Theology

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.

David Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

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.

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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.

Continue reading "Augustine: The City of God" »


Plato: Phaedo

The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David (1787)The Phaedo (Greek: Φαίδων) is a dialogue by Plato, portraying the death of Socrates, following the events described in the Euthyphro, Apology and Crito. After the death-sentence of the Athenian courts, Socrates spends his final hours in conversation with his companions, making a series of arguments for the immortality of the soul, before accepting death by a cup of poisonous hemlock.

The Phaedo at at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany

Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: Phaedo by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Harvard Classics, Volume 2. Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius. The Apology, Crito and Phaedo, by Plato. The Golden Sayings by Epictetus. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. EPUB, MOBI, TXT & PDF formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Phaedo. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus. L036 - Plato -- Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek Text, edited by John Burnet (1903). English text, translated by Harold North Fowler (1966). HTML and XML formats

Other Resources

Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues

Dale E. Burrington: Guides to the Socratic Dialogues.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Famous Last Words: Plato's Phaedo - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Phaedo, by Tim Connolly.

Librivox: Phaedo, public domain audiobook.

PhilPapers: Plato- Phaedo - open access papers.

Youtube: The Death of Socrates - play by Jonathan Miller adapted from the Crito and Phaedo.

YouTube: History of Ancient Philosophy - Plato's Phaedo Part I | Part II. Lectures by Adam Rosenfeld.

The Great Conversation: Further Reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Plato: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito

Aristotle: On the Soul (De Anima).

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

Bloom's Western Canon: The Dialogues are listed.


Plato: Euthyphro

Euthyphro is a dialogue in which Socrates discusses the nature of piety with the title character, who prosecuted his own father in order to avoid the ritual pollution associated with a murder. Socrates uses his characteristic mode of questioning (the elenchus) to demonstrate that Euthyphro does not know what piety is. There is a significant edge to the dialogue's satire, given its dramatic setting as Socrates is on his way to answer charges against him, which would ultimately result in his conviction for impiety.

Euthyphro has often been the first Platonic dialogue read by ancient and modern readers alike, as part of a sequence that continues with the Apology, the Crito and the Phaedo. This has the advantage of providing the reader with Plato's account of the events surrounding the death of Socrates in dramatic order, while also giving some idea of the range of styles employed in different dialogues.

While the religious issues involved in Euthyphro's case may be perplexing to the modern reader, it is a good example of an 'early dialogue' in which Socrates' questioning exposes the inability of his interlocutor to define the particular virtue which he professes. The key question, with profound implications for later religious thought, has become known as 'Euthyphro's Dilemma', roughly 'is something pious because the gods command it, or do the gods command it because it is pious?'

Free Online and Downloadable Texts

Gutenberg: Euthyphro by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett, multiple formats.

Loebulus. L036 - Plato -- Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Internet Classics Archive: Euthyphro. English online text with downloadable .txt file (Jowett).

Perseus: Euthyphro. Online texts in English (Fowler 1966) and Greek (Burnet 1903)

Social Science Research Network: Euthyphro. English pdf (Woods & Pack 2016).

Audio resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Method Man - Plato's Socrates, podcast by Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Raphael Woolf on Socrates, interview podcast by Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: In Dialogue - The Life and Works of Plato, podcast by Peter Adamson.

Librivox:Euthyphro- public domain audiobook.

Video Resources

YouTube: History of Ancient Philosophy - Plato's Euthyphro Part 1 | Part 2. Lectures by Adam Rosenfeld.

Other Resources

Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues

Dale E. Burrington: Guides to the Socratic Dialogues.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Divine Command Theory.

PhilPapers: Plato - Euthyphro - open source papers

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plato's Shorter Ethical Works.

Wikipedia: Euthyphro.

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

Plato: Apology, Crito and Phaedo.

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

Bloom's Western Canon: The Dialogues are listed.


Josephus: Against Apion

Against Apion (Greek: Φλαΐου Ἰωσήπου περὶ ἀρχαιότητος Ἰουδαίων λόγος α and Φλαΐου Ἰωσήπου περὶ ἀρχαιότητος ἀντιρρητικὸς λόγος β; Latin Contra Apionem or In Apionem) is the final work of the Jewish historian Josephus. Originally titled 'Concerning the Antiquity of the Jews', it is a powerful defence of Jewish culture against anti-Semitic critics such as the Alexandrian Greek scholar Apion. It's current title was bestowed by Jerome, who called Josephus 'the Jewish Livy'.

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Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: Against Apion. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus, translated by William Whiston (1737). Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L186 - Josephus -- Josephus I: The Life. Against Apion. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

PACE: Against Apion. Greek and English translation by William Whiston. HTML format.

Perseus: Greek text (Weidmann, 1892). English text, translated by William Whiston (1895).

Sacred Texts: The Works of Flavius Josephus, translated by William Whiston. HTML format.

Wikisource: Against Apion: Translated by William Whiston. Online, downloadable via Bookcreator.

Other resources

Librivox: Minor Works of Josephus - public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Against Apion.

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

Josephus: The Antiquities of the Jews, The Jewish War, The Life of Flavius Josephus.

Tacitus: The Histories - includes hostile account of the Jewish Revolt that provides significant evidence of the attitude of the contemporary Roman ruling class.

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