Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Ten Classics to Read"

From HKH?, "Appendix: When All We Can Do is Read" at page 259:

[The] private acquisition of Greek wisdom relies more than ever on the individual's self-taught education – the reading of the Greeks themselves and general books on Classical Greece.  .   .   .  [T]he following 10 primary works serve as well as any as an introduction to Greek thought and includes a fascinating literature mostly unknown to the reading public.

Here are the "10 primary works" (pp. 259 - 266), but without Hanson and Heath's annotations:

Homer, Iliad, translated by Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961).  This is the Iliad I read in translation at Duke in a sort of "great books" course taught by the president of the university.  The link, however, is to a 2011 edition on Amazon that has the same translation but a lot of supplementary material by another writer.  Abe's Books is where to find a used 1961 edition.  The Lattimore translation is also part of Great Books of the Western World and we have a set.  However, I want to read the Iliad again.  When I read something like this, I like to pencil small checkmarks and brackets and now and then a note.  I don't want to do that in The Great Books hardback, so I'm getting a used paperback from Abe's to take around with me.

Hesiod, Works and Days, translated by M.L. West in Theogony: Works and Days (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).  The link is to that very translation on Amazon, an inexpensive paperback that, with a Prime membership, gets you a brand new copy for about the same as a used copy on or Abe's.  I always check Amazon first, and then go to the used booksellers.

Archilochus, Poems, translated by Richmond Lattimore, in Greek Lyrics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960)

Sophocles, Ajax, translated by John Moore in Sophocles II, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957)

Euripides, Bacchae, translated by W. Aerosmith, in Euripides V, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959).

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, translated by Richard Crawley as The Landmark Thucydides, edited by Robert Strassler (New York: The Free Press, 1996)

Old Oligarch (Pseudo-Xenophon), The Constitution of the Athenians, in John Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975)

Aristophanes, Lysistrata, edited by W. Aerosmith in Four Comedies by Aristophanes (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1969)

Plato, Apology, translated by G.M.A. Grube, in The Trial and Death of Socrates (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1975)

Demosthenes, First Philippic, in Greek Political Oratory, edited and translated by A. N. Sanders (New York: Penguin, 1980)

(Note: One might ask, did I laboriously keyboard each and every one of those citations?  No.  With book in hand, and the Dragon software engaged, I dictated the list.  I'm getting pretty good at it.)

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