Greek History

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.

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

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.


Diodorus Siculus: The Historical Library

The Historical Library (Greek Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορική) is a universal history written in the mid-first century BCE by Diodorus Siculus, a Sicilian Greek. The surviving portions of the work are Books I-V, which examine the early, often legendary history of the verious parts of the known world in turn, and books XI-XX, which provide a continuous historical narrative from 480 to 302 BCE. Although often derivative, Diodorus is important for those periods when he is the main surviving source.

Free online and downloadable texts

Attalus.org: Historical Library: Books 33-40.

LacusCurtius: The Library of History.

Loebulus: Loebulus. L303 - Diodorus Siculus II: Books 2.35-4.58. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Diodorus Siculus. Diodorus of Sicily in Twelve Volumes with an English Translation by C. H. Oldfather. Vol. 4-8. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, Ltd. 1989. Online text. Greek text at this link.

Theoi.com: Library of History, Book IV. Online text of the Oldfather translation.

Wikisource: Historical Library, translated by George Booth, 1814. Online text, downloadable via Bookcreator.

Other Resources

Livius: Diodorus of Sicily.

Wikipedia: Diodorus Siculus

Tertullian.org: Diodorus Siculus: the Manuscripts of the "Bibliotheca Historica".

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

Polybius: The Histories - a key source for the third decade of the Historical Library.

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


Arrian: The Anabasis of Alexander

Alexander_the_Great_mosaicThe Anabasis of Alexander (Greek: Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἀνάβασις) is an account of the conquests of Alexander the Great by Arrian, a Greek historian of the second century CE. The title reflects the influence of Xenophon's Anabasis on its structure and approach.

Arrian's work is the fullest extant account from the ancient world of Alexander's campaigns, drawing on contemporary sources which are now lost.

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Free online texts

Loebulus. L236 - Arrian -- Anabasis Alexandri, Books 1-4. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Anabasis Alexandri, Greek text, edited by A.G. Roos (Teubner 1907).

Wikisource: The Anabasis of Alexander; or, The history of the wars and conquests of Alexander the Great.  (1884)  by Arrian, translated by E. J. Chinnock. Online, downloadable via Bookcreator. Greek text: Αλεξάνδρου Ανάβασις.

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Procopius: The Wars of Justinian

By Meister von San Vitale in Ravenna - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain
Justinian and his retinue.

The Wars of Justinian (Greek: Ὑπὲρ τῶν πολέμων λόγοι, Hypèr tōn polémon lógoi; Latin: De Bellis) by Procopius of Caesaria is a major source for the history of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-sixth century CE. The first two books deal with campaigns against the Sassanids (The Persian War) . Books three and four cover Belisarius' campaign against the Vandals in North Africa (The Vandal War). The remaining books record the struggle to regain Italy from the Ostrogoths (The Gothic War).

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: History of the Wars, Books 1 & 2 | Books 3 & 4 | Books 5 & 6. Translated by H.B Dewing. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L048 - Procopius I: History of the Wars, Books 1-2. (Persian War) |  L081 - Procopius II: History of the Wars, Books 3-4. (Vandalic War) |  L107 - Procopius III: History of the Wars, Books 5-6.15. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Wikisource: History of the Wars, translated by H.B. Dewing. Multiple formats.

Other resources

Duke.edu: The Dates of Procopius' Works: A Recapitulation of the Evidence, by J.A.S. Evans (1997).

Encyclopedia Iranica: Procopius.

RobertGraves.Org: Count Belisarius and Procopius’s Wars, by Peter G. Christensen, Gravesiana: The Journal of the Robert Graves Society, Vol.IV, No 1 (2014).

Procopius.net: History of the Wars (Excerpts) - notable extracts including sections 'on the racing factions' and 'the Roman silk industry'. (Site down as of Nov 18. See the Internet Archive).

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

Procopius: The Secret History.

Jordanes: Getica.

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