Greco-Roman Canonical Texts
After digesting the Leob Classic Library catalogue, and the other works I referred to in prior blog entries, my initial list (for non-Christian authors) is as follows:
History: Herodotus, Thucydides, Diogenes Laertius
Philosophy: Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus
Literature: Homer, Sophocles
Literature: Cicero, Virgil, Ovid
- Diogenes Laertius is chosen for the lives of many influential philosophers and schools (e.g. Stoic, Epicurean), which the list cannot possibly include
- Didn't include Josephus and Philo (Jewish authors) - because ultimately these play a role more because of Christian interest rather than them being influential in the Greco-Roman or subsequent Jewish intellectual world
- Latin history: Livy chosen over Tacitus is a new thinking on my part. Originally I have some bias against Livy as his works only survive in fragments. Now that I've learnt that even just the extant fragments come up to >2,500 pages of English translation ...
- Latin literature: Horace was omitted. My feeling is that lyric poetry or satires / comedies never attain as high a literary prestige as tragedy or epics in the western tradition. Thus also the reasoning of not including say Sappho or Aristophanes in Greek Literature.
- Cicero selected as a prose writer, but the work I would actually include is likely De Officiis which could also be considered a philosophy text.