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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What ancient classic literature do you love?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30619points) August 18th, 2010

All readers have favorite pieces of literature, and most have favorites that can be considered classics. But what about ancient classics? What literature from the ancient world do you like? It can be anywhere from the ancient Sumerians or from ancient India or Egypt to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

I have read a lot of ancient literature and would be hard pressed to name a single one…but I can narrow it down to two: The Iliad by Homer and The Republic by Plato.

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17 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Metamorphoses by Ovid. Hands down. And Dante’s Inferno.

Winters's avatar

Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

muppetish's avatar

Simone de Beauvoir beat me to it – Ovid is by far my favourite.

They aren’t “ancient”, but I’ll represent Norse mythos and recommend Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda and the Oxford World Classics Poetic Edda. They’re both fantastic and the stories are funnier than I thought they would be (always a positive in my book!)

DominicX's avatar

I am a fan of the poetry of Catullus. In fact, I had Catullus 61 on my mind for a while today (it was set to music by Carl Orff).

gypsywench's avatar

The Odyssey by Homer
The Book of Enoch

gypsywench's avatar

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Mamradpivo's avatar

Metamorphoses by Ovid.
I enjoyed Seutonius’ The Twelve Caeasars, thought it was pretty. I understand I’m in a minority on this point.
I’ve been working my way, off and on, through Livy’s Histories for a few months. I don’t think I’m going to make it through.

tinyfaery's avatar

Medea
The Epic of Gilgamesh

Mamradpivo's avatar

Make that ‘pretty fun.’
I’m sure the original Latin was beautiful, but I read it in translation.

lapilofu's avatar

I love the few fragments we have of Sappho’s poetry, if those count.

Aeschylus’s The Oresteia also has a special place in my heart.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@lapilofu : Oh my god, yes, Sappho counts. I wanted to include her in what I liked, but I thought I should narrow it down to just two. Otherwise, I could go on and on, like naming Sophocles’ Theban trilogy and some Aristotle and the Egyptian Book of the Dead and…

zophu's avatar

I loved Beowulf when I was a little kid for some reason. I don’t know if I understood it or just liked the key words of violence. But I remember loving it. Haven’t really liked any old stuff I’ve read other than that, but I haven’t read that much of it either.

brotherhume's avatar

I love those old books filled with ancient Chinese and Japanese woodblock prints and scroll paintings. Art of War and the Bible are also good ancient-y reads.

Cruiser's avatar

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is a timeless classic tale of friends and pets.

downtide's avatar

The Mabinogion, if it counts as “classical”. The only other ancient thing I’ve tried to read is the Iliad, but I never managed to get more than a few paragraphs in.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Iliad by Homer, and Beowulf.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I forgot to add The Epic of Gilgamesh, which I found to be inspiring, courageous, and strangely relevant considering its immense age.

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