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Ancient Literature???


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My daughter loves books. She has for a long time, but right now she is going through an ancient literature phase and I am out of ideas.


She has read: The Illiad, The Odyssey, The Aenid, Tales of Sinuhe, and is currently reading Tales of Gilgamesh. I just handed her Canterbury Tales and Beowulf.


She is getting The Ramayana and The Marabharata for Christmas.


Do you have any more ideas for books to get for her? She is reading these in the Penguin Classics versions if that makes a difference for reading level. She can read pretty much anything.


Thank you.

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How about some Germanic sagas, such as The White Stag, Seredy, or Asbjornsen's East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon? Russian: tales about Siegfried; French: Roland?


Anything and EVERYTHING by Rosemary Sutcliff that you can get your hands on! Her stuff is mostly British and runs from ancient through medievel times....


Norse mythology....

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Here are some more ideas... you might want to look them over before handing them to her, but these are classics.


Ovid's Metamorphoses

Confucius: The Analects

The Way of Chaung Tzu

The Way of Lao Tzu

The Book of Five Rings (it's swordsmanship philosophy)

The Tale of Genji (you might want to preview)

The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles

Anything by Plato (Symposium is a lot of fun)

Hazrat Inayat Khan Tales

The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin

Essential Sufism (ed. by Fadiman & Frager)

Tales of the Dervishes

The Essential Rumi (tr. by Barks)

One Thousand and One Nights (the new Penguin 3 volume edition is suppose to be good, as is the Haddawy version; definitely preview)

The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine

Confessions by Augustine of Hippo

Dante's Divine Comedy


The Popol Vuh (ancient Mayan text)



If she reads all that, then she's ready for

The World's Religions by Huston Smith

Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

The Perennial Philosophy by Huxley





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I seem to remember enjoying The Twelve Caesars - there may well be raunchy content though. I studied parts of The Aeneid at school - I don't know how readable it is.


Calvin enjoyed the Sophocles he read last year: Oedipus Tyrannos/Rex, Antigone and Oedipus at Colonnus. He also enjoyed Aristophanes; he read The Clouds, The Birds, The Frogs and Lysistrata (raunchy). He liked Plato's Symposium too.


He loves these cartoon versions of ancient Chinese classics.



Edited by Laura Corin
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