Mythology

Spenser: The Faerie Queene

800px-Etty_Britomart_1833The Faerie Queene is an epic poem by Edmund Spenser in six books, of which the first three were published in 1590, with the rest appearing in 1596. Spenser drew on Arthurian legend and contemporary Italian epic to create a poem celebrating the court of Elizabeth I, who appears in the form of the Faerie Queene herself, Gloriana, whose knights pursue a series of quests with strong allegorical elements.

The Faerie Queene at Amazon

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Faerie Queene, Book I. HTML, EPUB, Kindle and TXT formats. See also this alternative edition.

Internet Archive: Spenser's Faerie Queene, illustrated by Walter Crane. George Allen (1895-97). EPUB, TXT, MOBI, PDF and other formats.

Internet Archive: The Faerie Queene, Vol. I | Vol. II. Clarendon Press (1909). EPUB, TXT, MOBI, PDF and other formats.

Internet Archive: The Faerie Queene, Vol. I | Vol II. Everyman's Library Edition (1910). EPUB, TXT, MOBI, PDF and other formats.

University of Adelaide: The Faerie Queene. HTML, EPUB, TXT and Kindle formats.

Wikisource: The Faerie Queene - incomplete. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Spenser: The Faerie Queene" »


Milton: Paradise Lost

William_Blake_-_The_Temptation_and_Fall_of_Eve_(Illustration_to_Milton's_'Paradise_Lost')_-_Google_Art_ProjectParadise Lost is an epic poem by John Milton, originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a second edition in twelve books following in 1667.

It tells the story of Satan's fall from heaven and the temptation of Adam and Eve. Blake wrote of Milton that 'he was of the Devil's party without knowing it' because of his portrayal of Satan as a charismatic antihero. Many critics have seen an underlying tension between Milton's affirmation of divine authority against Satan's rebellion and his support for an English Commonwealth founded on rebellion against the Stuart monarchy.

Paradise Lost at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Dartmouth College: Paradise Lost. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Paradise Lost. HTML, EPUB, Kindle and TXT formats.

Internet Archive. English Minor Poems, Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, Areopagitica. Britannica Great Books edition. EPUB, TXT, MOBI and PDF formats.

University of Adelaide: Paradise Lost. HTML, EPUB, TXT and Kindle formats.

Wikisource: Paradise Lost. Multiple editions. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

Librivox: Paradise Lost | Paradise Lost (version 2) - public domain audiobooks.

Wikipedia: John Milton - Paradise Lost

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

Milton: Paradise Regained

The Bible: Genesis, Revelation.

Homer: The Iliad and the Odyssey.

Virgil: The Aeneid

Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene.

John Aubrey: Brief Lives - includes a life of Milton.

Alexander Pope: The Rape of the Lock.

Samuel Johnson: Lives of the English Poets.

William Blake: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Percy Bysshe Shelley: A Defence of Poetry.

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein.

John Keats: Endymion.

Harold Bloom's Western Canon - Paradise Lost is included.


Seneca: Oedipus

IngresOdipusAndSphinxThe Oedipus of Seneca the Younger is a Latin adaptation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. As with many of Seneca's plays, the action is portrayed more directly than in the Greek model. Notably, in this instance, Jocasta's suicide takes place on stage, rather than being discovered after the fact as in Sophocles.

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

Free online texts

Internet Archive: Tragedies I: Hercules Furens. Troades. Medea. Hippolytus. Oedipus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin with facing English translation by Frank Justus Miller.

Latin Library: Oedipus. 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: Oedipus, translated by Frank Justus Miller. HTML format.

Continue reading "Seneca: Oedipus" »


Apuleius: The Golden Ass

Lucius_is_returned_to_human_form_at_the_procession_of_IsisThe Metamorphoses of Apuleius, better known as The Golden Ass (Latin: Asinus aureus) is the only complete surviving Latin novel from antiquity. In eleven books, it tells the story of Lucius, a Greek who is magically transformed into an ass, undergoing in that form a series of picaresque adventures.

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

Free online texts

The English Server: The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). HTML format. Archived at the Internet Archive.

Forum Romanum: Metamorphoses. Latin text. HTML format. (Book I missing as of Dec 2018).

Gutenberg: The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Golden Ass, Greek text and English translation by William Adlington, revised by  S. Gaselee (1924). Loeb edition. Multiple formats.

Loebulus: L044 - Apuleius - The Golden Ass. Greek text and English translation. PDF format.

Perseus: Metamorphoses. Latin text. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Golden Ass, translated by A.S. Kline (2013). Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts Archive: The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). HTML format. See also The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche.

University of Adelaide: The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation by William Adlington (1566). HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Apuleius: The Golden Ass" »


Apollonius of Rhodes: Argonautica

Douris_cup_Jason_Vatican_16545The Argonautica (Greek: Αργοναυτικά) is an epic poem by Apollonius of Rhodes, a Hellenistic Greek writer of the third century BCE, centring on Jason's voyage in search of the Golden Fleece. It was the most substantial epic composed between the work of Homer and Virgil, and the first to employ love as a central theme, in the form of Medea's elopement with Jason.

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

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Argonautica, translated by R. C. Seaton. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Argonautica. Bilingual Loeb edition, Greek and facing English translation by R. C. Seaton. Multiple formats.

Loebulus: L001 - Apollonius Rhodius - Argonautica. Bilingual Loeb edition. PDF format.

University of Adelaide: The Argonautica, translated by R.C. Seaton. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Αργοναυτικά - Greek text. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Apollonius of Rhodes: Argonautica" »


The Homeric Hymns

Attic_white_calyx_crater _440-430_BC _side_B _AM_Agrigento _120965xThe Homeric Hymns (Greek: Ομηρικοί Ύμνοι) are a selection of hymns to the Greek Gods which, though attributed to Homer in antiquity, probably date to somewhat later in the archaic period. A few may even have been added in the Hellenistic period.

Their identification with Homer reflects the fact they were composed in dactylic hexameter, the same metre as the Iliad and Odyssey.

The hymns vary in length and state of preservation. Some of the longer narratives such as the Hymn to Demeter, are important for the understanding of the subject god or goddess.

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

Free online texts

Aoidoi: Homeric Hymns

Bartleby: Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica, translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica, translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Homeric Hymns - A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological, by Andrew Lang. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica. Greek text and English translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L496 - Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Homeric Hymns - Greek texts, edited by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. HTML and XML formats.

Theoi: Homeric Hymns, translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. HTML format.

University of Adelaide: Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Ομηρικοί Ύμνοι. Greek text. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "The Homeric Hymns" »


Valmiki: Ramayana

Battle_at_Lanka _Ramayana _Udaipur _1649-53The Ramayana (Sanskrit: रामायणम्) is one of two great Itihasa or epics of ancient India, along with the Mahabharata. It tells the story of Rama, incarnation of Vishnu and heir to the king of Ayodhya. Following Rama's exile to the forest as a result of court intrigues, his wife Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the ruler of Lanka. Rama seeks her out and rescues her with the aid of his brother Lakshmana and the monkey Hanuman.

The Ramayana is traditionally attributed to the poet Valmiki, a notable character in the poem itself. Assigning a definite to its composition is difficult, but it is thought to have been written between 500 and 100 BCE.

English translations in the public domain include those by Ralph T.H. Griffith and Romesh C. Dutt.

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

Free online texts

Ancient Buddhist Texts: The Ramayana, condensed English verse translation, by Romesh Dutt. PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats.

Bombay.indology.info: The Ramayana. Sanskrit text, TXT format.

GRETIL: Ramayana. Sanskrit text, HTML format.

Gutenberg: The Rámáyan of Válmíki, English verse translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith. Multiple formats.

IIT Kanpur: Valmiki Ramayana, Sanskrit text and Audio, with English translation and commentaries. HTML format.

Internet Archive: Ramayana Bala Kanda | Ayodhya Kanda | Aranya Kanda | Kishkindha Kanda | Sundara Kanda | Yuddha Kanda | Uttara Kanda. English translation, edited by M.N. Dutt. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Ramayana, condensed English verse translation, by Romesh Dutt. Multiple formats.

Liberty Library: The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, abridged verse translation by Romesh C. Dutt. Multiple formats.

Sacred texts: Rámáyan of Válmíki, translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith. HTML format.

Sacred Texts: The Ramayana and Mahabharata, abridged verse translation by Romesh C. Dutt (1899). HTML format.

Sanskrit Documents: Valmiki Ramayana. Sanskrit text. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Rámáyan of Válmíki, English verse translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith. Multiple formats.

ValmikiRamayan.net: Ramayana - Sanskrit text and Audio, with English translation and notes. HTML format.

Wikisource: Sanskrit text and English translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Valmiki: Ramayana" »


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.'

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

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.

Continue reading "Virgil: The Georgics" »


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.

The Metamorphoses at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | SpainItaly

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.

Continue reading "Ovid: Metamorphoses" »


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.

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

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.

Continue reading "Seneca: Medea" »