Religion

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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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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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.

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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.

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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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Vyasa: Mahabharata

Vyasa grants Sanjaya divine vision. Wikimedia CommonsThe Mahābhārata (Sanskrit: महाभारतम्, Mahābhāratam) is a Sanskrit epic, one of  the longest in world literature, and along with the Ramayana, one of two considered sacred texts of Hinduism.

Traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyāsa, the poem deals with the Kurukshetra war between two sets of cousins, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The historical kernel of these events is thought to date back to Vedic India around 1000 BCE, although the Mahabharata itself is thought to have been written down in the period from 400 BCE.

Embedded within the Mahabharata is the Bhagavad Gita, a philosophical dialogue between the Pandava hero Arjuna and his charioteer, the god Krishna, taking place before the onset of the climactic battle with the Kauravas.

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

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Mahabharata. K.M. Ganguli translation. Multiple formats.

Holy Books.com: The Mahabharata - K.M Ganguli translation, PDF format.

Internet Archive: The Mahabharata, translated by K.M. Ganguli (1884-96). Multiple formats.

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

Sacred Texts: The Mahabharata, Sanskrit text and English translation by K.M. Ganguli. HTML format.

Wikisource: Sanskrit text and partial text of the English translation, by K.M Ganguli. HTML and other formats.

Performances and Reviews

New York Times: Peter Brook transforms an Indian epic for the stage, by Margaret Croyden, 25 August 1985.

YouTube: Peter Brook's The Mahabharata. See also the IMDB page.

Other Resources

Ancient History Encyclopedia: Mahabharata.

Brown University: The Mahabharata, pages by Sanskrit scholar James L. Fitzgerald.

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: Grand Illusion - Dharma and Deception in the Mahabharata, podcast episode by Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri.

The Independent: The Book of a Lifetime - The Mahabharata, by Alice Albinia, 9 June 2011.

Librivox: The Mahabharata by Vyasa: The epic of ancient India condensed into English verse, public domain audiobook.

London Review of Books, How to Escape the Curse, John's Smith's translation reviewed by Wendy Doniger.

UC Davis: Mahabharata, synopsis by V. Vemuri.

Wikipedia: Mahabharata.

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

Bhagavad Gita

Ramayana

Bloom's Western Canon - The Mahabharata is listed.


Hesiod: The Theogony

The Theogony (Greek: Θεογονία, Theogonía), a poem by Hesiod, is the earliest and most important systematic account of Greek mythology. Little is known of Hesiod other than that he was a farmer in Boeotia, probably in the 7th century BCE. This background is reflected in the opening of the Theogony, in which Hesiod is inspired by the muses while pasturing sheep on Mount Helicon. The poem goes on to describe the creation of the world out of primeval chaos, the genealogy of the Gods, the struggle of the Titans and Olympians, and the divine parentage of human heroes.

Hesiod wrote in a similar epic dialect to Homer, though he is often seen as reflecting a later development. The relatively systematic worldview presented in the Theogony has made it a key point of comparison with the earliest Greek philosophers, a number of whom continued to use poetic forms and indeed myth.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica.

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

Perseus: Greek text - English text, translated by Hugh Evelyn-White (1914). HTML and XML formats.

Sacred-Texts: Theogony, translated by H.G. Evelyn-White. HTML format.

Theoi: Theogony ,translated by H.G. Evelyn-White. HTML format.

Wikisource: The Theogony, translated by H.G. Evelyn-White (1920).  Multiple formats.

Wikisource: ΘΕΟΓΟΝΙΑ. Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: The Greek Genesis, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

History of Ancient Greece: Oligarchs and Hesiod, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Works and Days, The Theogony, and The Shield of Heracles - Public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Before Orthodoxy - Hesiod's Theogony - Ancient Greece's Creation Story. Podcast and transcript.

Wikipedia: Theogony.

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

Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Hesiod: Works and Days.

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

Bloom's Western Canon: The Theogony is listed.


Cicero: On Divination

On Divination (Latin: De Divinatione) is a dialogue by Cicero published in 44 BC, shortly after the death of Caesar. Following on from the theological issues considered in On the Nature of the Gods, it examines whether it is possible to predict the future. Cicero's brother Quintus deploys stoic arguments to defend belief in some kinds of divination. Cicero ridicules the practice but recommends the maintenance of traditional forms for political reasons.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive: The treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the nature of the gods; On divination; On fate; On the republic; On the laws; and On standing for the consulship. Literally translated chiefly by the editor, C.D. Yonge (1878). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: De natura deorum, De divinatione, De fato, edited by Reinholdus Klotz (1879). Latin text, multiple formats.

LacusCurtius: De Divinatione, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML format.

Latin Library: De Divinatione. Latin text, HTML format.

Perseus: De Divinatione. Latin text, edited by C.F.W. Muller (Teubner, 1915). HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: De Divinatione. Latin text, edited by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML and XML formats. 

Perseus: De Divinatione, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML and XML formats. 

Wikisource: De Divinatione. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

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Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods

On the Nature of the Gods (Latin: De Natura Deorum) is a dialogue by Cicero which examines theology from the point of view of various philosophical schools. In book 1, Gaius Velleius gives the Epicurean argument for the existence of God, while Quintus Lucilius puts the Stoic case in book 2. Gaius Cotta criticises both viewpoints in book 3 from the viewpoint of Cicero's own academic skepticism.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth, translated by C.D. Yonge. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the nature of the gods; On divination; On fate; On the republic; On the laws; and On standing for the consulship. Literally translated chiefly by the editor, C.D. Yonge (1878). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive. De Natura Deorum, Libri Tres, Vol I, Vol II, Vol III, edited by J.B Mayor (Cambridge, 1888). Latin text, Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: De natura deorum, De divinatione, De fato, edited by Reinholdus Klotz (1879). Latin text, multiple formats.

Latin Library: De Natura Deorum. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L268 - Cicero -- De Natura Deorum. Academica. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Online Library of Liberty: De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), trans. Francis Brooks (London: Methuen, 1896). Multiple formats.

Perseus: De Natura Deorum. Latin text, HTML and XML format.

Wikisource: De Natura Deorum. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

Academia.edu: Cicero Handout -  Arguments For And Against God's Existence in On the Nature of the Gods, by Gregory Sadler.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Rhetorical Questions: Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Raphael Woolf on Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Cicero.

Librivox: On the Nature of the Gods - public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Cicero - De Natura Deorum.

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

Plato: Euthyphro - a classic examination of divine command theory.

Cicero: Tusculan Disputations - defends Stoic views on happiness.

Cicero: On the Ends of Good and Evil - discusses the ethical teachings of the major philosophical schools.

Cicero: Academica - dialogues on the theory of knowledge.

Cicero: On Divination.

Cicero: On Fate.

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

Bloom's Western Canon: On the Nature of the Gods is listed.


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.

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

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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