The Ancients

Helpful hints: to find a particular author or book use a “search” shortcut (Mac: Command + F; Windows: Windows key + Control + F). To return to the top of the page (Mac: Command + “Up Arrow”; Windows: “Home” Key).

The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Walls of Gilgamesh
Notes on the Origins of the Epic of Gilgamesh

The Enuma Elish
Notes on the Enuma Elish

The Code of Hammurabi
Thoughts on the Code of Hammurabi

Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible
Reason and Revelation in the Bible
Notes on the Context of the Tanakh
Where did the Hebrew Bible Come From?
Political Theology in the Bible: An Exegesis
The Torah
Genesis III: In Defense of the Serpent
Genesis I: The Seven Days of Creation Examined
Genesis I-III: The Birth of Law

Genesis XI: The Lord versus the City of Man
What is Mosaic Law?
Moses as Lawgiver
Notes on Leviticus
Notes on Numbers
The Words of Moses
What Is The Old Testament?

Nevi’im (Prophets)
Former Prophets
Joshua: A Book of Conquest
Reflections on Judges
1 & 2 Samuel
I Samuel Chapters 8-14: Israel’s Demand for a King
1 & 2 Kings
Saul Weeps, David Dances, And Solomon Judges
Latter Prophets
Prophecy and Apocalypse in Isaiah
Thoughts on Jeremiah
Thoughts on Ezekiel
Minor Prophets
Infidelity in Hosea
Plague and Drought in Joel
Notes on Amos
The Reckoning of Edom in Obadiah
Notes on Jonah in Nineveh
Further Consideration of Jonah
Notes on Micah
Notes on Nahum
The Just Shall Live By His Faith: Habakkuk Considered
“The Day of the Lord” in Zephaniah
Haggai: A Plea To Rebuild the Temple
Eight Visions in Zechariah
The Messenger in Malachi

Ketuvim (Writings)
In Consideration of Psalms
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death” – On Psalm 23
Thoughts on the Book of Proverbs
Theodicy in the Book of Job
Song of Songs
In Appreciation of the Song of Songs
The Harvest of Ruth
Sorrow, Anger, and Hope in Lamentations
Qohelet’s Somber Reflections
The Persian Fantasy of Esther
Daniel: A Book of Dreams and Dark Prophecy
Thoughts on Ezra-Nehemiah
Thoughts on Ezra-Nehemiah
1 & 2 Chronicles
Thoughts on Chronicles

Biblical Apocrypha
1 & 2 Esdras
Notes on 1 and 2 Esdras
Tobit: An Apocryphal Romance
Judith: Israel’s Great Heroine
Rest of Esther
Brief Notes on the Rest of Esther
Thoughts on the Book of Wisdom
Thoughts on Wisdom in Ecclesiasticus
Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremy
Notes on the Book of Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremy
Song of the Three Children
Notes on Additions to the Book of Daniel
Story of Susanna
Susanna: An Apocryphal Fable
The Idol Bel and the Dragon
Notes on Additions to the Book of Daniel
Prayer of Manasseh
Thoughts on the Prayer of Manasseh
1 & 2 Maccabees
The Maccabean Revolt and the Birth of Hanukkah

The Egyptian Book of the Dead
The Trial of the Heart

The Gathas by Zarathustra
An Introduction to the Gathas

Political Philosophy in the Iliad
On the Homeric Question
What is the Rage of Achilles?
Thoughts on Odysseus and Achilles
On the Homeric Gods
Persuading Achilles: Books IX, XVI, XXIV Considered
The Iliad and the Odyssey: Two Proems Compared
Book XVIII of the Iliad: Examining the Shield of Achilles

On the Homeric Question
Thoughts on Odysseus and Achilles
Notes on the Telemachia, Books I-IV
On the Homeric Gods
Nature and Order in Homer
The Iliad and the Odyssey: Two Proems Compared
Phemius and Demodocus: Two Bards Considered
Notes on Odysseus’s Tale to the Phaeacians
Books X-XI: Revisiting Odysseus’s Descent into Hades
Commentary on the Form of the “Homeric Hymns”

Works and Days
Two Myths in Hesiod’s Works and Days
Comparing Virgil’s Georgics with Hesiod’s Works and Days

Notes on Hesiod

The Vedas
The Rig Veda
Introduction to the Rig Veda
Notes on Creation and Death in the Rig Veda

The Upanishads
Introduction to the Upanishads
Notes on the Isha Upanishad
What is the Teaching of the Upanishads?
Six Questions in the Prana Upanishad

Fables by Aesop
What Is A Fable?

The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Important Reflections on the Tao Te Ching

Sappho (fragments)
Notes on Sappho
Simonides (fragments)
Who Is Simonides?
Pindar (fragments)
Who Is Pindar? What Is An Ode?

Histories by Herodotus
On Herodotus
The Purpose of the Histories: Notes on Book I
The Empires of Croesus and Cyrus
The Rise of Egypt: Notes on Book II
Egypt, Persia, and the New Regime: Book III
Darius and the New Persian Regime
The Battle of Marathon: Book VI
Xerxes, Thermopylae, and Salamis: Books VII – IX
Notes on Athenian Democracy
What Is History?
What Was The Cause of The Persian Wars?
An Inquiry into Herodotus’s Project
Notes on History

The Presocratic Fragments (fragments)
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Thales
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Pythagoras
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Heraclitus
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Parmenides
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Empedocles
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Anaximander

On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Anaximenes
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Anaxagoras
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Democritus
Who Is Thales?
Who Is Pythagoras?
Who Is Heraclitus?

A Brief Note on Aeschylean Tragedy
The Persians
The Idea of the Enemy in Aeschylus’s The Persians
Seven Against Thebes
The Seven Against Thebes and The Phoenician Women Considered
The Suppliants
A Defense of Nomos in The Suppliants
The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libations Bearers, The Eumenides)
Dialectic in Agamemnon
The Oresteia: An Affirmation of the Noble Lie

Electra in Aeschylus vs. Euripides
Thoughts on Aeschylus

Comparing Clytemnestra and Lady Macbeth
Prometheus Bound
Notes on Aeschylus

The Theban Plays (Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone)
Summary of the Oedipus Story
Oedipus and Greek Tragedy
Aristotle, Oedipus, and Greek Tragedy

Fate Considered in Sophocles’s Ajax
The Women of Trachis

Notes on the Trachiniae

Notes on Sophocles’s Electra
Comparing Clytemnestra and Lady Macbeth
The Question of “Deus Ex Machina” in Philoctetes

The Context of the Greek Tragedians
What Is The Chorus in Greek Tragedy?
On Euripides’s Alcestis
On The Medea
Tragedy and Patriotism in Euripides’s Heracleidae
Oaths and Truth-Telling in Hippolytus
Thoughts on Andromache
What Is Tragic About Greek Tragedy? Euripides’s Hecuba Considered
The Suppliants
Thoughts on The Suppliants
Electra in Aeschylus vs. Euripides
Comparing Clytemnestra and Lady Macbeth
The Lack of Hamartia in Euripides’s Heracles
The Trojan Women
Brief Thoughts on The Trojan Women
Iphigenia in Tauris
Thoughts on Iphigenia in Tauris
Euripides and the Gods: Ion
Examining Euripides’s Helen
Phoenician Women
Thoughts on The Phoenician Women
The Failure of Orestes
The Dangers of the Poets in The Bacchae
Iphiginaia in Aulis
The Tragedy of Mob-Rule: Iphigenia in Aulis
Brief Notes on the Rhesus
Euripides’s Opinion of Odysseus: The Cyclops Considered

The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
Thucydides on Greek Origins
Reflections on Thucydides

Thucydides on Pericles and the Plague
The Peloponnesian War, Book I: Setting The Stage for War
The Peloponnesian War, Book II: Proxy Wars and Pericles’s Funeral Oration
The Peloponnesian War, Book III: Invasion and Revolution
The Peloponnesian War, Book IV: Armistice and Mounting Losses
The Peloponnesian War, Book V: Battle Recommences and Melos Is Enslaved
The Peloponnesian War, Book VI: Sicily, Alcibiades, and the Hermae
The Peloponnesian War, Books VII-VIII: Athens in Decline and an Abrupt Ending
What Is A Eulogy? Ethos, Pathos, and Logos In Pericles’s Funeral Oration Speech
The Sicilian Expedition: Alcibiades and Nicias in Thucydides’s Peloponnesian War (Books VI-VII)

Who is Aristophanes?
Thoughts on Aristophanean Comedy
The Acharnians
Treason in the Acharnians
The Knights
Cleon Ridiculed in the Knights
The Clouds
Socrates Ridiculed in the Clouds
The Wasps
The Courts Ridiculed in the Wasps
The Peace
A Parody of Greek Mythology In The Peace
The Birds
Aristophanes’s The Birds: A New City in the Sky
The War Between the Sexes in Lysistrata
The Persecution of the Poets in Thesmophoriazusae
The Frogs
Dionysus’s Descent Into Hades In The Frogs
The Triumph of Socialism in the Assemblywomen
The Worship of Wealth in the Plutos

Menander (fragments)
Menander and Dyskolos
The Girl From Samos
Notes on the Samia

Examining the Platonic Dialogues
On the Authorship of Plato
Mapping the Platonic Dialogues
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Socrates
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Plato
Thoughts on the Trial of Socrates and the Socratic Project
Thoughts on the Apology of Socrates

Notes on Plato’s Crito
Thoughts on Plato’s Charmides
Initial Thoughts on Plato’s Laches
The Question of Courage in the Laches
Socrates’s Failure In The Lysis
Notes on Plato’s Euthyphro
The Problem of Rhapsody in Plato’s Ion
Greater Hippias
The Exploration of Beauty in the Greater Hippias
Lesser Hippias
On Truth and Lies in the Lesser Hippias
Thoughts On The Gorgias
The Gorgias, A Dialogue of War and Battle
The Examination of Virtue in the Protagoras
Socrates and Meno
Thoughts on the Euthydemus
Euthydemus’s Form of Relativism

Cratylus: Plato’s Dialogue on Language

On the Significance of the Death of Socrates
Initial Notes on Plato’s Phaedrus
Socrates and Phaedrus on Love
An Analysis of the Soul in the Phaedrus

The Soul in the Phaedrus and the Republic
Thoughts on the Setting of Plato’s Symposium
The Symposium I: Phaedrus
The Symposium II: Pausanias
The Symposium III: Erixymachus, Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates, and Alcibiades
What is Love in the Symposium?

The Republic
Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part I): Introduction
Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part II): Cephalus 

Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part III): Polemarchus
Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part IV): Thrasymachus
Plato’s Republic, Book II (Part I): Glaucon and Adeimantus
Plato’s Republic, Book II (Part II): The City In Speech
Plato’s Republic, Book III: The Noble Lie
Plato’s Republic, Book IV: The Cardinal Virtues
Plato’s Republic, Book V: Communism and the Philosopher King
Plato’s Republic, Book VI: The Defense of the Philosophers
Plato’s Republic, Book VII: “The Allegory of the Cave”
Plato’s Republic, Book VIII: The Decay of the Regimes
Plato’s Republic, Book IX: The Soul of the Tyrant
Plato’s Republic, Book X: The Poets and the Myth of Er
The Soul in the Phaedrus and the Republic
The Teaching of the Republic

Outline of the Theaetetus
Why Theaetetus
A Note on Temporality in the Theaetetus
The Silence of Socrates: Plato’s Parmenides
Considering Plato’s Sophist

Thoughts on Plato’s Statesman
Wandering Thoughts on the Philebus
Timaeus – Critias

Timaeus and the Likely Story
Plato’s Laws, Book I: The Divine Puppet
Plato’s Laws: Notes on Books II-IV

Apocryphal Platonic Dialogues
Thirteen Epistles
Notes on Plato’s Seventh Letter
Alcibiades I, Alcibiades II
On The First Alcibiades
On The Idea of Prayer in The Second Alcibiades
The Platonic Epinomis: A Sequel to the Laws
Considering A Funeral Oration Speech in the Menexenus
On the Hipparchus, or Lovers of Gain
Notes on Plato’s Lovers
On the Cleitophon
On the Theages
What is Law in the Minos?

On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Xenophon
On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Socrates
Education of Cyrus
Initial Thoughts on Xenophon’s Cyropaedia
Anabasis of Cyrus
On Xenophon’s Ascent
A Brief Introduction to Xenophon’s Hellenika
Xenophon’s Hellenika Book I: The Return of Alcibiades
Xenophon’s Hellenika Book II: Lysander, The Thirty Tyrants, & The Downfall of Athens
Xenophon’s Hellenika Book III: Sparta’s Struggle for Hegemony
Xenophon’s Hellenika Book IV: Greek Rebellion Against The Spartan Hegemony
Xenophon’s Hellenika Book V: Teleutias and The King’s Peace
Xenophon’s Hellenika Book VI: Proxy Wars of Sparta, Thebes, and Athens
Xenophon’s Hellenika Book VII: The End of Battle With Little Gained
On The Arginousai Affair in Xenophon and Diodorus Sicilus
On Xenophon’s Account of Socrates in the Memorabilia
Shorter Socratic Works
Socrates’s Desire to Die: On Xenophon’s Apology
A Gentleman Laughing, Dancing, and Singing: Socrates in Xenophon’s Symposium
Xenophon’s Perfect Country Gentleman in the Oeconomicus

On Diogenes Laertius’s Biography of Aristotle
On Aristotle’s Four Causes
On the Soul
Perception in Aristotle’s On The Soul
Introductory Notes on Aristotle’s Metaphysics
Reflections On Aristotle’s Prime Unmoved Mover
Nicomachean Ethics
Nature in the Nicomachean Ethics
Thoughts on Aristotle’s Political Philosophy
The Teaching of Aristotle’s Politics
Thoughts on Aristotle’s Political Philosophy
Further Thoughts on Aristotle’s Politics
Aristotle’s Politics Book I: “Man Is A Political Animal”
Aristotle’s Politics Book II: Polemics Against The “City In Speech”
Aristotle’s Politics Book III: The Limits of the City and Citizenship
Aristotle’s Politics Book IV: Democracy and Oligarchy
Aristotle’s Politics Book V: Factions and Changes of Government
Aristotle’s Politics Book VI: On The Endurance of Democracies and Oligarchies
Aristotle’s Politics Books VII-VIII: The Best City and the Education of its Citizens
Ethos, Pathos, Logos: On Aristotle’s Rhetoric
Aristotle on the Passions
Aristotle, Oedipus, and Greek Tragedy
What Is The Teaching of Aristotle’s Poetics?

Elements by Euclid
On the Definitions, Postulates, and Common Notions of Euclid’s Elements
On The Puzzling History of Euclid’s Fifth Postulate
Working Through Book I of Euclid’s Elements

“Above All, Do No Harm” Notes on Hippocrates and the Hippocratic Oath

The “Four Books” of Ancient China
The Great Learning
Notes on The Great Learning
Introduction to the Analects
Confucius and Socrates

The Twenty Books of the Analects
Mencius and Rousseau
The Doctrine of the Mean
Aristotelian Moderation in The Doctrine of the Mean

The Five Chinese Classics
Classic of Poetry
Notes on the “Classic of Poetry”
Book of Documents
What is the Book of Documents?
Book of Rites
Thoughts On The Book of Rites
I Ching
Infinite Interpretations in the I Ching
Spring and Autumn Annals
Notes on the Spring and Autumn Annals

Imagines by Philostratus

The Dammapada

The Art of War by Sun-Tzu

The Mahabarata

The Baghavad Gita

The Poetic Edda

Tale of Genji

Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes

Conics by Apollonius of Perga

Mathematical Works of Archimedes

The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian



De Rerum Natura by Lucretius

Geography by Strabo

Description of Greece by Pausanius

Roman History by Appian




Julius Caesar
Commentaries on the Gallic War
Civil War
Alexandrian War
African War
Spanish War

On the Republic
On the Laws
On the Ends of Goods and Evils
On Friendship
On Duties

Notes on Virgil’s Ten Eclogues
“Omnia Vincit Amor” – On Virgil’s Eclogue X
Comparing Virgil’s Georgics with Hesiod’s Works and Days
The Aeneid

Odes by Horace

Metamorphoses by Ovid

Elegies by Propertius

The Library by Apollodorus

History of Rome by Livy

Satyricon by Gaius Petronius

Selections from Ordo urbium nobilium by Ausonius

Livius Andronicus

Pliny the Elder

Phaedra by Seneca

Juvenal’s Satires

Pliny the Younger


Satires by Lucian

Histories by Polybius

Roman History Lucius Cassius Dio

The Library of History by Diodorus Sicilus
On The Arginousai Affair in Xenophon and Diodorus Sicilus

What Is The Value of Biography?
Parallel Lives

Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
What Is The Value of Biography?



The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius

Daphnis and Chloe by Longus

The Golden Ass by Apulieus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s