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The Classics

Temple of Posiedon at Sounioun, (c) J.B. Hare 2002



Greek Texts   Roman Texts
General Books
About the Photos…

This section contains texts from ancient Greece and Rome, primarily about Classical Pagan beliefs. However, any text which has survived from this period of antiquity is, by definition, a classic. Many of these texts were only saved from the flames of the dark ages in locations remote from Rome and Athens, such as the legendary city of Timbuktu in central Africa, Irish monastaries, and by Islamic scholars in centers of learning as Baghdad.


Works of Homer:
 The Iliad of HomerSamuel Butler translator [1898]
 The Odyssey of HomerSamuel Butler translator [1900]
 The Homeric Hymn to Demeter
 The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer in Greek

 The Authoress of the Odyssey, by Samuel Butler [1922]
Men are from the Iliad, Women are from the Odyssey…

Works of Hesiod:
 Hesiod’s Theogony
 Works and Days

 The Hymns of Orpheus
by Thomas Taylor [1792]

 Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers
by Kathleen Freeman [1948]
The framentary textual remains of the oldest ancient Greek philosophers.

Works of Sappho:
 The Poems of Sappho
English and Transliterated Greek
translated by Edwin Marion Cox [1925]

 The Poems of Sappho (Unicode)
English and Greek translated by Edwin Marion Cox [1925]

 The Songs of Bilitis
by Pierre Louÿs, tr. by Alvah C. Bessie [1926]
A famous hoax, which has had a huge impact on our modern perception of Sappho.

 Aphrodite (Ancient Manners)
by Pierre Louÿs, tr. by Willis L. Parker, ill. by Frank J. Buttera [1932]
Tragic loves of a courtesan in Ptolemaic Egypt, from the author of Bilitis.

 The History of Herodotus
parallel English/Greek
English tr. by G. C. Macaulay [1890]
The epochal conflict between the Greeks and Persians, by ‘the Father of History.’

 The Fables of Aesop

by Aesop, tr. by George Fyler Townsend, [1887]

 The Argonautica
parallel English/Greek.
English tr. by R.C. Seaton [1912]
The primary text for the story of Jason, the Argonauts, and the quest for the Golden Fleece.

 The Dramas of Aeschylus

 The Works of Aristotle

 The Dramas of Sophocles

 The Dramas of Euripides

 The Dialogues of Plato

 The Sand Reckoner

 The Golden Verses of Pythagoras
by Florence M. Firth [1902]
 The Golden Verses of Pythagoras
by Fabre d’Olivet [1917]
The full Greek text with English and French translations; featuring extended essays by a prominent 18th century French estoteric writer.

 Pythagoras and the Delphic Mysteries
by Edouard Schuré [1906]
The philosopher, his times and thought, and the modern esoteric interpretation of his legacy.

Apollonius index:
 Apollonius of Tyana
by George Robert Stowe Mead [1901]
Mead’s review of the literature around Apollonius

 The Life of Apollonius of Tyana
by Philostrates, tr. F.C. Conybeare [1912]
Philostrates’ Life of Apollonius is our primary contemporary account.

Works of Plutarch:

 Plutarch’s Morals: Theosophical Essays
tr. by Charles William King [1908]
Six essays by Plutarch, rich with details of ancient mythology and natural philosophy.

 The Roman and Greek Questions
of Plutarch, tr. by Frank Cole Babbitt [1938]
A treasure trove of classical pagan lore.

 The Discourses of Epictetus
by Arrian, tr. by P.E. Matheson, [1916]
The Discourses, Fragments, and Enchiridion, of the Stoic Greek philosopher Epictetus.

Works of Lucian:
 A True Story
parallel English/Greek
English translation by A.M. Harmon [1913]
The original space odyssey…

 The Syrian Goddess
translated by Herbert A. Strong [1913]
Lucian’s hair-raising description of ancient Goddess worship.

 Fragments that Remain of the Lost Writings of Proclus
By Proclus, tr. by Thomas Taylor, [1825]
Some writings of the last classical era neo-Platonist philosopher.


Works of Virgil
 The Aeneid
tr. by John Dryden [1697]
English and Latin.

 The Eclogues J.W. MacKail tr. [1934]
English and Latin

 The Georgics J.W. MacKail tr. [1934]
English and Latin

 The Golden Asse
By Apuleius, tr. by William Adlington [1566]

 The Most Pleasant and Delectable Tale of The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche
By Apuleius, tr. by William Adlington, Illustrations by Dorothy Mullock [1914]

 The Enneads of Plotinus
by Plotinus, tr. by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page [1917-1930]

 Works of Julius Caesar
by Julius Caesar, tr. by W.A. McDevitte and W.S. Bohn [1869]
parallel English/Latin

of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, tr. by George Long

 On The Nature Of Things
by Titus Lucretius Carus, tr. by William Ellery Leonard

 Metamorphoses English and Latin
 Amores, Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris and Medicamina Faciei Femineae English and Latin

 The Satyricon of Petronius
by Gaius Petronius, tr. Alfred R. Allinson [1930]
A satirical, bawdy and hallucinatory trip through the underbelly of Neros’ Rome.

 The Priapeia
Translated by L.C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton [1890]
English and Latin

 The Works of Tacitus
tr. by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb [1864-1877]
The preeminent Latin historian of the first century CE. parallel English and Latin text.

 Two Orations of the Emperor Julian
tr. by Thomas Taylor [1793]

 Works of Procopius



Other Roman resources

 The Royal Museum at Naples
Being Some Account of The Erotic Paintings, Bronzes, and Statues Contained in that Famous “Cabinet Secret”, by Stanislas Marie César Famin [1871]
Sixty lithographs of erotic Roman art and artifacts.

Latin Resources at [External Site]


 Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
by Edward Gibbon [1776-88]
The majestic history of the downfall of Rome, unabridged.

 Bulfinch’s Mythology
by Thomas Bulfinch [1855]
Bulfinch’s able retelling of the classic myths has served as an introduction to the subject for generation of readers.

 The Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries
Thomas Taylor [1891].
What secrets lay at the heart of the ancient initiation rituals at Eleusis?

 The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children

by Charles Kingsley [1901]
A retelling of the myths of Perseus, Jason and the Argonauts, and Theseus for young adults, with lavish art-deco illustrations.
 The Sibylline Oracles
Tr. by Milton S. Terry [1899].
The (pseudo)-Sibylline Oracles are ancient books of prophecy.

 Myths of Crete and Pre-Hellenic Europe
by Donald A. Mackenzie [1917]
A survey of what is known about the civilization of ancient Crete.

 The Dionysian Artificers
by Hippolyto Joseph da Costa [1820].

 Ancient Fragments
by I. P. Cory [1832]

 Lives of the Greek Heroines
by Louisa Menzies [1880]

 The Mysteries of Mithra
by Franz Cumont [1903]
The religion that might have taken the place of Christianity.

 The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism
by Franz Cumont [1911]
Roman paganism later incorporated a diverse set of beliefs including ecstatic near-eastern religions, a wide range of goddess cults, dualism from Persia, and astrology.

 Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans
by Franz Cumont [1912]

 Pagan Regeneration
A Study of Mystery Initiations in the Graeco-Roman World by Harold R. Willoughby [1929]
Thanks to Eliza at!

 Taboo, Magic, Spirits
A Study of Primitive Elements in Roman Religion by Eli Edward Burriss [1931]
Thanks to Eliza at!

 The Religion of Numa
And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome by Jesse Benedict Carter [1906]
An excellent history of the evolution of Roman religious ideas.

 The Amazons
by Guy Cadogan Rothery. [1910]

 Religious Cults Associated with the Amazons
by Florence Mary Bennett. [1912]

 Ioläus, An Anthology of Friendship
by Edward Carpenter [1917An anthology of literary quotes about (primarily) male friendship, from David and Jonathan to Walt Whitman, particularly those verging on romantic love.
Whether any of these relationships were actually erotic in nature is left up to the reader’s imagination.

 Pagan and Christian Creeds
by Edward Carpenter [1922]
Carpenter explores the similaries between Christianity and ancient mystery religions, as well as the similiarities between the narrative of Christ and other solar heros.

 A Problem in Greek Ethics
By John Addington Symonds [1901]
A study of Greek homosexuality, centering on the institutionalized (and idealized) love of adolescent males by older men.

 Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk
by Edward Carpenter [1914]
Carpenter reviews the data on homosexuality in the ancient world, relating it to anthopological reports about shamans and berdaches (transgender people) in tribal societies, as well as to male same-sex relationships in feudal Japan.

 Ancient Art and Ritual
by Jane Harrison [1913]

 Five Stages of Greek Religion
by Gilbert Murray [1925The evolution of Greek religion from the ancient Olympians to the Platonic philosophers, and onward.

 Myths of Greece and Rome
by Jane Harrison [1928]
Jane Harrison’s primer of Classical Mythology.

 The Mycenaean Origin of Greek Mythology
by Martin P. Nilsson [1932]

 Greek Popular Religion
by Martin P. Nilsson [1940]

 The First Two Chapters of
Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion
by Jane Harrison, 3rd. ed. [1922]
An in-progress posting of the first two chapters of Jane Harrison’s masterwork.

About the photos

I took the photographs in this section in 1971 on an Easter Week tour of Greece with a group of High School classics students from Southern California. Escorted by nuns (I was one of the only public school students in the group), our tour visited Athens, Delphi, Mycenae and Knossos. The photos were taken with a cheap Instamatic. I recently found these photos and scanned some of them to accompany this section

[View]  The photo on this page is the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. Isadora Duncan danced there. I threw the last watch I ever owned into the sea from this promontory.
[View]  The photo on the works of Homer index page is the entrance to the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae. A fabulous hoard of gold artifacts was found in it when it was excavated, including a gold death mask which Schliemann decided was that of Agamemnon. The interior is shaped like a beehive and has bizarre acoustics.
[View]  The photo on the Iliad index page is the arch of the Lion Gate at Mycenae; many of the key figures of the Iliad (if they actually existed) must have walked under this arch.
[View]  The photo on the Odyssey index page is a view of the Aegean which I took from the cruise ship taking us to Crete.
[View]  The photo on the Bulfinch index page is a panorama of the Acropolis.
[View] The photo on the Aesop index page is yet another view of the Acropolis.
[View] Yet another view of the Acropolis.

Another photo I haven’t found a home for:

[View]  The Palace of Minos at Knossos, interior detail.


These previously unpublished images are © 2002, J.B. Hare, all rights reserved.