Reddit mentions: The best ancient & classical poetry books

We found 130 Reddit comments discussing the best ancient & classical poetry books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 49 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

3. Edda (Everyman's Library)

Edda (Everyman's Library)
Sentiment score: 5
Number of mentions: 14
▼ Read Reddit mentions

12. The Gift

Penguin Books
The Gift
Sentiment score: 1
Number of mentions: 3
▼ Read Reddit mentions

idea-bulb Interested in what Redditors like? Check out our Shuffle feature

Shuffle: random products popular on Reddit

Top Reddit comments about Ancient & Classical Poetry:

u/r271answers · 1 pointr/religion

> Perception and reality are not, and cannot be separated.

From a subjective level this is absolutely true, however consensus reality relies on the subjective perceptions which people agree are objective. If I say I'm a tomato because I'm perceiving being a tomato its subjectively real but its only objectively real once people agree with me.

> I have been doing more and more research into all of this. And I think I more or less have it figured out, and it does fit within the given range of what I would have been willing to accept before the event.

I can understand this, I accept many things now which I never would have accepted a decade ago. I would have thought you are a loony. lol now I'm probably more loony than you are.

> Graham Hancock

Some of his stuff is ok. He is a good writer but take a lot of it with a grain of salt, too many of his readers take it as gospel when its intended to be speculation. If you read his book Supernatural I recommend you read Shamanic Voices by the antropoligist Joan Halifax which he used as a source for much of his writing in that book.

> I am now completely convinced that I understand the nature of reality, and that this is only one plain of existence,

It's not so much that its only one "plain" of existence, in my experience, but rather that its only one "timeline set". Even if you experience these things as 100% real, not everyone will. You are experiencing multiple timelines simultaneously and they overlap partially with other people you communicate with. For some people the things you are describing are as real as the computer in front of you. For some they are not real at all. Both are right.

> and that I met a Reptilian that inadvertantly enlightened me while attempting to destroy me.

I can dig it.

> I met (I am looking for a word here that means EVERYTHING. The alpha, the omega, god, satan, yahweh, whaterver).

Sure. I call it "Existence Itself", "The System" or sometimes "Zooey" (long story on those names there). One night I had a 3-some with it and Non-Existence Itself. It was pretty hot. (I'm serious lol)

> I am that person, and that person is me. I am my own god of my own universe because this universe is only a matter of my own perception and therefore my own reality.

That's partly true but only as true as you are able to control your own experience. If you can't imagine that your walls are a different color and have them instantly be and stay that color than you are not only experiencing your universe but you are also experiencing the universe of one or more other people. Also you should check out the book Conference of the Birds in which the birds seek out what is basically God and discover that they themselves are God but that understanding this at a deep level is a very hazerdous journey.

> To summarize, I met a reptilian shape-shifter. They convinced me they were god using clever tricks of manipulation and mind-control. They have a better grasp on the energy and vibrations that allow this plain of existence to be manipulated, and they use that for their own gain.

Why would they use it for their own gain? What is there to gain? If they are shape-shifters are they reptilian or is that just one shape?

> On a side note, what do you think about things like psychedelics, monatomic gold, B17, pineal gland calcification, and things of this nature?

Psychedelic drugs can be useful for some people at some points in time to get them to learn to think outside of their native reality but one should be careful about extensive use. I believe mild stimulants to be more useful in getting one's brain into a state of controllable cross-reality experience but whatever works for you. I have no reality on the other things you are talking about there. If they make sense to you go for it, but they mean nothing to me.

> What do you think of "The Illuminati"?

Such groups exist in some timeline sets but not the ones that the majority of redditers experience, and not the one I'm experiencing right now. In the ones where they do exist they are typically not as 'evil' as people assume. Most of the ideas regarding groups like this come from past-life pre-earth memories and the groups now defunct.

> Do you think there is any chance that the entire world earth is being manipulated by Reptilians posing as the human super elite (ie Rothschilds) so that humans can be used as cattle/slaves by calcifying our pineal glands and brainwashing us?

Maybe in some realities but not any I've ever encountered, and I get around. Still it may be true in your reality, I'm certainly not going to tell you its not true for you but I will say its not true for me.

Our individual environments are manipulated by ourselves in ways we don't understand. Time is a lot more complicated than our memories suggest and much of what you do and think in your environment reinforces your future and past thoughts and beliefs. In a sense, we enslave ourselves by believing we are enslaved.

u/Whoosier · 40 pointsr/AskHistorians

It depends on when, where, and who you were.

  • At any time and any place, extramarital sex among the upper classes, at least for women, was strictly forbidden, for the obvious reason of protecting the family bloodline. For this reason, women were closely watched. (Many of the stories in Boccaccio’s Decameron are premised on this watchfulness and frustrated lovers.) One could argue that the cult of “courtly love” (fin d’amor as it was called), which basically taught young noblemen to “look but not touch,” encouraged the secret and chaste adoration of a noble woman. Andreas Capellanus, who wrote out the [rules of the game] ( in the 12th century, advises noblemen that secret, chaste love was the best; their sexual urges could be satisfied with peasant women, who are there, literally, for the raping.

  • Depending on where you were, large towns tolerated prostitution and even legally regulated it by the 13th century. The great moral theologian Thomas Aquinas taught that prostitution should be tolerated as a lesser evil. It was like a sewer in a palace: it was nasty but without it, the whole palace would stink. The greater evils it prevented were offenses to public decency by keeping prostitutes in one house, the corruption of decent women by being in their presence, and sex between men, who might be reduced to sodomy if they couldn’t release their sexual urges since they often married late. Towns like Venice had prostitutes in the hundreds. They even organized themselves into ad hoc guilds in some places. However, all but the most educated and elegant courtesans were socially marginalized.

  • Even outside of large cities, ordinary village women, living at subsistence levels, might turn to periodic prostitution; they were not really “professional ladies” but women trying to keep their head above water. Single women who had sex with men would be stigmatized if it was habitual and flagrant—for instance, you would not set up house with a man. But an occasional role in the hay, even if it resulted in pregnancy, might be tolerated, especially since it was a sign of fertility, a much valued characteristic. The evolving theology of marriage (12th century onward) also affected sexuality, where the consent theory (marriage was formed by the mutual consent of a couple, with or without witnesses) began replacing the “concubitus” theory (where sexual consummation created the marriage). Church courts regularly dealt with cases where a man consented secretly to a marriage, consummated it in private, and then denied publicly that he had consented.

  • Clerical marriage was supposedly outlawed in the late 11th century, but it flourished all over Europe. I just read an article in the latest issue of the medieval journal Speculum (“Priestly Wives: The Role and Acceptance of Clerical Concubines in the Parishes of Late Medieval Catalunya” by Michelle Armstrong-Partida) which cites astounding percentages of priests with concubines. Thus in Girona from 1314-1346, “495 (75 percent) [of priests] kept concubines and 166 (25 percent) were engaged in casual sex.” These numbers would be lower in places like northern France where the law against clerical shacking up was better enforced, and somewhat similar (though not as high) in places like the diocese of Norwich in Enlgand where custom tolerated priests with “hearth mates.”

  • Like today, the idea of sex was constantly around. I’m reading a new collection of 13th-century French stories called fabliaux (in a [wonderful translation by Nathaniel Dubin] (, which is pretty much filled with folks obsessing about sex and how to get it, which they do with regular and hilarious success. (Did I mention these stories are dirty and very, very funny?) One can see in stories for noble audiences (like Tristan and Yseut or Lancelot and Guinevere from the Arthurian cycle) that stories of adultery had a sort of titillating appeal for couples stuck in arranged marriages.

    To sum up, chastity was the ideal (and was supposedly a virtue that set the clergy apart from the laity), but it was breached in all sorts of ways, especially at the mid- to lower levels of society, where the stakes were smaller. To put it another way, the average medieval person probably got more sex than the average Redditor.

    Source: A good go-to book about medieval sexuality is Vern Bullough and James Brundage (eds.), Handbook of Medieval Sexuality (2000).

    EDIT: Worth adding that pretty much everything I described above was considered sinful, sometimes gravely so (like adultery and sodomy), but this didn't not seem to overly deter people.
u/Shoeshine-Boy · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Personal research, mostly. I'm a big history nerd with a slant toward religion and other macabre subject matter. I'm actually not as well read as I'd like to be on these subjects, and I basically blend different sources into a knowledge smoothie and pour it out onto a page and see what works for me and what doesn't.

I'll list a few books I've read that I enjoyed. There are certainly more here and there, but these are the "big ones" I was citing when writing all the comments in this thread. I typically know more about Christianity than the other major faiths because of the culture around me.

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years - Diarmaid MacCulloch

A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam - Karen Armstrong

The next two balance each other out quite well. Hardline anti-theism contrasted with "You know, maybe we can make this work".

The Case for God - Karen Armstrong

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Lately, I have been reading the Stoics, which like Buddhism, I find to be one of the more personally palatable philosophies of mind I have come across, although I find rational contemplation a bit more accessible to my Westernized nature.

Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters - Translated by Moses Hadas

Discourses and Selected Writings (of Epictetus) - Translated by Robert Dobbin

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - Translated by George Long

I'm still waiting on Fed Ex to deliver this one:

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine

Also, if you're into history in general, a nice primer for what sorts of things to dive into when poking around history is this fun series on YouTube. I usually watch a video then spend a while reading more in depth about whatever subject is covered that week in order to fill the gaps. Plus, John and Hank are super awesome. The writing is superb and I think, most importantly, he presents an overall argument for why studying history is so important because of its relevance to current events.

Crash Course: World History - John Green

u/miserygrump · 9 pointsr/books

Here are my recommendations, in no particular order:

  • The Kalevala - An epic poem from Finland, so not Norse, but that shouldn't dissuade you from reading it.

  • Beowulf - The great Old English epic, I'm a particular fan of the translation I have linked as it is a bilingual edition that also contains solid modern English verse.

  • The Heimskringla - Snorri Sturluson, one of the best known Norse chroniclers wrote this history of the Norse kings. An ok online translation can be found here.

  • The Vinland Sagas - Less myth more history (in the sense that Heroditus or Livy is history, rather than a modern academic text), this book recounts the discovery of North America by Erik the Red and his son, Leif.

    As for the Bible and Koran, well, perhaps some of the early myths which snuck into Jewish lore, and by extension the Bible and Koran, may be of interest to you:

  • Myths from Mesopotamia - Translated by Stephanie Dalley, this is a good selection of myths ranging from the Epic of Gilgamesh to things like the Anzu and the Epic of Creation.

    Additionally, if you're interested in folklore, and analysis of folklore, then looking to Russia is a very good idea:

  • An Introduction to the Russian Folktale - A very good book that draws on the work Alexander Afanasyev did in the 19th century compiling slavic folklore.

  • Morphology of the Folktale - Vladimir's Propp excellent study of the elements that make up folklore and of the mythic structure. Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces drew very heavily on this.
u/freshprince44 · 7 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Cool, not too odd if you read way too much though lol. How about Greek or Roman stuff?

Euripedes and Sophocles are fantastic.

Antigone, Medea, Bacchae, Oedipus Rex and all that jazz are really fun and enlightening reads.

Ovid's Metamorphosis is excellent, I really like this translation (though haven't tried them all). Funny, weird, witty, intimate yet still epic.

The Stoics are great, Meditation by Marcus Aurelius is the standard

Then you have the Odyssey, Illiad, Aenead is cool too.

Plato's republic is fun, going in a slightly different way

Freud's interpretation of dreams has all sorts of stuff to help self-reflection/growth thinking.

Joseph Campbell's Hero with a thousand faces is really fun as well.

Happy reading, kind person.

u/blackstar9000 · 3 pointsr/books

Robert Graves' 2 volume The Greek Myths is comprehensive, but there's a catch: Graves has arranged and chosen his version of the myths in order to facilitate a kind of narrative continuity that's not particularly true to the way that the Greeks understood their myths. Karl Kerenyi and Carl Kerenyi's The Greek Gods and The Greek Heroes are closer to the source material, and will give you a better sense of the variety and disagreements involved. Ultimately, though, it's a matter of preference: Do you want narrative sweep, or fidelity to tradition?

Alternately, you could go back to the sources themselves. Ovid's Metamorphoses is basically a treasury of Greco-Roman myth. Again, there's a catch: Ovid's theme is that of things transforming into something else (hence the title), so there's a definite bias in favor of myths that suit that motif. That said, Ovid is also as close as you're going to get to the original form of a lot of Greco-Roman myths, so it's hard to go wrong there.

If you really want to do some heavy lifting on the Greco-Roman myths, get a copy of Pausanius' Guide to Greece, Vol. I and Vol. II. This is basically a travelogue of Greece, written for the Roman Emperor, and it lists in detail most of the locations associated with Greek myths and legends, and gives some detail on most of the lesser known ones. There's a lot to sift through here, and you'll probably want to have an Atlas of the Ancient World on hand to get a sense of where he's talking about at any given time, so I definitely don't recommend starting out here, but if you're looking for really in-depth source material, this is the place to go.

For the Norse myths, there's the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, as well as a slew of sagas that are worth looking into. On of the most famous is certainly The Nibelungenlied, on which Wagner based his [Ring Cycle]() (you know, "Ride of the Valkyries," and all that), which was the basis for much of Lord of the Rings. Personally, my favorite of the sagas I've read so far is the Volsungs.

For the Sumerians, the obvious starting point is Gilgamesh. Our sources are pretty fragmented, and there are editions that reflect that fragmentation, but for pure readability, I suggest the Herbert Mason retelling. Or, if you're really into it, get both and compare. The go-to author for Sumerian myth and religion in general is Samuel Noah Kramer; his book Sumerian Mythology is as good a general survey as you're likely to find, particularly if you're interested in the archeological method behind our knowledge of the Sumerians.

What else? For the Egyptians, E. A. Budge is your man. Dover Books in general has a good series of older, public domain works on mythology, including books on Japanese and Chinese mythology. I wish I had some sources to give you on meso-American or African myth, but those are areas of inquiry I'm just delving into myself. But then, you're probably overwhelmed as it is.

Good luck.

u/andro1ds · 1 pointr/MedievalHistory

And on vikings - primary sources though not all of battles - here’s a quick overview of sources

They may be found around the web but here are links to a few to buy

I can recommend the
Icelandic sagas, personally I find them great fun lots of skull bashings - you may have to buy them.

at least some are here Or here

Icelandic sagas

Saxo gramattucus or Saco’s saga (13th century danish ‘history’ of kings

Snorris saga - not sure if there is a newer more comprehensive translation as I read in original language

and the Eddas

Younger Edda

Elder Edda

And on vikings - primary sources though not all of battles

I can recommend the
Icelandic sagas, personally I find them great fun lots of skull bashings - you may have to buy them.

at least some are here Or here

Icelandic sagas

Saxo gramattucus or Saco’s saga (13th century danish ‘history’ of kings

Snorris saga - not sure if there is a newer more comprehensive translation as I read in original language

and the Eddas

Younger Edda

Elder Edda

u/patriotic-dysphoria · 2 pointsr/exchristian

I recommend you explore mysticism. That word used to terrify me, but I've found comfort in it.

Finding God in the Waves is a fantastic book written by a nontheistic mystic. Contrary to "I found God through science!" in the summary, this book doesn't proselytize. It's a very raw, honest account of one man's struggle to find himself after losing faith in God.

Richard Rohr is technically a Catholic friar. He believes in something like a pantheistic deity that is neither male nor female, and he interprets the crucifixion and resurrection as an archetypal story about moving from "false self" to "true self."

Mevlânâ Rumi was a Sufi Muslim mystic. He's currently one of the most popular poets in America. This translation has been criticized by some liberals for erasing Islam,, but frankly, speaking as a liberal myself, and as someone who struggles with chronic depression, the humanism and gorgeous spiritual content of this book saved my life.

Carl Sagan was an astronomer and a cosmologist. He's one of my heroes. Cosmos describes a gorgeous naturalistic world, grounded thoroughly in science. If you're looking for something to believe, this is a must-read. Said he: "Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality." (It would be a disservice to not note that this is said after he'd renounced the idea that the spiritual necessarily belonged to anything other than a natural world.)

u/imperatricks · 7 pointsr/classics









I really enjoyed Ovid at your level, which is why he is over-represented in this list. I know Perseus has commentaries on all the Catullus poems except the more risque ones. Unfortunately, those are also left out of the book I posted here. I would probably go with the Catullus one or the first/second Ovid books, just because I think love poetry is entertaining. The Cicero was definitely more difficult, but had a lot of juicy insults and was also quite fun. I used all of these and they definitely helped me improve my Latin, so whatever you choose will be good, just pick something you'll have fun reading. Good luck and enjoy!

u/TheBaconMenace · 2 pointsr/philosophy

My first try didn't seem to go through, so here's a second.

Amazon reviews are an okay place to start. A lot of people offer helpful comments. But, as you said, getting into thinkers that appeal to other audiences outside of just philosophers gets a bit sticky. I wouldn't be so quick to denounce or dismiss the religious aspect. Keep in mind if you want to read Augustine you'll be reading a religious thinker, so he has to be translated as such. For example, you could get a more technical translation of the Confessions, or you could find one operating more in the poetic spirit of Augustine, but regardless you're going to be reading a deeply religious text. Both are good translations, and both capture something of Augustine that the other probably misses. In the end, you have to ask yourself what you want more and what fits your purposes more. Also with regard to religious thinkers, it's important to try to read them on their own terms without having made up your mind before getting into the book. Allow yourself to agree with the thinker as much as you can--get inside their heads, travel with them, dwell with them. At the end, you can make a judgement, but give them a fair trial. This is also where translations can help. Some are simply more engaging, even if they're not "word-for-word" translations. A great example of this is Coleman Barks' "translations" of the poems of Muslim mystic Rumi. He actually completely fails (intentionally so) to translate Rumi word-for-word. Instead, he tries to write a poem in English that captures the language, feeling, and ideas of Rumi himself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's a lot nicer than just reading a book of translated poems full of footnotes and technicalities. If I'm going to write a deeply researched paper on Rumi, perhaps I should find another translation, but if I want to really learn Rumi and try to gain from his knowledge, I might want to begin with Barks.

As for other reviews, you can often find them simply by Googling. For example, here's a review on Hannay's translation of a book by Kierkegaard that is done in a professional, scholarly way. I found it on the first page of Google searching "alastair hannay translation review."

It sounds like hard work, and it is, but it's worth it.

Also, if it makes you feel any better we used Penguin editions for many of my undergraduate classes as text books.

u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes
  • e. e. cummings I carry your heart
  • Richard Brautigan's I was trying to describe you to someone
  • Rumi
    > May this marriage be blessed. May this marriage be as sweet as milk and honey. May this marriage be as intoxicating as old wine. May this marriage be fruitful like a date tree. May this marriage be full of laughter and everyday a paradise. May this marriage be a seal of compassion for here and hereafter. May this marriage be as welcome as the full moon in the night sky. Listen lovers, now you go on, as I become silent and kiss this blessed night.

    or this from Khalil Gibran's The Prophet:
    > Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
u/ryanmercer · 2 pointsr/witchcraft

The vast majority of the 'witchcraft' books are reconstructionist and 100% shit made up and adapted from myths and legends.

Wicca was created in 1954 and any book remotely connected to "wicca" is 100% reconstructionist, basically the opinion of the author or whoever taught them.

Some authors, Cunningham for example, are far more well respected but in the end you aren't practicing something people did 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, 10,000 years ago. If it's in a book like that it's almost certainly someone's personal folk-magic.

The exceptions to this would be stuff based on earlier sources, like Solomonic magick which mostly draws from texts like Clavicula Salomonis Regis (Lesser Key of Solomon) which is a compiled grimoire or 140 spells from the mid 1600's which may or may not be based on texts from the 1400-1500s.

Unless a book is claiming to be newly divined/gifted information but then it is absolutely someone's interpretation of magick or the alleged interpretation of spirits/entities they were contact with.

Magic(k)/witchraft/druidry/asatru isn't like Christianity where you have a documented history going back 1700 years (Counsel of Nicaea and then moving on to any particular denomination's history which may be tens of years old or 1700ish years old) where you have a documented history.

Just like organized religion, magic(k)/witchraft/whatever is something that is very personal. You adapt what works for you, you adopt what calls to you.

You want to start somewhere? Start with mythology.

u/viborg · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

That was my first thought too. Then I remembered Rumi, and the incredible work Coleman Barks did interpreting Rumi's writings. I especially like The Illuminated Rumi which is full of insightful wit and timeless inspiration, all accompanied by deliciously sensual illustrations.

Much as I love the Tao, this book of Rumi's is the one I took with me when I was on a solo hike for a few days in Appalachians, fasting and meditating as much as I could stand. Needless to say, the book seemed much more pertinent in that context.

>Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey
to the ocean of meanings
where you become one of those.
From one terrace to another through clay banks,
washing your wings with watery silt,
follow your friends. The pitcher breaks.
You're in the moving river. Living Water,
how long will you make clay pitchers
that have to be broken to enter you?
The torrent knows it can't stay on the mountain.
Leave and don't look away from the Sun as you go.
Through him you are sometimes crescent, sometimes full.

You have to understand that in this context, terms like 'friend' and 'Sun' are loaded with hidden meanings, probably much more so than I'll ever understand.

>Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.

>Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

>Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.

Wow. Reading that again just gave me a shiver. Powerful stuff.

u/h1ppophagist · 2 pointsr/Android

I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed studying Latin so much. Where I live (Canada), classical studies are not valued at all; people honestly don't understand why it would be important to retain some cultural continuity with all of Europe's past, where until just two or three hundred years ago, going to university in Europe meant doing scholarship in Latin. It therefore warms my heart to hear you speaking so fondly of it, and to know that there's a place in the world where even engineers have heard of Vergil.

I do hope you're able to keep reading Latin in your free time. If you like poetry digestible in small chunks, you might enjoy the very user-friendly Catullus. There are other excellent small-scale poets like Propertius, but I find his language rather more difficult. If you can find a book with bite-size excerpts of Ovid, that would be a wonderful way to go as well; Ovid is just stellar.

If you're up for a larger-scale work at any point, there's a fabulous student edition of the first six books of the Aeneid in English where there's an index of the very most common words at the back, then all the other vocabulary is given, with grammatical notes as well, on the same page as the Latin; it saves very, very much time with a dictionary. The book was prepared by an early 20th-century schoolteacher named Clyde Pharr and is available both in paperback and hardback editions.

u/Rainbowfrapp · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

cake is a girl's best friend

5dollar book that looks cool

We both need this! I think from your wishlist you like cats, and cute cat purses :D This one looks pretty roomy and cute.

I love this little kitty!

u/Ibrey · 5 pointsr/paradoxplaza

Invaluable web sites:

  • Dickinson College Commentaries — Select classical texts with vocabulary and very helpful commentary.
  • Perseus Digital Library — If you have trouble locating a word in the dictionary, enter it into the Word Study Tool to identify it.

    Some helpful Latin schoolbooks on Google Books and the Internet Archive (with many more to be found, especially if you read the publishers' advertisements):

  • Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar — If you can't find the information you need in Allen & Greenough, look in this book.
  • Fabulae Faciles by Frank Ritchie — Four very easy retellings of Greek myths.
  • Eutropius, edited by J. C. Hazzard — Eutropius' history of Rome is easier to read than any Classical author, and his style is remarkably close to the Golden Age.
  • Cornelius Nepos, edited by Thomas Bond Lindsay — The easiest Classical author. His surviving works are a book of Lives of the Outstanding Generals of Foreign Nations, and portions of Kings of Foreign Nations and Roman Historians.
  • Caesar's Gallic War, edited by Arthur Tappan Walker — Traditionally the first book of real Latin read by students because of its combination of simplicity of style, purity of style, and intrinsic literary interest. The received text of the Gallic War is in eight books, but this edition lacks the eighth because it was not written by Caesar.
  • Select Orations of Cicero, edited by J. B. Greenough and G. L. Kittredge — "The Citizenship of Archias" is not too difficult.

    A few helpful books you can buy:

  • Vergil's Aeneid, edited by Clyde Pharr — With vocabulary and notes on the same page as the text in a similar format to Walker's Gallic War. This book only contains the first half of the Aeneid, and nobody has done a complete corresponding edition of the second half, but by the time you're through with this, you shouldn't need quite that depth of annotation.
  • Scribblers, Sculptors, and Scribes by Richard A. LaFleur — A collection of easy unaltered sentences drawn from ancient Roman graffiti, inscriptions, and various literary sources.
u/sillycarrots23 · 8 pointsr/suggestmeabook

This is hard to answer for several reasons. It's an overly broad question, plus each people's sexual tastes differ (and so do their age, gender).

A safe answer would be to suggest any volume from the Mammoth Book of Erotica series (you can find paperback editions of each volume for a few books. The series editor Maxim Jakubowski has excellent but very dark tastes.

Pauline Reage, Anais Nin and Henry Miller are the obvious choices (and really, erotica literature went mainstream in the 1950s or 1960s with Grove Press, etc).

There are many types of subgenres: the dramatic, the picarasque, the cinematic, sci fi/fantasy, the amoral, the short stories, the humorous. Surprisingly, I don't think I've read many humorous erotic stories (oops, I forgot, Candy by Terry Southern, hilarious!)

Many highbrow conventional novels have major sex scenes, but they are not really considered erotica --- just books that have naughty parts. Kundera, Marquez, Duras, Jeffrey Eugenides, DH Lawrence, Erica Jong. A lot of the unrequited love/love triangle books have powerful passion in their scenes. So do the memoirs and tales of victimization and abuse. Really any great writer can write a scene of erotic seduction.

Let me do a shout out for Ovid -- who is the ultimate writer of erotic fiction. Check out Ted Hughes' translation of some of Ovid's stories in Metamorphosis Also check out Heroides -- love letters between Greek mythological characters.

Finally, you might enjoy this philosophic dialogue I stumbled upon recently about the nature of erotic fiction (semi-NSFW, though text-only)

u/jumpstartation · 3 pointsr/philosophy

I made a post in /r/Stoicism a while ago when someone asked about books for Epicureanism. I'll just repost it here:

In an earlier thread where Epicureanism and other contemporary philosophies were brought up, some people said that they didn't see much need to go beyond Stoicism. I, however, look at things completely differently.

Gaining an understanding of other philosophies, I figure, will either strengthen my current understanding of Stoicism by showing me that alternatives are not as powerful, or instead present me with a better alternative to living than Stoicism. That was the theory, at least. In practice, I've found that I've begun to draw different things from different philosophies to create my own complex sort of philosophy.

If that sounds good to you, Epicureanism is probably the best place to start with contrasting Stoicism and the other philosophical schools that the Greek's have to offer. It's influences spread through much of the writings of other philosophers and major historical figures, such as Isaac Newton, Karl Marx, and Thomas Jefferson, for example (In fact, the pursuit of happiness part from Jefferson's Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was likely heavily influenced by Epicurus).

Anyway, here's some reading material since /r/Epicurus is a barren wasteland where everyone seems to just downvote none stop:

  • On the Nature of Things by Lucretius. Here's the translation I have. Most of Epicurus' writings have unfortunately not survived. As a result, this remains the best primary resource for those wishing to study Epicureanism.

  • The Art of Happiness by Epicurus and others. This is a collection of Epicurean writings, including Epicurus' fragments. It also includes some of Lucretius' writings from the above work, plus other stuff that you can read in the description so keep that in mind.

  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt. This one looks at how the modern world was shaped as a result of Lucretius' work with On the Nature of Things.

  • The fragments of Epicurus.

    And some extra stuff that might be worth checking out:

  • The Essential Epicurus by Epicurus, trans. Eugene O'Connor

  • The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism by James Warren
u/deathofthevirgin · 30 pointsr/berkeley

This is the most famous Hindu epic, every Indian child knows it and most of the (PG parts, anyway) story. Very exciting story.

One of the core ideas, to me, is that everyone, including the most supreme gods, have their fatal flaws and personality weaknesses, and even the evilest demons have their good sides. Another one is that often in life there is no clear moral choice, and making the right choice seems impossible, even to a god, which brings up the question of what it means to be a moral person at all.


  • a jealous queen that gets the king-to-be, Rama, exiled from his city (turns out: Rama is the incarnation of one of the 3 supreme gods Vishnu), so her own son would be crowned king

  • a demon disgusing himself as a deer in an incredibly clever plot to kidnap Sita, Rama's wife

  • the demon Ravana taking Sita to his island kingdom fortress of Lanka (Sri Lanka)

  • how does Rama cross? He gets his army of monkeys to build a bridge of stones all the way from India to Lanka

  • an incredible and lengthy battle between Rama and Ravana, including Ravana's brother Kumbakarna, who only wakes up every 3 months and then eats everything in sight, and Hanuman, a monkey god (, lifting an entire mountain on his back all the way to the battleground because he couldn't find the herb he needed

  • Rama crowned king but the people of his city think his wife is impure (since Ravana kidnapped her), so by public opinion Rama is forced to exile his own wife. (being a good governor vs being a good person question here, Rama knew Sita was pure)

    Leaving out a ton of exciting details. Any translation should be fine [although Goldman's one is sure to be interesting!] (, but I do like illustrated versions ( as well.

    If you're looking for a story with more philosophical questions about good vs. evil, morality, and justice, check out the Mahabharata, an even more epic tale. At one point the "good guys" gamble away their wife during a dice game. This is where the famous Bhagvad Gita comes from, which is where Krishna and Arjuna talk about the justness of war.
u/sharpiepriest1 · 1 pointr/worldnews

Everything you describe are the modern political movements of Wahhabism and Salfism, funded almost entirely by Saudi Arabia in an attempt to spread their influence throughout the Islamic world. The ideology they espouse is fascistic and repulsive, but it has very little connection to the actual history of Islam. In fact, they were founded on the premise of sweeping away Islam's history and starting over. One of the first things the Wahhabis did when they took Mecca: destroy the actual tomb of the Prophet.

The people burning people alive count for less than 1 percent of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. You cannot use the present to make assumptions about history, that's absurd. If you focus on the current state of Baghdad, and make the assumption that it's always been like that, you never learn about the fact that, for a few centuries, it was the richest city in the world and home to a flourishing intellectual culture that hosted people from as far away as China. You never learn about the Islamic golden age, or the libraries of Muslim Spain which collectively held millions of books while the royal library of Paris contained a grand total of 92.

You never learn a damn thing.

And as far as what it does that makes people's lives better? Including producing some of the best poetry ever, written, by humans, Islam has a long tradition of feeding and caring for the poor by paying out Zakat. The real world examples of this far outweigh any violence done in the name of religion.

People misquote Marx on this all the time when they say "religion is the opium of the masses." The full quote is: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people"

u/samantha_pants · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I have a Summer Reading List with a few books that are used for a penny. I like having a physical book. If you want a link I want a copy of Beowulf, but feel more than free to peruse the list and pick whatever

I love to read :)

u/bobthecookie · 2 pointsr/quityourbullshit

No problem! If you're interested in learning more about Hinduism, I'd point you to Bhagavad Gita: The Beloved Lord's Secret Love Song by Dr. Graham Schweig. It's a translation of the Bhagavad Gita, a section of the Mahabharata, one of the main holy texts in Hinduism. There are also the Vedas, but those aren't nearly as widely read.

The Bhagavad Gita is the third most read holy text in the world behind the Bible and the Qur'an. It's only ~360 pages long, and this edition has an amazing amount of footnotes that explain the context and meanings of every verse. I firmly believe that it's the best translation out there.

u/-momoyome- · 1 pointr/wemetonline

This is my go-to for Rumi if you're interested.

Aww that's really sweet that he seems to send you flowers a lot <3 It's always fun to open the door and find a nice bouquet waiting :D You should post a picture when they're all in bloom, I'm sure they'll be breathtaking!

u/HyrumAbiff · 6 pointsr/latterdaysaints

Blake used a title "Ancient of Days" but it seems like he meant it to portray deity. He had a very non-conventional view of God, religion, etc.

In the Complete works of William Blake published by Delphi Books (, this painting is described as "a depiction of God separating light and darkness". and also references Proverbs chapter 8 (verse 27 says "When he prepared the heavens, I was there" and talks about "when he set a compass upon the face of the depth"). The Delphi Book introduction also says "the Ancient of Days is an an orb of light and He is stooping down and measuring the deep with His compasses".

By the way, most Christian denominations interpret the title Ancient of Days as one of God's names -- see

u/thewhaleshark · 3 pointsr/Norse

Good answer. If you don't mind, I'll elaborate on a couple of points.

There are many translations of the Poetic Edda, and they all differ somewhat. There's a thread a ways down asking about different translations. The key thing to remember is that no translation is perfect - every translator has to make their best effort to capture the "sense" of a piece, and that leads to varied interpretations.

Hollander and Bellows are the standards, and you can't go wrong with those. I recommend the Terry or Larrington translations if you're looking for something more accessible.

If you're interested in the Prose Edda, I recommend picking up the Everyman edition of it, as it's the only print version I've found that contains the third book, Hattatal. That's Snorri's treatise on skaldic poetry - 102 verse-forms explained.

u/GenerativeSeeds · 1 pointr/atheism

My favorite book was in the first episode! De Rerum Natura by Lucretius. There is an amazing translation on amazon that I would recommend to anyone that is interested in materialist or non-spiritual philosophy.

u/nikiverse · 1 pointr/yoga

For everyday little thoughts or things that my yoga teachers say around savasana I like

u/lazzerini · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

The Illuminated Rumi is an amazing book that is beautiful and worth treasuring. Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet.

u/YearOfTheMoose · 2 pointsr/Fantasy

Regarding Beowulf, it will very much change depending on which translation you read. I'm not familiar with all of them, so a good bet would be to check out previews of several and decide which, if any, you'd like to read. I think Seamus Heaney's translation is normally considered among the more accessible ones (and the Amazon page lets you "Look Inside").

I didn't think it read very heavily, but I've been reading similar texts since shortly after I learned to read--I'm probably not the best judge.


If you read The Count of Monte Cristo, it would probably help to know that Dumas was definitely one of the masters of the slow burn. The book starts out slowly, but I know nobody who made it to the end and regretted the experience. Read the unabridged, if you can get your hands on it, and good luck!

u/SlippidySlappity · 2 pointsr/politics

I highly recommend it. It's not ony a great story, it also gives a really interesting glimpse into the beliefs and culture of the original composers as well as the Christian translators.

From what I have read the Seamus Heaney translation is the best.

u/nathanielray · 1 pointr/books

In the Ancient India section, you have the Bhagavad Gita, which is indeed very important and influential, but I'd replace that with the Mahabharata, of which the Bhagavad Gita is but a (very small) part.

I just read the entirety of the Penguin classics edition of it earlier this year and I was floored at how beautiful and moving it is. Totally worth it to have the whole epic there.

u/erissays · 1 pointr/Fantasy

For a more 'Medieval Literature' folklore focus:

u/declared_somnium · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I'm a big bookworm, and bit of a history nut. So when I heard about this I was thrilled. Writings from Ancient Egypt.

Why that book in particular? Well besides loving all things ancient Egypt as a kiddy, there aren't that many translations of stories from ancient Egypt. You can get tonnes of stuff from Ancient Greek, and Latin. To be able to read about little snippets of life from those days, it makes my inner geek want to break out and my outer geek does too.

u/IFeelOstrichSized · 1 pointr/comics

I have that same Penguin version of de rerum natura, but I'll check out the Loeb one. I see that the new Penguin version is done by A.E. Stallings, who seems to be well regarded, so I might check that out as well. This seems to be a reliable versed translation, or so reviewers ranked highly by google tell me. Alas, I've read the wikipedia and many random articles on sexuality in Rome, I'll just have to use the google to find further resources. Thanks for the recommendations.

u/Autopilot_Psychonaut · 3 pointsr/Christianity

You'll find Christ because you're asking. You shall receive.

One of the best books to explore the relationship between Man and God is Coleman Bark's translations of the Sufi Mystic, Rumi.

But to know Christ, you need to read the Gospels.

u/scatterstars · 1 pointr/Philippines

I actually emailed the son of the professor who first translated the Hinilawod into English (Dr F Landa Jocano). He said his father's estate was in the process of doing a second translation edition with side-by-side English and Kinaray-a which I assume will be like the copy of Beowulf I read in Junior English class. If that happens, I'll be ecstatic.

u/SuperFlyGuyJohnnyP · 2 pointsr/Norse

In the past, Jackson Crawford has recommended this translation by Anthony Faulks:

I haven’t read it yet so I can’t attest to it, but there it is.

Edit: If you haven’t gotten it yet, I can highly recommend Dr. Crawford’s translation of the Poetic Edda.

u/bryanoftexas · 3 pointsr/latin

Pharr's Aeneid is an excellent example of such a book.

The rarer vocab words are on the bottom of each page, and the more common ones rolled out on a fold from the back of the book.

u/rhubharb · 2 pointsr/books

For the ramayana I would recommend Narayan's translation.
Keep in mind it is a condensed version, so I don't know if that is a positive or negative for you.

I really would advise reading fully both of the introductions, which give some sense of the history of the different versions/translations of the Ramayana and how it has evolved from its origins as an oral story (as well as the reasoning behind some of Narayan's decisions about how to tell the story).

u/ColtaineOiseau · 2 pointsr/Fantasy

So the Prose Edda is also known as the 'Younger Edda'.

  • Amazon UK

  • Amazon US

    Though these two listings on Amazon UK/US only say Edda the reviews confirm that this is the Prose Edda.

    As to what Edda means there's actually some uncertainty, Wikipedia discusses the theories on the word's meaning here in the Etymology section.

    As to why the Prose Edda is named the Younger Edda I'm not too sure - I tried having a look at the Icelandic and Norwegian pages but they, just like the English page, only discuss the theories for the meaning of the word 'Edda'.
u/koncertkoala · 1 pointr/Norse

This is the version I used in my Old Norse class. :)

u/AlcibiadesHandsome · 3 pointsr/books

You may be interested in the Prose Edda, which is a more systematic account. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe is also a standard text, assuming that you want something academic.

u/tta2013 · 1 pointr/ancientegypt

There's a book on translations of Egyptian tales and monuments coming in January. I'm planning on getting it. Looks good for the price.

u/the-electric-monk · 2 pointsr/occult

It seems a little weird to want to buy books to try and discredit some random person online who will forget all about this conversation in a couple of days, but sure, whatever.

Nag Hammadi Scriptures



Baghavad Gita


And this volume of the Vedas, though as I said I haven't read through it yet.

I also have this copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which I haven't gotten around to yet.

Now, once again, please tell me where in the Nag Hammadi scriptures it says that you spend 1000 years in a Devachan before reincarnating.

u/Areign · 7 pointsr/Fantasy

For an opposing perspective, I'd say that you should be aware that the 'dryness' of norse style was part of their culture. They had a very unique literary style compared to both the past and present. Its not especially hard to understand, its just different. If you read the saga of the Volsungs or the poetic Edda (called Edda) you'll see what i mean. Note that dry doesn't mean boring, I remember when i started reading those two works that people start getting decapitated within the first couple pages and I didn't have much trouble understanding the overarching story.

Its also unintentionally hilarious, you'll have a character that gets some amount of buildup and he'll just randomly die and the story seemingly just moves to another place and starts again (note this is more apparent in the volsung saga than Edda since that one is supposed to be a single long story where Edda is a compilation). There are a bunch of really odd things like impromptu rap battles, naming of places based on really random events like 'Thorsteinkilledgoatplace' and how every hero's downfall is caused by their wife, often in the most passive aggresive way. "there are a bunch of people trying to kill us and they set this house on fire, can you help so we can escape? no you are a jerk, we will both die here"

I really enjoyed the above two books and I think it'd be a better idea to check them out first before moving towards 2nd/3rd hand interpretations that are going to strip away some of that silly dryness that made it so charming.

u/letscategorize · 2 pointsr/farsi

It’s probably from this compilation of translated poems: The Gift.

Despite the good overall rating on Amazon I tend to agree with the 1-star reviews that at best the author was extremely liberal in his translation and at worst pulling shit out of his ass.

If you are interested in real Hafez poetry look at this website. The English translations on the site aren’t perfect, sometimes the author sacrifices direct translation for more lyricality, but they are authentic.

u/xombiemaster · 6 pointsr/FutureWhatIf

All of them.

If you traveled in time to 3013 AD you'd likely not even be able to speak the language. If you want an idea what 1000 years has done to English find a copy of Beowulf with the original translation like this

That is most likely how different English will look in 3013.

Now that doesn't answer "Will names be the same"

Chances are... Probably yes. Will they look the same as we know them now? Hell no. They'll be spelled differently, and might even have different characters in them. For all we know "James" might change to "Jæm$" in 1000 years.

This quick Google result (Warning: It does not site sources) shows a few common names still in use. My guess is most of these will survive. And if we look at the past century the SSA has the top 100 names in the past 100 years here:

My hunch is there will always be someone who names their child one of these names.

u/-R-o-y- · 1 pointr/Norse

Just check Amazon and "look inside".

I have the Faulkes translation and it is a complete Edda.

I don't have the Hollander myself, but the table of contents looks complete.

u/regul · 2 pointsr/books

I can vouch for Lindow's book. That was the reference text we used in my Old Norse Literature class. If you want to go straight to the source as far as Norse mythology is concerned, I'd recommend Edda by Snorri Sturluson.

I've heard, though, that Edith Hamilton's book is quite controversial among academics. I enjoyed it a lot, but I'm no expert.

u/Zerocool947 · 7 pointsr/WTF

You should see the rest of it.

At least, I'm assuming /u/WeirdBrotherBrad is quoting the Heaney translation because of the "So." and because why would you read any other English translation of Beowulf?

u/swiley1983 · 2 pointsr/badhistory

ISBN-13: 978-0393320978 ISBN-10: 0393320979

Amazon link

u/faithfully · 2 pointsr/books

you can start by reading two of hinduim's epic tales - mahabharata and ramayana. the stories are LONG. RK Narayan has a concise version of it - Mahabharata and Ramayana.

for a fuller version, try ashok banker's series of ramayana.

u/Shaquintosh · 2 pointsr/Poetry

Coleman Barks' translations of Rumi, particularly "The Essential Rumi".

u/Endgame49 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

germanum *, sorry. However, in book 1, line 341 of Vergil's Aeneid, this word appears, and my AP Vergil textbook (what we commonly refer to as Pharr)and suggest that it is translated as "own brother" or "full brother". This, of course, is in context talking about Sychaeus' brother Pygmalion.

edit: changed a bracket to a close parentheses