Reading Classics, Chronologically Through the Ages discussion

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message 1: by Kendra (new)

Kendra (kendrary) | 146 comments Mod
Looking forward to 2019, I have created a tentative reading schedule for the year. I'm continuing the standard of one book per month, with a little variation for especially small and large books. I'd love feedback - changes are absolutely welcome!

January - The City of God by Augustine (426 AD, History)
February - The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede (731 AD, History)
March - Beowulf (1000 AD, Poetry)
April - Inferno by Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321 AD, Poetry)
May - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1350 AD, Poetry)
June - The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 - 1400 AD, Poetry)
July - The Book of Margery Kempe by Margery Kempe (1430 AD, Autobiography)
August - Everyman (1495 AD, Plays)
September - The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (1513 AD, History)
October - Utopia by Sir Thomas More (1516 AD, Histroy)
November - Commentariolus by Nicolaus Copernicus (1543 AD, Science)
December - Sonnets by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616 AD, Poetry)

Let me know what you think!

message 2: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 248 comments Mod
Aaaahhhh! That look's great! I've read a few of these but there are many that are high up on my list. Great choices, Kendra!

message 3: by Irene (new)

Irene | 5 comments Great list! I will try to join you in March for Beowulf, which was already in my list for next year, and perhaps also in May for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which I already read a few years ago and could be a nice reread. And hopefully, sometime soon I'll read everything else in the list.

message 4: by Sorento62 (new)

Sorento62 | 61 comments Mod
I'm still working my way through some older books, but I had started Canterbury Tales a while back, reading aloud the Middle English in a version that has Middle English and Modern English side by side. I haven't got very far (only to the Knight's Tale, I think), but I'll work on it some more and join the discussion in June.

message 5: by Elizabeth (last edited Jan 10, 2019 05:15AM) (new)

Elizabeth (ejvc) | 33 comments Thanks so much for this list! I've read Beowulf (new english translation by Seamus Heaney rocks); the Inferno; Sir Gawain & The Green Knight; the Canterbury Tales; Everyman; The Prince; and the Sonnets! Which leaves me with those to re-read plus City of God (no luck yet finding a free copy, will continue the search); Bede (though I think I've read excerpts); Margery Kempe; Utopia and Copernicus. To these I think I will add women authors from the period which I have not yet read or not read in a while (from my list I posted on another topic in this Book List area):
- The Tale of Genji(Murasaki Shikibu, Japanese, ca 1000) - a novel, perhaps the first!
- The Alexiad(Anna Comnena, Byzantine Greek, ca 1148) - history
- Scivias (Hildegarde of Bingen, German writing in Latin, cal 1151-1152) - philosophy? theology? prophecy?
- The Confessions of Lady Nijō (Lady Nijo, Japanese), ca 1304-1307, autobiography
- The Book of the City of Ladies (Christine de Pizan, Italian-French ca 1405) - political theory
- The Heptameron (Marguerite de Navarre, French, ca 1558) - short stories in the style of the Decameron by Boccaccio, which is also worth reading
- The Life of St Teresa of Jesus (Teresa of Avila, Spanish, ca 1567) - autobiography

message 6: by Sandy (new)

Sandy  | 125 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Thanks so much for this list! I've read Beowulf (new english translation by Seamus Heaney rocks); the Inferno; Sir Gawain & The Green Knight; the Canterbury Tales; Everyman; The Prince; and the Son..."

If you don’t mind reading online, there are multiple copies of City of God at Internet Archive. Since it is public domain, you might be able to do download it. I’ve never used that feature.

Open Library has a copy which you can “borrow”, but it was published in 1958 and also must be read online.

message 7: by Gini (new)

Gini | 11 comments Elizabeth,
What about the Gutenburg Project for the City of God?

message 8: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (ejvc) | 33 comments Yes -- found both volumes and why couldn't I find them before? Baffling. Thank you for the suggestions, folks.

message 9: by Howard (new)

Howard Pavane (howard_pavane) | 7 comments Thanks for this list. I’ve read a couple of these books, but that leaves many more to go. I’m new to this group. Do members read the books for 2019 month by month as shown? Are there discussions by members?

I will go back to learn how this group works.

message 10: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 248 comments Mod
That's how it's supposed to work, Howard. Right now there is a City of God discussion going. Welcome to the group and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on some of these reads!

message 11: by Howard (new)

Howard Pavane (howard_pavane) | 7 comments Hi. I am looking for another classic, something similar to three books I read (see below). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

1. Beowulf
2. The Iliad
3. The Odyssey

Thanks for your help.

message 12: by Cleo (last edited Feb 10, 2019 10:49PM) (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 248 comments Mod
I would suggest Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

The Aeneid is a good one to read after The Iliad and The Odyssey. Ovid's Metamorphoses also has some of the hero's from those books.

And if you wanted more Greek, you could look at the playwrights. Aeschylus' The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides or Sophocles The Theban Plays. The former ties into The Iliad.

I'd love to hear what you choose!

message 13: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Elizabeth wrote: "Thanks so much for this list! I've read Beowulf (new english translation by Seamus Heaney rocks); the Inferno; Sir Gawain & The Green Knight; the Canterbury Tales; Everyman; The Prince; and the Son..."

I picked up Scivias and have just returned it to my library. I didn't read it all but what I did read I found merit in. A very interesting woman who was enlightened.

message 14: by Howard (new)

Howard Pavane (howard_pavane) | 7 comments Great list for 2019. I recently joined this group, I’ve always wanted to go back to ancient classics, the ones that I wasn’t keen on during school, many years ago. I see you have the version of Beowulf for March. I read it a while ago and found it fascinating. Rather than reread Beowulf, I decided to read Gilgamesh instead.

message 15: by Howard (new)

Howard Pavane (howard_pavane) | 7 comments Kendra thanks for the recommendations and for dividing it into two categories, which will come in very handy. I am going to pick books from the reply to my post. My next book is Gilgamesh, which I already purchased.

message 16: by Tracey (last edited Feb 18, 2019 11:47PM) (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) I came across these 2 websites which I thought would be of interest to the group as they study this year's books.
The first is the British Library, Medieval documents:

A two-year project, drawing on the collections of the British Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, has made 800 manuscripts from the period 700 – 1200 available online for the first time.

Anthology of English Literature

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