Sourcebook: Chronographia, translated by E.R.A. Sewter (1953). HTML format.

Greek texts

Internet Archive: The History of Psellus, edited by Constantine Sathas (1899). PDF, EPUB, DJVU, Kindle and other formats.

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Anna Comnena: The Alexiad

Alexios_I_KomnenosThe Alexiad (Greek: Ἀλεξιάς) by Anna Comnena, is a history of the Byzantine Empire during the reign of her father Alexios I Comnenus from 1048-1118. Written in around 1148, it is significant as an important source for the period leading up to the First Crusade, and as one of the earliest historical works by by a woman.

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Free online texts
English Translations

Fordham University Medieval Sourcebook: The Alexiad, translated by Elizabeth A. Dawes (1928). HTML format.

Wikisource: The Alexiad, translated by Elizabeth A. Dawes. HTML and other formats.

York University: The Alexiad, translated by Elizabeth A. Dawes. PDF format.

Greek texts

Greek Wikisource: Αλεξιάς. HTML and other formats.

Internet Archive: Anna Comnena Vol I (edited by Schopen). | Vol II (edited by Reifferscheid). Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae.

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Curtius: Histories of Alexander the Great

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Image by Wikimedia user Sailko (CC3.0)

The Histories of Alexander the Great (Latin: Historia Alexandri Magni Libri) is an account of Alexander's conquests in ten books, of which only eight survive. The surviving part begins with book three, which describes the Macedonian army's passage through Phrygia and the famous episode of the cutting of the Gordian knot.

Little is known for certain about the author, Quintus Curtius Rufus, who is generally thought to have lived in the first century CE. The work's dramatic but uncritical tone has suggested to some that is was conceived to serve a Roman imperial propaganda purpose.

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Free online texts

Hathi Trust: History of Alexander, Latin text and English translation by John C. Rolfe. Two Volumes. PDF format. See also the contents page for this edition at Attalus.

Internet Archive: History of Alexander, Latin text and English translation by John C. Rolfe. Volume 1 | Volume 2. Multiple formats. Loeb edition, although facing pages do not correspond to one another in this scan.

Internet Archive: Historia Alexandri Magni Libri Qui Supersunt. Latin text, Teubner edition (1908). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Historia Alexandri Magni Libri Qui Supersunt. Latin text. HTML format.

PHI Latin texts: Historiae Alexandri Magni. Latin text. HTML format.

Wikisource: Historia Alexandri Magni regis Macedonum. Latin text. HTML and other formats.

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Pausanias: The Description of Greece

Butler1851GreecePelopThe Description of Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάδος Περιήγησις) by Pausanias is a guide to continental Greece written in about 160 CE.  It focuses mainly on places and monuments of historical, religious and artistics interest, with observations on the natural world featuring only occasionally.

The work is divided into ten books covering: 1. Attica and Megara, 2. Corinth and Argolis, 3. Laconia, 4. Messenia. 5 and 6. Elis including Olympia, 7 Achaea, 8. Arcadia, 9, Boeotia, 10. Phocis including Delphi.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive: Pausanias's Description of Greece, English translation with a commentary by James George Frazer. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L093 - Pausanias - Description of Greece I: Books 1-2 (Attica and Corinth). PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L188 - Pausanias - Description of Greece II: Books 3-5 (Laconia, Messenia, Elis 1). PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (Teubner 1903) and English translation by W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod. HTML and XML formats.

Theoi.com: Description of Greece. English translation by by W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod. HTML  format.

ToposText: English text hyperlinked to accompanying maps. HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations by Jones and Taylor.

Other Resources

Ancient History Encyclopedia: Pausanias (Geographer).

Digital Milliet Project: Excerpts on painting. Ancient Greek with English and French commentary. HTML format.

Livius: Pausanias the Periegete.

Peter Sommer Travels: Pausanias - The Father of Guidebooks, by Heinrich Hall.

PPG System: Pausanias Paths in Greece. English introduction to Greek language navigation system.

University of Texas at Austin Linguistics Research Center: Classical Greek Online - Lesson 10 - From Pausanias' Description of Greece. Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum.

Wikipedia: Pausanias (Geographer).

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

Homer: The Iliad. See especially Book II.

Herodotus: The Histories.

Strabo: The Geography.

Butler: Atlas of Ancient Geography.

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


Herodotus: The Histories

Greece_persian_war_500_479The Histories of Herodotus is the founding work of the Greek historical tradition, documenting the rise of the Persian Empire, the Ionian revolt and the subsequent war between the Persians and the Greeks led by Athens and Sparta. Through his frequent digressions on the various cultures of the known world Herodotus, known as the 'father of history', imparted to the discipline a broad anthropological focus, rivalling the predominantly political and military interests of his successor, Thucydides.

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Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: Herodotus author page. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The History of Herodotus, Volume 1. Translated by G.C. Macaulay.

Gutenberg: The History of Herodotus, Volume 2. Translated by G.C. Macaulay.

Inquiries by Herodotus, translated by Shlomo Felberbaum, with photographs by Shane Solow. Online text.

Internet Archive: Herodotus.

Internet Classics Archive, The History of Herodotus, translated by George Rawlinson.

Loebulus. L117 - Herodotus -- Herodotus I: Books 1-2. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. 

Loebulus. L118 - Herodotus -- Herodotus II: Books 3-4. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Loebulus. L119 - Herodotus -- Herodotus III: Books 5-7. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. 

Loebulus. L120 - Herodotus -- Herodotus IV: Books 8-9. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Pax Librorum: The Histories by Herodotus. Pdf download.

Perseus: Herodotus, Greek text (Godley ed., 1920). English translation (Godley, 1920). Online texts.

Sacred Texts: The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, translated by G. C. Macaulay, (1890). Online with zipped text download.

 Wikisource: The Histories  - Online Translations by A. D. Godley, George Rawlinson and G. C. Macaulay. Downloads via Book Creator.

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Butler: Atlas of Ancient Geography

ButlerOldWorldThe Atlas of Ancient Geography by Dr Samuel Butler was published in 1851, so no doubt it is obsolete for serious academic purposes, but I have yet to find a classical text, or classical scholar, that it couldn't illuminate. From Homer's Iliad, to Livy's or Mommsen's History of Rome, the maps below, downloaded to my desktop and tablet, are always helpful in understanding what's going on. 

The files are hosted at the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin, who are be it noted, seeking donations to upload many other maps from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection - a very worthy cause.

Maps

Africa (3.2 MB) | Armenia, Colchis, Iberia, and Albania (3.2 MB) | Asia Minor (3.9 MB) | Britannia (3.7 MB) | Egypt (3.3 MB) | Orbis Veteribus Notus (Europe, Asia and North Africa) (3.5 MB) | Gallia (France) (4.0 MB) | Germany (3.4 MB) | Greece and Islands (3.6 MB) | Greece and the Peloponnese (4.3 MB) | Greece and the Peloponnesus, South (3.8 MB) | Islands in the Aegean Sea (4.5 MB) | Italy, Central (3.8 MB) | Italy, North (4.1 MB) | Italy, South (3.7 MB) | Macedonia, Moesia, Thracia, and Dacia (4.1 MB) | Mauritania, Numidia, and Africa (3.2 MB) | Oriens (Persia) (3.6 MB) | Palestine, Times of Christ and His Apostles (3.7 MB) | Palestine, Times of Judges and Kings (3.2 MB) | Rome (3.9 MB) | Spain (3.9 MB)
Syria, Mesopotamia, and Assyria (3.0 MB) | Vindelicia, Rhaetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and Illyricum (3.0 MB) 


Aristotle: The Athenian Constitution

The Athenian Constitution (Greek: Αθηναίων Πολιτεία) is thought to be the only text by Aristotle rediscovered in modern times, based on papyri recovered in the Nineteenth Century. It may be the last remnant of a project Aristotle is said to have initiated to collect the constitutions of all the Greek states.

The work should not be confused with another of the same title, once thought to be by Xenophon, but now generally attributed to an anonymous 'Old Oligarch'.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Athenian Constitution, translated by Frederic G. Kenyon. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Αθηναίων Πολιτεία by Aristotle. Greek text. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Works of Aristotle Vol X: Politica, Oeconomica, Atheniensum Respublica, the latter translated by Frederic G. Kenyon. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Athenian Constitution, translated by Frederic G. Kenyon. HTML and TXT formats.

Internet History Sourcebook: The Athenian Constitution, translated by Frederic G. Kenyon. TXT format.

Loebulus. L285 - Aristotle -- Athenian Constitution. Eudemian Ethics. Virtues and Vices. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text, edited y Frederic G. Kenyon. English text, translated by H. Rackham. HTML and XML formats.

University of Adelaide: The Athenian Constitution, translated by Frederic G. Kenyon. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: The Athenian Constitution, translated by Frederic G. Kenyon. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

Librivox: The Constitution of Athens - public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Constitution of the Athenians.

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

Plato: The Republic, The Laws.

Aristotle: The Politics

Xenophon: The Spartan Constitution.

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


Jordanes: Getica

The Getica otherwise known as the The Origin and Deeds of the Goths (Latin: De Origine Actibusque Getarum) is a mid-sixth century Latin work by Jordanes, apparently intended as a summary of a lost work on the Goths by Cassiodorus.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Gothic History of Jordanes, translated by Charles Mierow (1915). Multiple formats.

The Latin Library: Iordanis De Origine Actibusque Getarum. Latin text, HTML format.

Northvegr: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. HTML format.

University of Calgary: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. HTML format.

Wikisource: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. HTML format.

Other Resources

Georgetown University: The Aims of Jordanes, by James J. O'Donnell, Historia, 31(1982) 223-240.

Wikipedia: Getica.

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

Tacitus: Germania - The first major account of the Germanic peoples.

Orosius: Seven Books of History Against the Pagans - used as a source by Jordanes.

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Xenophon: The Spartan Constitution

Lycurgus of Sparta, by Merry-Joseph Blondel. Wikimedia CommonsThe Spartan Constitution or Constitution of the Lacedaemonians (Greek: Λακεδαιμονίων Πολιτεία, Latin: De republica Lacedaemoniorum) by Xenophon is the most comprehensive extant account of Spartan institutions. As an oligarchically-inclined exile from Athens, who had fought alongside Spartan generals in the Persian Expedition, and later against Athens at the battle of Coronea, Xenophon was a well-placed and highly sympathetic observer of Spartan customs.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Polity of the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians by Xenophon. Multiple formats.

Loebulus: L183 - Xenophon -- Scripta Minora: Hiero. Agesilaus. Constitution of the Lacedaemonians. Ways and Means. Cavalry Commander. Art of Horsemanship. On Hunting. Constitution of the Athenians. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also available from the Internet Archive.

Perseus: Greek text (Oxford, 1920). English text translated by E. C. Marchant, G. W. Bowersock (1925).

Wikisource: Λακεδαιμονίων Πολιτεία - Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Xenophon. Melvyn Bragg with Paul Cartledge, Edith Hall and Simon Goldhill.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Xenophon.

Leo Strauss Center: Xenophon, Winter 1963 - audio of lectures on works including The Spartan Constitution.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Xenophon: Hellenica, Anabasis, Agesilaus.

Aristotle: The Politics, The Athenian Constitution

Plutarch: Parallel Lives - includes lives of a number of Spartan statesmen: Lycurgus, Lysander, Agesilaus, Agis and Cleomenes.

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


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.