Reading the classics and their great interpreters may always lead you to new discoveries; it may guide you through new meditations on the controversial but fascinating aspects of life and their meanings. Here I would like to gather and post some simple commented suggestions about books to be read. I totally rely on your personal taste, interest and inspiration that will assist your selection and I am positive whichever title you will suggest, it will be a wonderful experience to share it with our reader.
E.R. Dodds – The Greeks and the Irrational – A classic. E. R. Dodds takes on the traditional view of Greek culture as a triumph of rationalism using the analytical tools of modern anthropology and psychology.
Werner Jaeger – Paideia A classic 3 volumes comprehensive analysis of the Ancient Greek world. I vol. Archaic Greece: The mind of Athens. II vol. In search of the Divine Centre. III vol. The conflict of cultural ideals in the age of Plato.
Cecil Maurice Bowra – The Greek experience A magnificent evocation of the Greeks from Homer to the fall of Athens in 404 BC. With a kind of brilliant imaginative sympathy and knowledge, he evokes the life, the thought, the ideals, the philosophy, the virtues and the faults of these extraordinary people
Bruno Snell – The discovery of the mind – European thinking begins with the Greeks. They have made what it is: our only way of thinking; its authority, in the Western world, is undisputed. When we concern ourselves with the sciences and philosophy, we use this thought quite independently of its historical ties, to focus upon that which’s constant and unconditioned: upon truth; and with itself we hope to grasp the unchanging principles of this life.
Jean-Pierre Vernant – Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece Vernant underlines the ‘otherness’ of the hero, his belonging to an absent world that no longer exists, and the blurring and shifting of the boundaries between illusion and reality that result for the audience…
Jean-Pierre Vernant – Myth and Thought among the Greeks A collection of essays whose themes are seemingly disparate… Myth and Thought among the Greeks owes its unity to Vernant’s innovative methodology…. This book remains today a passionate and profound inquiry of the Greeks, both distant from and near to us in the evolution of their structures and mental activities
Jean-Pierre Vernant – The Origins of Greek Thought– A classic, this work attempts to find the origins of Greek thought through the reconstuction of mythology and religion
Jean-Pierre Vernant – The Greeks The Greeks offers the most complete portraits available of typical Greek personages from Athens to Sparta, Arcadia, Thessaly and Epirus to the city-states of Asia Minor, to the colonies of the Black Sea, southern Italy, and Sicily.
Jean-Pierre Vernant – The Universe, the Gods and mortals Jean-Pierre Vernant delineates a compelling new vision of ancient Greece that reveals a culture of slavery, of blood sacrifice, of perpetual and ritualized warfare, of ceremonial hunting and ecstasies
Jean-Pierre Vernant – Myth and Society in Ancient Greece This scholarly collection of studies follows Vernant’s Myth and Thought and Myth and Tragedy, offering further insights into Greek social structure, concepts of slave production and economic growth, and the efforts of myths to define and shape social choices.
Jean-Pierre Vernant et alt. – Ancestors of the West With Ancestor of the West, three distinguished French historians reveal the story of the birth of writing and reason, demonstrating how the logical religious structures of Near Eastern and Mesopotamian cultures served as precursors to those of the West.