An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization, The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.
"Caviar to the general?"
The Metamorphoses by Publius Ovidius Naso (43 B.C. - A.D. 17) has, over the centuries, been the most popular and influential work from our classical tradition. This extraordinary collection of some 250 Greek and Roman myths and folk tales has always been a popular favorite, and has decisively shaped western art and literature from the moment it was completed in A.D. 8. The stories are particularly vivid when read by David Horovitch, in this new lively verse translation by Ian Johnston.
The three Theban plays by Sophocles - Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone - are one of the great landmarks of Western theatre. They tell the story of Oedipus, King of Thebes, who was destined to suffer a terrible fate - to kill his father, marry his mother, and beget children of the incestuous union. He does this unknowingly but still has to suffer terrible consequences, which also tragically affect the next generation.
"Was truly great!"
'On Anger' is one of Seneca's most important essays. At some length he investigates the nature of anger: how and why it emerges, the effect it has on the individual and those to whom it is directed, and how to manage it and prevent it even from arising. For, Seneca considers, anger simply serves no purpose - it does not bring courage in war, prevent others misbehaving or punish miscreants. In short it has a negative effect on all. In 'On Leisure' he takes a short look at what is really meant by the term.
As former tutor and adviser to Emperor Nero, philosopher and statesman Seneca was acutely aware of how short life can be - his own life was cut short when the emperor ordered him to commit suicide (for alleged involvement in a conspiracy). And Seneca proved true to his words - his lifelong avowal to Stoicism enabled him to conduct himself with dignity to the end. During his rich and busy life, Seneca wrote a series of essays that have advised and enriched the lives of generations down to the present day.
In this, the first prose history in European civilization, Herodotus describes the growth of the Persian Empire with force, authority, and style. Perhaps most famously, the book tells the heroic tale of the Greeks' resistance to the vast invading force assembled by Xerxes, king of Persia. Here are not only the great battles - Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis - but also penetrating human insight and a powerful sense of epic destiny at work.
"Best of Audible's "The Histories" by Herodotus"
Acerbic wit and stinging satire are contrasted with delicate sensibility and passionate desire in the work of the Latin poet Catullus. Armed with an urbane sophistication and an aristocratic circle of friends, Catullus moved about easily in the upper ranks of Roman society and was acquainted with Cicero, Caesar, and Pompey among others.
Along with Virgil, Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) was the greatest poet produced by Rome, and in many ways his work has had arguably an even greater impact. His brilliant expression and astonishing acumen continue to amaze readers today, either in their original Latin or in innumerable worldwide translations. Shakespeare's debt to Horace is incalculable, and it is difficult to read his Sonnets today without immediately being reminded of the famous Odes.
"The Odes of Horace"
Plutarch (c. AD 46-AD 120) was born to a prominent family in the small Greek town of Chaeronea, about 20 miles east of Delphi in the region known as Boeotia. His best known work is the Parallel Lives, a series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues and vices. The surviving lives contain 23 pairs, each with one Greek life and one Roman life as well as four unpaired single lives.
"PERFECT NARRATOR FOR PLUTARCH'S LIVES"
The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.
"Fagles is best"
Utopia is the name given by Sir Thomas More to an imaginary island in this political work written in 1516. Book I of Utopia, a dialogue, presents a perceptive analysis of contemporary social, economic, and moral ills in England. Book II is a narrative describing a country run according to the ideals of the English humanists, where poverty, crime, injustice, and other ills do not exist.
"More's unobtainable vision of the ideal society"
Over 5,000 years, India has been home to a rich tapestry of peoples and cultures. Two of the world's great religions - Hinduism and Buddhism - have their origins in South Asia, and the lands east of the Indus River have long been a central hub for trade, migration, and cultural exchange. Today the subcontinent contains 20 percent of the world's population and is a thriving center for global business, making this region one of most significant economic powerhouses in the world.
"Quite Good & Much Interesting information"
Said to be the world's longest poem, Mahabharata was originally composed in 100,000 Sanskrit verses by the ancient Indian sage Vyasa. Revered as a sacred text within Hinduism, it contains the great spiritual teaching Bhagavad-gita. Krishna Dharma has condensed the epic into a fast paced novel that fully retains the majestic mood of the original. A powerful and moving tale, it recounts the history of the five heroic Pandava brothers, sons of the Emperor Pandu.
Rumi's Spiritual Verses is the greatest mystical poem in Islamic culture - and of all time. Rumi examines our human separation from reality, love, and truth. He shows how love - neither erotic nor sentimental but divine, by which the universe is held together - enlightens ignorance and dissolves suffering. The first book of the Masnavi is the key to the whole work: It takes off from simple, amusing tales into realms unimaginable, but wholly familiar to the human heart.
"Should be listened to by all spiritual seekers"
The Iliad is one of the most enduring creations of Western Civilization and was originally written to be recited or chanted to the accompaniment of various instruments. Properly performed, this work today is just as meaningful, just as powerful, and just as entertaining as it was in the ninth century BC, and it casts its spell upon modern listeners with the same raw intensity as it did upon the people of ancient times.
"This is the audio version you want"
In this dynamic and engaging biography, Anthony Everitt plunges us into the fascinating, scandal-ridden world of ancient Rome in its most glorious heyday. Accessible to us through his legendary speeches but also through an unrivaled collection of unguarded letters to his close friend Atticus, Cicero comes to life here as a witty and cunning political operator.
"Well written, well read portrait of a statesman"
Listening to The Satires by Juvenal is to come face to face with the corruption, the debauchery, the waste, the sloth, and the mean-spirited greed of ancient Rome...or is it more like modern times? Indeed, these masterpieces of biting social commentary could easily have been written today about any number of metropolitan areas we are all familiar with.
"Well done !"
Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who lived from 551 BC – 479 BC. Although he is usually listed as the author of The Analects ( wise sayings ), it was actually a group of his followers, years after his death, who wrote down his words and descriptions of his daily life. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized morality, "the proprieties" - correctness of social relationships - as well as justice and sincerity. A major goal of his conversations was to get his disciples to think deeply for themselves by relentless study of the world.
"Timeless wisdom, terrible narration"
For thousands of years, Homer's ancient epic poem the Iliad has enchanted readers from around the world. When you join Professor Vandiver for this lecture series on the Iliad, you'll come to understand what has enthralled and gripped so many people.Her compelling 12-lecture look at this literary masterpiece -whether it's the work of many authors or the "vision" of a single blind poet - makes it vividly clear why, after almost 3,000 years, the Iliad remains not only among the greatest adventure stories ever told but also one of the most compelling meditations on the human condition ever written.
"Vandiver never disappoints"
In this edition, we hear, translated into modern English, 20-some tales, told in the voices of knight and merchant, wife and miller, squire and nun, and many more. Some are bawdy, some spiritual, some romantic, some mysterious, some chivalrous. Between the stories, the travelers converse, joke, and argue, revealing much about their individual outlooks upon life as well as what life was like in late 14th-century England.
"Many voices, at times enthralling"
Virgil's Georgics ranks as one of the most precious pastoral poems ever written, and it has served as a model for its type ever since. Georgics means "of or relating to agriculture or rural life" and it comes from the Greek word, "georgicus". Virgil's main theme in this, his second great work after The Eclogues, was the importance of peace both in the spiritual and physical sense.
Lord Byron's satirical take on the legend of Don Juan is a moving and witty poem that sees the young hero in a reversal of roles. Juan sheds his image as a womanizer and instead becomes the victim of circumstance as he is relentlessly pursued by every woman he meets. Comprising 17 cantos of rhyming iambic pentameter, the poem is a crisp and accessible meditation on the madness of the world.
"The Impertinence of Being Earnest"
In all of Roman history there was never a more turbulent year than A.D. 69, the ill-omened "Year of the Three Emperors". By some miracle, the greatest historian of the age, Tacitus, was able to chronicle those momentous events in a work he called The History. In its pages are some of the most memorable events of Roman history described in some of the most intensely passionate prose ever devised.
"Ex Verus Res"
Considered one of China's great classical novels, Wu Ch'êng-ên's Journey to the West was translated by Arthur Waley in abridged form as Monkey in 1942 and has delighted English readers ever since. It is a riveting adventure story about a priest's quest to obtain holy Buddhist scriptures for the Tang emperor; joining him on this rollicking journey: Sandy, Pigsy, and the mischievous monkey king, Sun Wukong, whose flying cloud and magic cudgel are never far from his infamous deeds.
"Chinese Classic, excellent narration"
Humphries has rendered (Ovid's) love poetry with conspicuous success into English which is neither obtrusively colloquial nor awkwardly antique.
©1957 Indiana University Press (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks
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