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An heroic epic poem where Beowulf, a hero of a Germanic tribe from southern Sweden, travels to Denmark to help defeat a monster named Grendel. It is sometimes called "England's national epic". J. R. R. Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame was a Beowulf scholar and many parallels can also be drawn between Beowulf and The Hobbit. The work has served as the inspiration for many books and films including Michael Crichton's Eaters of the Dead.
The Golden Ass relates the ludicrous adventures of Lucius, a virile young man obsessed with magic. In his enthusiasm to see the use of magic he is accidentally transformed into an ass and thus forced to witness and experience the lives of slaves and the destitute. This is the only surviving work of Greco-Roman literature to give a first person perspective of the abhorrent condition of the lower classes. T. E. Lawrence carried a small copy of the book in his saddlebags throughout the Arab Revolt.
The Iliad is one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems of Homer and the first and greatest achievement of Classical Greek civilization. It tells of the last years of the siege of the city of Ilion (Troy) by the Greeks under King Agamemnon. It explores the conflict between love and honour, rage and control, a long life and a glorious life; all under the watchful and meddling Gods.
The Odyssey is one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems of Homer. The action takes place after Homer's Iliad and details the journey home of the Greek hero Odysseus (Ulysses). The journey takes years, in part due to the Gods' disagreements over his eventual fate, and it is only when he is finally home that his troubles really begin.
An influential classic and one of the earliest scholarly works of history. Enthusiastically embraced by the author's contemporaries and immediate successors. History gives an account of the war fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens) in Ancient Greece. Unlike the many appearances the Gods make in the writings of Herodotus and the poems of Homer, Thucydides sees history as being caused by the choices and actions of human beings.
Meno is written as a dialogue between Socrates and Meno. What is virtue? Is it a trait that can be taught? Is there some virtue that can be possessed by all human beings? Is it different between genders? Plato ponders.
Written as a dialogue between Socrates and Phaedrus, the subject within Phaedrus (370B.C.) appears to be that of love - love in its proper form as well as love erotic. Widely considered to be one of Plato's greatest works. Profoundly Plato.
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