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Greeks Reading Order - does mine make sense?
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Got a question on optimal reading order for the Greeks

I had a really constructive conversation with an anon (impressive collection of Greek books, said he hangs around /lit/ a lot) the other day and if that anon or any other experienced in the Greeks could reply, that would be swell.

I'm about to dive headfirst into the Greeks and wanted to check this reading order made sense.

Note: I won't be reading all the secondary material, but I'm just checking it's in a spot where it would make sense to read it.
Note: I will mark stuff I will definitely read with a **, everything else is secondary material I may or may not read, but want to check is in a logical spot.

1) MYTHOLOGY

**Mythology - Edith Hamilton
**Hesiod and Theognis (Penguin Classics)
The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology

2) HOMER and TROY

The Trojan War: A New History - Barry Strauss
**The Illiad - Homer
The Illiad or the Poem of Force - Simon Weil
**The Odyssey - Homer
The Homeric Hymns - apparently Homer
Greek Epic Fragments (West edition)

3) HISTORY and MISC

**The First Poets - Schmidt
Fragments - Heraclitus (I've heard this is pretty awful which honestly has interested me, how bad can it be?)
**The Histories - Herodotus
**History of the Peloponnesian War - Thucydides
**A History of My Times - Xenephon

[I own Conversations of Socrates and Hiero the Tyrant but not sure what the best order is. This section I basically want the best of Herodotus/Thucydides/Xenephon, all the history greats. Some guidance here would be lovely]

The Rise and Fall of Athens - Plutarch
On Sparta - Plutarch

4) DRAMA

[I basically want to read all the main stuff here, but I'm not sure of the best order. So I'll just list the books I currently have. My library can get anything though so please help me if I'm missing good books/plays here.]

[Also just assume everything is **/mandatory here.]

The Theban Plays - Sophocles
Electra and Other Plays - Sophocles
Wasps/Poet/Frogs (Penguin Classics) - Aristophanes
Frogs and Other Plays - Aristophanes
The Birds and Other Plays (Aristophanes)
The Oresetian Trilogy - Aeschylus
The Persians and Other Plays - Aeschylus
Heracles and Other Plays - Euripides
Medea and Other Plays - Eurpides
The Bacchae and other Plays - Euripides
Orestes and Other Plays - Eurpides
The Comedies - Terence

[Am I missing any big playwrights?]

5) PHILOSOPHY - PRESOCRATICS and SOPHISTS

**The First Philosophers - Waterfield
Early Greek Philosophy (Penguin)
The Greek Sophists (Penguin)

6) PHILOSOPHY - ARISTOTLE and PLATO

**Plato - Complete Works
The Bloomsbury Companion to Plato
History of Philosophy - Copleston
**The Complete Works of Aristotle

---

Misc question: Where would Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus go?
Misc question 2: Any major books/ideas/plays/writers I'm missing here?
Misc question 3: Where would Seneca's "Letters from a Stoic" go? Where would Stoic stuff go?
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pic related?
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Protip: Don't start with the Greeks. That's a meme
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>>7614890
I mean, that was one of the sources I used for creating the order I have now, but I'm asking more specific questions, you know? Cheers for the image mate but yeah, already seen it and used it :)
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>>7614897
Not op but what would you suggest, friend?
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why are people on this board so autistic about reading order. you should be rereading these books several times in your life. it doesn't matter what order you read it first.
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>>7614903
Well, when one says read the Greeks, they are really implying that the Greeks are important. This is very true.

However, you really don't need to read every work by Sophocles or Eurpides, etc. It will take you forever, when you could have already been devouring more nutritional literature

Instead, get a good understanding of the works of the Greeks. Know as much as to where, if an author alludes to the "Riddle of the Sphinx" then you have a good idea of what the author means.

If you were going to read any Greeks, then of course read Homer

There's zero reason to read about the history of Sparta, unless you are just generally interested in Spartan history. Know what the Spartans did, who they were in the Greek nation, etc, but there's very little reason to read too much in depth
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>>7614897
Cheers for the opinion mate, but I was looking more specifically for some advice on things like the best Greek playwrights.

>>7614906
>you should be rereading these books several times in your life

I absolutely plan to, and have read some already, but I want to know what order would "build off itself" best.
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>>7614909
>However, you really don't need to read every work by Sophocles or Eurpides, etc.

OP here.

I actually never mentioned once "Starting with the Greeks". This reading order isn't for the first step in a big journey of learning different philosophy, it's just a reading order for general Greek works spanning history, drama, philosophy, etc. I was looking for advice on things I might have missed, like certain playwrights, etc.

>unless you are just generally interested in Spartan history

I am.

>but there's very little reason to read too much in depth

But I find it enjoyable to read things like that.

I know you were replying to that other anon more than me, but your comments about specific books in my list made me want to reply from my perspective. This list isn't something I want to rush through to get to the next "stage" in Western thought or whatever; it's my plan to devour as much great Greek works as there are because I find myself utterly fascinated by them.
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>>7614862
Seneca isn't a Greek

I'd strongly recommend reading Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy when you read the drama. Definitely read Aeschylus, then Sophocles, then Euripides, then Aristophanies. Terence is also not Greek.
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I really wish greekanon (pic related) was here, he gave me excellent advice last time.
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honestly, most competent translations include a pretty comprehensive intro and most other points of context you should be able to identify and search on your own.
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>>7614947
Thanks so much, some of these books came from a vague "Greek collection" I found. Thanks for weeding out those non-Greek authors, that would have been very confusing and frustrating if I'd read them in the middle there! Cheers.

So Aeschylus>Sophocles>Euripides>Aristophanes. Excellent. And just read every play they each did? It's my understanding all of them either a) didn't write a HUGE amount of plays, or b) did but not that many survived.

>>7614954
Very true, but I find it immensely fun to do a big sequential reading list like this. I like big mammoth reading orders that build off each other sequentially.
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Also, any ideas where I go after Plato and Aristotle, for the last bit of Greek stuff? Is it Stoicism>Epicureanism>Skepticism>Neoplatonism?
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Which chart is better?

<-- This one?

Or

The one posted here : >>7614890 ?
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>>7614967
Aeschylus and Sophocles both leave us seven plays each and can be read fruitfully in a week each - Aeschylus' plays can easily be read in a single sitting, Sophocles' are longer but can still be read quickly. Eurpidies and Aristophanes both leave more and will take longer to read.

In addition to Nietzsche, look on libgen or JSTOR for books and articles on these authors. They are incredibly rich and secondary literature will do a lot to unlock them. Think about getting a standard critical overview like Kitto's Greek Tragedy: A Literary Study for the first three authors.
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>>7615091
Cheers, sounds good.

I'll be sure to search around databases for articles on the authors and plays after reading. After I've had some time to formulate my own thoughts and opinions on them of course.

I'll take a look at that book, cheers for the rec.
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>>7614862
Hey anon, I'm the guy you were talking with in the earlier thread; good to have you back!

>I own Conversations of Socrates and Hiero the Tyrant but not sure what the best order is. This section I basically want the best of Herodotus/Thucydides/Xenephon, all the history greats. Some guidance here would be lovely

Herodotus->Thucydides->Xenophon is the only way to go. Hellenika aka A History of My Times as your first Xenophon read (since it DIRECTLY picks up from Thucydides), and after that it doesn't really matter. Cyropaedia is like a prototype for Machiavelli's "Prince," but can get kind of dry. I hear X's Socratic dialogues pale in comparison with Plato, so maybe read X after Plato.

>Plutarch

If you're EVER going to read Roman history, get the complete collection of Plutarch (This volume and the corresponding second volume):

http://www.amazon.com/Plutarchs-Lives-Modern-Library-Classics/dp/0375756760/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453537174&sr=8-1&keywords=plutarch

Every Penguin text by Plutarch is a scattered selection from Plutarch's overall works, designed for a certain topic; if you only want to read Greek stuff right now (not exactly how Plutarch is meant to be read, but that's fine), IMO you're still better off just buying the complete text and having it whenever you need it. Modern Library is the only publisher (besides Loeb, which is wildly expensive) I know to offer Plutarch's complete "Lives."

>Drama

Aeschylus->Sophocles->Euripides->Aristophanes

Really no reason to not go chronologically. Also Terence is the odd one out; he's Roman and wrote in the AD period. Worth checking out eventually, but you're a long way off.

>misc 1

Check out the /lit/ philosophy guide in the future (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y8_RRaZW5X3xwztjZ4p0XeRplqebYwpmuNNpaN_TkgM/pub), but Epictetus is way after ancient/classical/hellenistic Greece. You're going to find it easier and easier to get tripped up, as you move forward, by guys writing in Greek who are Roman in focus or style. Anything after (arguably) 202BC (defeat of Hannibal) is going to be largely about Rome, or at least colored by Roman influence; that only becomes more true as you approach AD, with Rome spanking Macedon in 167, and both razing Carthage and defeating the Achaean league in 146.

>misc 2

Hesiod/Theognis
Maybe try Aesop's fables (they're cute and fun; good to read before bed)

>misc 3

Alongside Epictetus. Another Roman source, also way way off in the future. You'll have to get through the pre-socratics, Plato, and Aristotle before stoicism. Check out the offerings from Loeb just to see the sheer volume of Greek/Latin content out there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loeb_Classical_Library

Hope that helps! You've got a good plan, but the most important part is to simply begin; this will take a while!

PS You didn't choose an OP pic about ancient Greece like I suggested last time, and it was only by chance that I saw your thread, so keep that in mind in the future!
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>>7615112
Oh and don't forget Xenophon's "Anabasis," since is the first real instance of genuine primary source history that we have!
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>>7615112

Cheers mate, thanks for the in-depth reply.

>Herodotus->Thucydides->Xenophon is the only way to go. Hellenika aka A History of My Times as your first Xenophon read (since it DIRECTLY picks up from Thucydides), and after that it doesn't really matter. Cyropaedia is like a prototype for Machiavelli's "Prince," but can get kind of dry.

Cool, sounds good. Will do.

>If you're EVER going to read Roman history, get the complete collection of Plutarch (This volume and the corresponding second volume):

Will do, looks like an impressive set.

>if you only want to read Greek stuff right now (not exactly how Plutarch is meant to be read, but that's fine

I might decide when I get to there how I want to approach him, not sure yet. I'll get the complete text though, you've convinced me.

>Aeschylus->Sophocles->Euripides->Aristophanes

Thanks, just what I wanted.

> Also Terence is the odd one out; he's Roman and wrote in the AD period.
>Alongside Epictetus. Another Roman source, also way way off in the future

Yep that was two trip-ups I made from not looking more carefully at authors, thank you for catching me on them. I'll get into these fine folks one day, but not as part of this big plan!

Also cheers for the philosophy guide, I already had the link but had forgotten about it. Good stuff there.

>You're going to find it easier and easier to get tripped up, as you move forward, by guys writing in Greek who are Roman in focus or style. Anything after (arguably) 202BC (defeat of Hannibal) is going to be largely about Rome, or at least colored by Roman influence; that only becomes more true as you approach AD, with Rome spanking Macedon in 167, and both razing Carthage and defeating the Achaean league in 146.

Yeah I have to be mindful of this.

>Maybe try Aesop's fables

Ha, I never thought of that but I definitely will do, those stories are very comfy.

>You'll have to get through the pre-socratics, Plato, and Aristotle before stoicism.

Will do. Is >>7614980
basically the order for anything even tangentially Greek past Plato and Aristotle?

>You've got a good plan, but the most important part is to simply begin;

I'm going to finish the book I've been reading for a while hopefully tonight, then start on Hamilton's Mythology tomorrow.

>this will take a while!

Yup and I'm quite excited about that, I love a big reading plan to go through. No reason to rush it but I like to know where I'm going.

>PS You didn't choose an OP pic about ancient Greece like I suggested last time, and it was only by chance that I saw your thread, so keep that in mind in the future!

My bad OP! I'll be sure to use the Acropolis or something next time.

>>7615116
Right!

I'll post up an updated list from all the advice in this thread, to this thread in 15ish minutes.
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>>7615071

Anyone?
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>>7615143
The blue one has more, but the philosophy section is shit
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>>7615143
m8 the OP is literally a better list
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>>7614862
>>7615112
>>7615128

Here's how I have it now:

1) MYTHOLOGY

**Mythology - Edith Hamilton
**Hesiod and Theognis (Penguin Classics)
Aeosp's Fables
The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology

2) HOMER and TROY

The Trojan War: A New History - Barry Strauss
**The Illiad - Homer
The Illiad or the Poem of Force - Simon Weil
**The Odyssey - Homer
The Homeric Hymns - apparently Homer
Greek Epic Fragments (West edition)

3) HISTORY and MISC

[Herodotus>Thucydides>Xenophon]

**The First Poets - Schmidt
Fragments - Heraclitus (I've heard this is pretty awful which honestly has interested me, how bad can it be?)
**The Histories - Herodotus
**History of the Peloponnesian War - Thucydides
**Anything else Thucydides wrote that looks good
**A History of My Times - Xenephon
**Anything else Xenephon wrote that looks good
**The Complete Collection of Plutarch (possibly just reading the Greek stuff at this time)

4) DRAMA

**Aeschylus>Sophocles>Euripides>Aristophanes (all of the former two, at least the major ones of the latter two)
The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music - Neitzsche
Greek Tragedy: A Literary Study - Kitto

5) PHILOSOPHY - PRESOCRATICS and SOPHISTS

**The First Philosophers - Waterfield
[the Penguin books on Presocratics and Sophists if wished, but Waterfield covers everything well...is my understanding of it]

6) PHILOSOPHY - ARISTOTLE and PLATO

**Plato - Complete Works
The Bloomsbury Companion to Plato
History of Philosophy - Copleston
**The Complete Works of Aristotle

From there, might go to stoicism then beyond (Stoicism>Epicureanism>Skepticism>Neoplatonism?).

My only remaining question is what's the deal with Heraclitus? I've got Fragments but heard it's not great. Is there another major work of his existing?
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>>7614910
you seem to be autistic and illiterate.
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>>7615112
>Maybe try Aesop's fables (they're cute and fun; good to read before bed)

If anyone is going to read these, I strongly rec Gibbs' translation for Oxford Classics. Very good notes, and most faithful to the original.
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>>7615128
I'm honestly not sure about the ordering of stoicism/epicureanism/etc., so you'll have to resort to the /lit/ guide for that; I haven't reached that content yet.

>>7615143
The longer (blue) chart has some pretty bad recs; Pope is definitely not the first translation anyone should read of Homer.

>>7615188
Looks great! And Heraclitus was a pre-Socratic, so you'll find him in Waterfield's "First Philosophers." Only existent in fragments.

It's awesome that you've got a good outline set up for yourself, but definitely stay open to more obscure texts. The Greeks are cool for their actual content, but are also serve as a great exercise for better understanding logistical issues in reading nonfiction (preference in publishers, judiciously choosing between translations), for appreciating the links between history and the culture it creates, and for seeing the early forms of almost all future literature: Poetry, drama, history, philosophy, epic poetry (a genre with far more texts than you ever hear about, e.g., Thebaid, Punica, Dionysiaca, Lucan's Civil War, etc.).

A recurring theme you'll find in Platonic dialogues is that the actual subject of the dialogue doesn't really matter as far as "solving it" goes, with the value rather being in developing abstract tools rather than specific answers, so that you can approach other, different questions in the future. The Greeks as a whole are kind of like that; it doesn't really matter who did what in, say, the Peloponnesian War, but if you read about it carefully, you can learn a lot about how and why history is and should be written; similarly, reading Homer presents you with the thoughts of a certain time period, and acts as a reflection of them.

The Greeks are also an area with enough content that you'll never really run out, but not so much that you're totally overwhelmed. If you regularly read footnotes in those texts you've chosen, I guarantee you'll find references to later, more obscure writers. Some will be worth checking out, and some you'll learn are best ignored (I don't think I would ever wish Diodorus on anyone). Again, a great skill to practice for the future. I remember buying a hardcopy of the "Hellenika Oxyrhynchia," a fragmented historical text recovered in Egypt which slightly discredited Xenophon in certain instances, thinking that I HAD to read it. I got it in the mail and realized that nobody has ever translated it from ancient Greek, and that the annotations for it were in Latin; that was my first lesson in "you can't read everything, and that's okay."

Again, feel free to post threads on /lit/, but if you have specific questions and think I can help, but I'm not around, feel free to email me at [email protected](alt email; I'm not worried about spam). Or just keep me posted on your progress; I don't know anyone else who tried to "finish" the Greeks, and I'd be happy to chat about anything you read. Cheers!

>>7615220
I have this as well. Would certainly recommend it!
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>>7615228
Oh, and when I say explore stuff, don't just read footnotes; check out Amazon's "related to this" section when browsing online, and I guarantee you'll find some cool stuff that's never mentioned on /lit/!
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>>7614862
not OP related but check out this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6nI1v7mwwA
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>>7615228

>I'm honestly not sure about the ordering of stoicism/epicureanism/etc., so you'll have to resort to the /lit/ guide for that; I haven't reached that content yet.

No worries, you're doing Aristotle currently aren't you? You mentioned something about being around him last thread we talked.

>Looks great! And Heraclitus was a pre-Socratic, so you'll find him in Waterfield's "First Philosophers." Only existent in fragments.

Great, he's covered.

>It's awesome that you've got a good outline set up for yourself, but definitely stay open to more obscure texts.

Will do. The guide is more to keep me focused if I find myself feeling overwhelmed or lost at any point. As I gain knowledge and grow more comfortable, it'll be easier to branch out and look for other books and writers.

>Your three paragraphs on the broader issues in reading the Greeks

That's fantastic; really excites me to hear. Developing those sort of learning skills sounds very exciting. Sounds like a great amount of depth.

Funny story about that Latin text, ha.

I'll take you up on the e-mail if you're not around on /lit/ sometime and I want to ask you a specific question, thanks for that offer. You've been a great help to my this and past thread; I really do appreciate you taking the time to write these long replies. I'll use a Greek image if/when on another thread!

How are you faring with where you're up to?

>>7615235
Will do!
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>>7614862
I would not start with Edith Hamilton. Just get some book on greek mythology for reference and start reading Homer.

Mythos means "story", and myths should be read that way; as stories.
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>>7615262
Interesting, does Hamilton's book not have them as narratives? How does it portray them?
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>>7615277
She does. Her book is a reference work as well.

Maybe he meant just to have her as reference.
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>>7615277
>>7615281
I'm sorry. My english is primitive.
Yes, I do think you should just use Hamilton or any other book of that sort as reference. Homer himself is the best introduction to myths in their told form.
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>>7614953
What are the red loebs there?
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Is it bad to read modern fiction in between the Greeks?
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Less time list-making, more time reading.
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>>7615674
A cultivated mind can jump between a number of topics without disorienting himself. Feel free to read some Shakespeare or some Thackeray between doses of our Greek forefathers.
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>>7615674
No. Personally I'd recommend it. Reading non-stop Aristotle could get quite laborious.
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>>7615674
Read whatever strikes your fancy ffs
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>>7615674
OP here, why would it be? I'm not a fan of starting a new book while you're in the middle of another one, but if you're doing a list/order like mine I'm sure occasionally shaking it up (like with modern fiction) would be fun from time to time, if that's your inclination.
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>have to read 2000+ pages of ancient greek wankery in order to read 100 or so pages of modern philosophy
When will this meme die? you guys are killing others' interest for philosophy
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>>7615188
>I've got Fragments but heard it's not great
If your "Fragments" is the Penguin edition then I recommend replacing it. I suspect the criticism you heard was against the Penguin translation and not the text itself. Heraclitus work isn't usually referred to as "Fragments" outside that penguin edition, so I thought that's what you were referring to at first.
.
If I remember rightly "The First Philosophers" has all the pre-socratic texts in it anyway. If you want something more on Heraclitus than that there seems to be a lot of solid scholarship out there though you may have to order online - Kahn seems highly thought of and wrote "Art and Thought of Heraclitus". I've read several secondary works on the pre-socratics and I've noticed him referenced a lot by other scholars.

Note: There is a review on Amazon saying he's hopeless and to read someone else, but they seem to be arguing that his writing isn't "clear" - but since Heraclitus was known as "the obscure" for how awkward and unclear his writing is, a clumsy, unclear translation is as likely to be a sign of sticking closely to the text as it is a lack of skill in the translator.
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>>7615112
Good answer anon. I'm following your advice.
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>>7616010
>>7615188
The Penguin Heraclitus is a poor translation. He's very loose and seems to make things up to mystify Heraclitus. Very sad!
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>>7617329
have you any experience of Kahn's translation?
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>>7617348
I read Waterfield's - Fantastic guy!
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>>7615253
>you're doing Aristotle currently aren't you?

Nope, I set the philosophy aside until I finish up the Greek dramatists, which I'm doing on the side. I've been focused on Rome for a few months (Livy, Polybius, and Diodorus, soon to include Appian and Caesar). Like I said, this stuff takes ages! I think the toughest part is that you have to strike a balance between having enough "threads" of focus that you don't get bored (as opposed to ONLY reading, say, Aristotle from start to finish all at once), and having few enough that you can actively pursue all.

Right now I'm doing Greek/Roman history which will take at least 4 more months, Greek drama which will take at least another month, Aesop/Apollodorus/Homeric Hymns/Greek lyric poetry done in little bits, a single "history of the world" text since my overview of world history is shit, and some short stories in Spanish to improve my hold on the language.

It's tough to juggle all at once, but thankfully the world history book, the drama, and (largely) the misc Greek texts (Aesop et al) will leave me with plenty more free time once they're done, since there are no immediate next steps from any of those (as opposed to history, where there's always one more writer who comes next). So it'll be a few months before I pick up Plato again, I think. Which sucks, but what can you do.

I also like the idea of slowly whittling away at larger projects, so I end up with numerous projects that get maybe 15-30 minutes of attention a day. For example, I was considering picking up the Arabian Nights and just reading one story a night for a few years.

>>7615623
Pliny's "Natural History," all 10 volumes!

>>7617255
Glad I could help!
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>>7617468
Sounds good. What's the world history text you're reading; is It particularly good?

Yeah I'm not thinking of doing all the philosophy at once with nothing else, that would probably burn me out, considering how dense it can get. Don't want to rush through it either.

Speaking of Roman texts, my copies of Homer are in a set with the Aeneid, and I was wondering whether I should chance reading it after the Odyssey because of how it intentionally reflects back on Homer, and as a kind of "preview" for when I eventually dive fully into Roman texts, or whether I should save it until that point. Or maybe I should do both, texts like these certainly benefit from rereading.
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>>7617706
I have the Penguin History of the World by Roberts. It's okay, but pretty boring, although that may just be because I'm only ~150 pages in, and have been dealing with pre-history, Mesopotamia, etc.

You're right on both counts with the Aeneid; it's very derivative of Homer, but not to the point that you'll be lost if you wait a few months after the Odyssey to read Virgil. And, like you said, you can re-read Homer (maybe in a different translation) once you reach Virgil. Totally up to you.
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Terence is not Greek.
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Anyone's got a chart for poetry?
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>>7614862
stoics would come after the basic Greeks.
few tips:
>just read the first philosophers don't bother with the penguin early Greeks/sophists.
>Heraclitus is in the first philosophers but I think the penguin translation is better and as a bonus is bilingual.
>you don't need all of Aristotle just get the basic works as it cuts out all the animal stuff. I would also recommend introduction to Aristotle by modern library so you don't have to jump in blind.
>read the theban plays and the oresetia first.
>don't get bogged down in the historys
the greeks are a meme but its a very good one you don't need to read all that to understand philosophy or literature but its worth it for its own sake.
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this is a pretty good order for plato, you don't have to read laws and republic if you don't want to. I have yet to meet any one who has. as far as Aristotle goes I am still in the middle of it but I'd say ethics, rhetoric, politics, poetics, and his logical texts, are the main ones to read. also the oxford press book on Diogenes and the cynics is another one to read.
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>>7615112
Why Herodotus before Thucydides? Didn't Thucydides write his before Herodotus?
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>>7615112
>Plutarch
How are the Oxford Classic's Waterfield translations? They seem to be complete?
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>>7618463
Nope. There may have been some overlap (the two were alive at the same time, for a while, with Herodotus being born earlier), but Herodotus' text is mainly about the Greco-Persian wars (c. 480BC), and Thucydides is exclusively about the Peloponnesian war (431-404BC, Thucydides' text only goes up to I think 410BC, with Xenophon covering the rest of the war).

>>7618472
Link? The only Oxford text I see on amazon by Waterfield is a selection of Roman lives. The complete Plutarch will cover about 50 lives, and comparisons of Greek/Roman lives in various couplings. I haven't yet read Plutarch, but from what I know those comparisons seem to be a major part of Plutarch's aim in writing; any text that mentions exclusively Greek or Roman individuals will likely not include that, and will arguably suffer for it. Pic related, the table of contents from volume 2 of the Modern Library edition I linked above.

With that said, Waterfield is a great Greek translator, but I know for a fact that some of his translations aren't of complete texts. His edition of Polybius, for example, covers only 7 of the 40 total books (although undeniably the most interesting ones). Basically you'll be getting a "best of" text, rather than the complete works. It's up to you if it's worth exhaustively exploring a certain ancient writer, especially considering that at a certain point the text stops being offered by Penguin/Oxford/Modern Library, and your only recourse is Loeb, which is painfully expensive for hardcopies, even used ones. There's a set of ~450 Loeb ebooks available from demonoid, in case you're familiar with trackers and want to check that out.

PS there is actually a shitload more Plutarch than just his biographies. His "Moralia" are something like 60 essays about pretty much every part of Roman life. The most popular ones are available from Penguin, but the complete set is only offered by Loeb, in 16 volumes--a cliff I don't know if it's even worth stepping off.
>>
>>7618604
Yes, you are right on both accounts - thanks.

I obviously don't know what I'm talking about.

www.amazon.com/Roman-Lives-Selection-Oxford-Classics/dp/0199537380/
http://www.amazon.com/Greek-Lives-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199540055/
>>
>>7618628
Yup, those are like the highlight reels of ancient history. Basically the most influential lawmakers, politicians, and generals. Good for what it is, but certainly not complete!
>>
>>7618628
Get the Modern Library one senpai. Pick related.
>>
If you aren't familiar with the history of philosophy and art, if you haven't read a lot of literature already, it will be one long slog you get nothing out of. You should already know what texts are essential and why you need to read them, both in general and for your specific personal pursuit. All of it requires interpretation that can only be done if you bring a decent core understanding.

any argument against this is from
someone who actually fell for the meme and started with the greeks at ground zero
>>
>>7618664
>you can only appreciate the influence of these texts if you have already appreciated the influence of these texts in the later texts they've influenced

Nice catch-22 there retard.
>>
>>7618664
You're an imbecile. Middlebrow scum. Very sad!
>>
>>7618689

That is true though. Most of these works have influenced western culture in one way the other but we're at a point where that influence is so diluted that reading these without really knowing what came after doesn't help. As with a good chunk of shit on /lit/ it's mostly just the epeen. But I don't really care about any of that crap since I'm just here to ask a question.


I know Hamilton's Mythology is the one that's commonly recommended but how does it compare to Graves' Greek mythology collection or even Schawb's?
>>
>>7618702
Why does one need to know about the later influence to enjoy, say, The Iliad?

Does one need to read Blake before the Bible?
>>
>>7618702
>reading these without really knowing what came after doesn't help

Well...yeah, the point of the Greeks is largely to understand the foundations of Western thought. I was under the impression that it was understood that you had to actually go and explore those later works for the Greeks to really bring anything to the table; otherwise you just get a snapshot of Western civilization c.400BC, and are largely useless in terms of understanding anything else.

I've never heard of Schawb, but I hear Graves is quite good, although he goes out of his way to include even slight variations on the same myths, which gets tiring, and (although I haven't read this far and can't attest to this myself) I hear that he has a lingering obsession with some feminine goddess figure throughout his texts. Maybe someone who's read him fully can help explain that.
>>
>>7618708
Not him, but why are you reading the Greeks just for their influence on other works? Why not on their own virtues?
>>
>>7618711
I'm not; I was addressing his point that their influence can only be understood if you trace it back from later texts, which is ridiculous.
>>
>>7618706
The Iliad? Nada, but OP wasn't asking about the Iliad. This is about a optimal reading list for Greek literature, there's a world of difference between the two.
>>
>>7618708
the whole goddess thing is in his other books and in his notes (that I mostly didn't read). he includes other versions but its not as tedious as they make it out to be.
>>
OP here

>>7618339
>just read the first philosophers don't bother with the penguin early Greeks/sophists.

Will do

>Heraclitus is in the first philosophers but I think the penguin translation is better and as a bonus is bilingual.

Will read it if I find him particularly engaging in The First Philosophers

>you don't need all of Aristotle just get the basic works as it cuts out all the animal stuff. I would also recommend introduction to Aristotle by modern library so you don't have to jump in blind.

Might do this, will see when I get closer.

>don't get bogged down in the historys

If I find myself "sinking" in it, I'll be sure to reassess and move onto something more engaging.

>but its worth it for its own sake

Absolutely my train of thought here.

>>7618386
Interesting, saved image, we'll see how I go.

>It's up to you if it's worth exhaustively exploring a certain ancient writer

Personally I'd basically follow the trail if I found a writer particularly engaging but yeah, as you said when Loeb is your only recourse it becomes easy to kind of give up. I will look for that torrent though.

>if you haven't read a lot of literature already

I've read a lot of fiction, my favourite fiction author is probably Dostoevsky, but I'm looking to broaden my horizons and start looking more to the past. The Greeks seem extremely fascinating to me and I love the feeling of whittling down a big reading list; it's one of the reasons I like making them.

>>7618711
I'm OP and I'm reading them because a) I find them highly fascinating, b) because I enjoy reading this sort of way, and c) because I'd like to gain a more holistic understanding of western thought, like >>7618708
said. My primary reason is definitely because of my personal interest, but a secondary reason would be for a sort of "bedrock" knowledge, sure. I wouldn't do this if I wasn't getting personal enjoyment value out of it; this isn't some dull learning exercise for me, it's something I find enjoyable and enriching.

>>7618708
>I was under the impression that it was understood that you had to actually go and explore those later works for the Greeks to really bring anything to the table

Do you mean you don't see a huge deal of merit in reading the Greeks if you're not going to follow the trail, so to speak, and read up on later philosophies, cultures influenced by them, etc.? I was thinking of eventually delving more into the Roman/Latin texts, but going through this order is going to take me some time and I hardly want to rush through it.

>>7618711
>Why not on their own virtues?

That's what I'm doing, although I'm not the anon you're talking to.
>>
>>7614953
I came
>>
>>7618887
>Do you mean you don't see a huge deal of merit in reading the Greeks if you're not going to follow the trail, so to speak, and read up on later philosophies, cultures influenced by them, etc.?

I'm the greekanon from above, so not exactly :^)

What I meant is that to most people, the Greeks will be a foundation for understanding later thought, and what that other guy said above (that you need to have already read those later works) was silly and backwards.

> I was thinking of eventually delving more into the Roman/Latin texts

You've got the right idea; IMO a chronological grasp of Western thought (literature, art, history, philosophy) started with a foundation of the Greeks is a life-long ambition. Nobody starts with the Greeks and exclusively reads chronologically; you wouldn't reach modern lit until your deathbed.

But the more time you spend slowly building a foundation that builds on itself, the more prepared you are for later texts, and few people do that because there's certainly an issue of diminishing marginal utility with the time you spend on that foundation. Some balance has to be struck between reading no Greeks and reading every Greek in his original tongue; check out some bookshelf threads and you'll find that almost nobody on /lit/ reads much nonfiction, which is an unfortunate extreme to find on a board which mentions the Greeks so much. Often there's only a hint of influence from the Greeks in more modern texts, or only very isolated references; since you mentioned liking Dostoevsky, one example from Crime & Punishment would be Rodya's grabbing of Sonya's knees when trying to repent -- an ancient Greek sign of supplication/defeat/surrender, totally submitting yourself to someone else's power.
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