This selection of lapidary nuggets drawn from thirty-three of antiquity's major authors includes poetry, dialogue, philosophical writing, history, descriptive reporting, satire, and fiction--giving a glimpse at the wide range of arts and sciences, thought and styles, of Greco-Roman culture. The selections span twelve centuries, from Homer to Saint Jerome. The texts and translations are reproduced as they appear in Loeb volumes. The Loeb Classical Library is the only existing series of books which, through original text and facing English translation, gives access to all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. The Loeb Classical Library Reader offers a unique sampling of this treasure trove. In these pages you will find, for example: Odysseus tricking the Cyclops in order to escape from the giant's cave; Zeus creating the first woman, Pandora, cause of mortals' hardships ever after; the Athenian general Nicias dissuading his countrymen from invading Sicily; Socrates, condemned to die, saying farewell; a description of Herod's fortified palace at Masada; Cicero's thoughts on what we owe our fellow men; Livy's description of the rape of the Sabine women; Manilius on the signs of the zodiac; Pliny's observation of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. Here you can enjoy looking in on people, real and imaginary, who figure prominently in ancient history, and on notable events. Here, too, you can relish classical poetry and comedy, and get a taste of the ideas characteristic of the splendid culture to which we are heir.
Aelian's Historical Miscellany is a pleasurable example of light reading for Romans of the early third century. Offering engaging anecdotes about historical figures, retellings of legendary events, and descriptive pieces - in sum: amusement, information, and variety - Aelian's collection of nuggets and narratives could be enjoyed by a wide reading public. A rather similar book had been published in Latin in the previous century by Aulus Gellius; Aelian is a late, perhaps the last, representative of what had been a very popular genre. Here then are anecdotes about the famous Greek philosophers, poets, historians, and playwrights; myths instructively retold; moralizing tales about heroes and rulers, athletes and wise men; reports about styles in dress, foods and drink, lovers, gift-giving practices, entertainments, religious beliefs and death customs; and comments on Greek painting. Some of the information is not preserved in any other source. Underlying it all are Aelian's Stoic ideals as well as this Roman's great admiration for the culture of the Greeks (whose language he borrowed for his writings).
The poetry of Horace (born 65 BCE) is richly varied, its focus moving between public and private concerns, urban and rural settings, Stoic and Epicurean thought. His "Odes" cover a wide range of moods and topics. Love and political concerns are frequent themes of the "Epodes."
Paganism is one of the world's fastest-growing religions, practised in a huge variety of ways. The Paganism Reader provides a definitive collection of key sources in Paganism, ranging from its ancient origins to its twentieth-century reconstruction and revival. Chronologically organized sections include extracts from ancient Greek, Norse and Celtic literature, inspirational texts from the early twentieth-century, writings by leaders of the Pagan revival, and newer perspectives showing the diversity of Paganism today. Witchcraft, nature religion, shamanism and goddess worship are considered, as is the influence of environmental and feminist movements. Fully introduced, with editors' prefaces to all extracts and suggestions for further reading, this comprehensive book is an invaluable guide to Paganism and critical issues in its study.