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Michigan State University

Classical Studies: Classical Literature Collections


Collected or individual works available on the web.

Classical Writer's Directory

About.Com's Classical Writer's Directory : A quick look at how the genres of Greek and Latin literature evolved and many of the major contributors to the genres -- at least those whose works survive.  After a quick review of the genres you'll find an alphabetical list of the Greek and then the Roman writers.

Print Guides

The Cambridge History of Classical Literature, Volume 1 : Greek Literature.  P. E. Easterling and B. M. W. Knox.  Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1985.  936pp.   PA3052 .G73 1985 (also available online) This series provides individual textbooks on early Greek poetry, on Greek drama, on philosophy, history and oratory, and on the literature of the Hellenistic period and of the Empire. A chapter on books and readers in the Greek world concludes Part 4. Each part has its own appendix of authors and works, a list of works cited, and an index.

The Cambridge History of Classical Literature, Volume 2 : Latin Literature.  E. J. Kenney and W. V. Clausen.  Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1983, c1982.  5 volumes.   PA6003 .L33 1983  (also available online) Volume 2 focuses on the literature of Classical Rome.

The Oxford anthology of Roman literature / edited by Peter E. Knox and J.C. McKeown.  Oxford : Oxford University Press, [2013]  633pp.  PA6163 .O95 2013 : Though the wonders of ancient Roman culture continue to attract interest across the disciplines, it is difficult to find a lively, accessible collection of the full range of the era's literature in English. The Oxford Anthology of Literature in the Roman World provides a general introductionto the literature of the Roman empire at its zenith, between the second century BC and the second century AD. Two features of this extraordinarily fertile period in literary achievement as evidenced by this anthology are immediately and repeatedly clear: how similar the Romans' view of the world wasto our own and, perhaps even more obviously, how different it was. Most of the authors included in the anthology wrote in Latin, but as the anthology moves forward in time, relevant Greek texts that reflect the cultural diversity of Roman literary life are also included, something no other suchanthology has done in the past. Roman literature was wonderfully creative and diverse, and the texts in this volume were chosen from a broad range of genres: drama, epic, philosophy, satire, lyric poetry, love poetry. By its very nature an anthology can abbreviate and thus obscure the most attractive features of even amasterpiece, so the two editors have not only selected texts that capture the essence of the respective authors, but also have included accompanying introductions and afterwords that will guide the reader in pursuing further reading. The presentations of the selections are enlivened withillustrations that locate the works within the contexts of the world in which they were written and enjoyed. The student and general reader will come away from this learned yet entertaining anthology with a fuller appreciation of the place occupied by literature in the Roman world.

The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.  2nd edition, 615pp.  Main Library DE5 .H3 1989  : From Achilles's heel to the sword of Damocles, Western culture teems with allusions from the rich heritage of classical literature, and this new edition of The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, the first updating since Sir Paul Harvey's original edition of 1937, provides the key to these works and the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations that produced them. Substantially revising the first edition, this volume condenses the findings of the most recent scholarship into highly readable prose and supplies a wealth of background information not found in Harvey's Companion. Indispensable to those studying classical literature in depth, the book will be equally accessible to the non-specialist. All Greek is transliterated, with translations given for all quotations from Greek and Latin....The main focus of the Companion remains the lives and works of the principal authors. Biographical entries offer the essential facts and sift the conjectural evidence, while entries on the major works include discussions of the philosophical dialogues and political speeches and plot summaries of the epic poems and plays. The various literary forms--epic, comedy, tragedy, rhetorical writing--are covered in depth, supplemented by articles on the origins of the Greek and Latin alphabets and languages....The Companion also puts this literature into its societal and historical contexts, including many articles on political, social, and artistic achievements. We learn, for example, about the political climate that produced the great speeches of Demosthenes and Cicero. Orators, statesmen, and generals stalk the pages, and major battles and conquests from the time of Alexander to the fall of Rome are summarized. Articles on contemporary social mores and religious beliefs help explain literary references, while the glories of philosophy, science, and art are celebrated from Cynics to Stoics, astronomy to water-clocks, and flute competitions to vase painting....Helpful maps supplement geographical entries, a chronological table provides an overview of the main historical and literary events, and a systematic set of cross-references links the entries. The breadth and accuracy of this volume will surely make it the standard reference book of its kind for years to come.

The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature / edited by M.C. Howatson.  Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.  3rd edition, 632pp.   PA31 .H69 2011 : The third edition of The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature is the complete and authoritative reference guide to the classical world and its literary heritage. It not only presents the reader with all the essential facts about the authors, tales, and characters from ancient myth and literature, but it also places these details in the wider contexts of the history and society of the Greek and Roman worlds. With an extensive web of cross-references and a useful chronological table andlocation maps (all of which have been brought fully up to date), this volume traces the development of literary forms and the classical allusions which have become embedded in our Western culture. Extensively revised and updated since the second edition was published in 1989, the Companion acknowledges changes in the focus of scholarship over the last twenty years, through the incorporation of a far larger number of thematic entries such as medicine, friendship, science, freedom (concept of), and sexuality. These topical entries provide an excellent starting point to the exploration of their subjects in classical literature; after all, for many aspects of classical society the literature we have inherited is the primary (and sometimes the only) source material. Additions and changes have been made taking into account the advice of teachers and lecturers in Classics, ensuring that current educational needs are catered for. In addition to newly covered topics, the Companion still plays to its traditional strengths, with extensive biographies of classical literary figures from Aeschylus to Zeno; entries on a multitude of literary styles from biography and rhetoric to lyric poetry and epic, encompassing everything in between; and character entries and plot summaries for the major figures and myths in the classical canon. It is the ideal guide for students in Classics, and for all who are passionate about the vast and varied literary tradition bequeathed to us from the classical world.

Also see Brill, Cambridge Companions, and Wiley entries listed under Reference Works tab.

Loeb Classical Library

Loeb Classical Library provided by Harvard University (subscription resource).
More than 520 volumes of Latin, Greek, and English texts are available digitally, allowing readers to browse, search, bookmark, annotate, and share content.  Individual titles will be listed in the catalog beginning in May 2016.

Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG)

Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG).   Note: First time users must create a personal login. : Founded in 1972 the TLG represents the first effort in the Humanities to produce a large digital corpus of literary texts. Since its inception the project has collected and digitized most texts written in Greek from Homer (8 c. B.C.) to the fall of Byzantium in AD 1453 and beyond. Its goal is to create a comprehensive digital library of Greek literature from antiquity to the present era. TLG research activities combine the traditional methodologies of philological and literary study with the most advanced features of information technology.

Collective Works (Freely available resources)

15 Ancient Greek Heroes from Plutarch's Lives : A modern English edition, abridged and annotated by Wilmot H. McCutchen, including:
(1) Theseus : The Athenian Adventurer (c. 1300 B.C.)
(2) Lycurgus : The Father of Sparta (c. 800 B.C.)
(3) Solon : The Lawmaker of Athens (c. 600 B.C.)
(4) Aristides : "The Just" (530 - 468 B.C.)
(5) Pericles :"The Olympian" (495 - 429 B.C.)
(6) Nicias : The Slave of Fear (died 413 B.C.)
(7) Agesilaus : The Lame King of Sparta (444 - 360 B.C.)
(8) Pelopidas : The Freedom Fighter (410 - 364 B.C.)
(9) Dion : The Savior of Syracuse (409 - 354 B.C.)
(10) Timoleon : The Friend of Fortune (411 - 336 B.C.)
(11) Alexander :"The Great" (356 - 323 B.C.)
(12) Phocion :"The Good" (402 - 318 B.C.)
(13) Pyrrhus : The Fool of Hope (319 - 272 B.C.)
(14) Agis : The Reformer of Sparta (reigned 245 - 241 B.C.)
(15) Philopoemen : "The Last of the Greeks" (252 - 182 B.C.)
(Postscript) : Plutarch (c. 40 - 120 A.D.)

APIS: Advanced Papyrological Information System : APIS is a collections-based repository hosting information about and images of papyrological materials (e.g. papyri, ostraca, wood tablets, etc) located in collections around the world. It contains physical descriptions and bibliographic information about the papyri and other written materials, as well as digital images and English translations of many of these texts. When possible, links are also provided to the original language texts (e.g. through the Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri). The user can move back and forth among text, translation, bibliography, description, and image. With the specially-developed APIS Search System many different types of complex searches can be carried out.

Armarium Labyrinthi : Labyrith Latin Bookcase : A collection of Latin texts, both Ancient and Medieval courtesy of the Georgetown University.

Bulfinch's Mythology : The full text of one of the most well-known compendiums of fable and legend, with generous links to additional information, illustrations, and related texts and Web sites. In three volumes: The Age of Fable or Studies of Gods and Heroes, the Legends of Chivalry, and the Legends of Charlemagne. By Thomas Bulfinch.

The Chicago Homer: The Chicago Homer is a multilingual database that uses the search and display capabilities of electronic texts to make the distinctive features of Early Greek epic accessible to readers with and without Greek. Except for fragments, it contains all the texts of these poems in the original Greek. In addition, the Chicago Homer includes English and German translations, in particular Lattimore's Iliad, James Huddleston's Odyssey, Daryl Hine's translations of Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns, and the German translations of the Iliad and Odyssey by Johan Heinrich Voss. Through the associated web site Eumaios users of the Chicago Homer can also from each line of the poem access pertinent Iliad Scholia and papyrus readings.

Classical Latin Texts (Packard Humanities Institute) : A collection of digital texts of major Latin authors searchable by Author, Word, or Concordance display.

Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum : A Digital Library of Latin Literature : The CSL is a collaborative project among scholars from a variety of disciplines with the main purpose of creating a digital library of Latin literature, spanning from the earliest epigraphic remains to the Neo-Latinists of the eighteenth century. Toward this end, we maintain an up-to-date catalogue of all Latin texts that are currently available online, making CSL a single, centralized resource for locating Latin literature on the internet. Maintained by David Camden as part of the larger Forum Romanum resource. 

Exploring Ancient World Cultures : An introduction to ancient world cultures on the web. Readings from ancient Greece include:
(1) Aristophanes' Lysistrata
(2) Plato's Euthyphro
(3) Plato's Apology
(4) Plato's Crito
(5) Selections from Aristotle's Politics
(6) Plato and His Dialogues
(7) Greek Mythology Quiz

Greek and Roman Authors on LacusCurtius : Courtesy of the University of Chicago.

Index Translationum : Contains cumulative bibliographical information on works translated and published in about a hundred of UNESCO's Member States since 1979 and totalling some 1,300,000 citations in all disciplines: literature, social and human sciences, natural and exact sciences, art, and history, some of which pertain to classical studies. It is planned to update this every quarter.

Internet Ancient History Sourcebook : Includes categories such as : Greece, Hellenistic World, Rome, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Israel, Late Antiquity, christian Origins, and even a list of Ancient History in the Movies. Courtesy of Paul Halsall, Fordham University.

Internet Classics Archive : Select from a list of 441 works of classical literature by 59 different authors, including user-driven commentary and "reader's choice" Web sites. Mainly Greco-Roman works (some Chinese and Persian), all in English translation. Maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

LacusCurtius: Into the Roman World ; A major site on Roman antiquity, including a photogazetteer of Roman and Etruscan cities and monuments (with a very large site on the city of Rome of course); a site for teaching yourself to read Latin inscriptions; the complete Latin texts of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, Quintus Curtius' Histories of Alexander the Great, the Saturnalia of Macrobius, and Censorinus' de Die Natali; Suetonius, Velleius Paterculus, the Historia Augusta, Claudian, Frontinus, Vitruvius, Celsus, and Cato's de Re Rustica in both Latin and English; complete English translations of Polybius, Cassius Dio, Dio Chrysostom, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Appian's Civil Wars and Quintilian; Rodolfo Lanciani's book Pagan and Christian Rome, Christian Hülsen's book on the Roman Forum, Bury's 2-vol. History of the Later Roman Empire, Bevan's House of Ptolemy, 4 books on Roman Britain, George Dennis's Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria; Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (nearly complete) and most of Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities; a fair amount of Plutarch and Ptolemy's Geography; some maps of the Roman Empire, and lots more. Courtesy of the University of Chicago.

The Latin Library : A collection of Classical and Neo-Latin texts from ad Fontes Academy.

Library of Ancient Texts Online (LATO) : Aims to be the internet's most thorough catalogue of online copies of ancient Greek texts, both in Greek and in translation. This is a site for all with an interest in the Classics. Very many texts from Ancient Greece are available on the world-wide web, at a variety of sites, in a variety of formats, and in a variety of languages. Some of the richest sites are massive endeavours such as The Perseus Project at Tufts University, or Project Gutenberg. Some visitors will already be familiar with these sites and others. (For links to some other sites, see the Abbreviations page.) However, even these sites lack many texts: some sites contain some comparatively obscure texts, others contain others. LATO helps to repair this situation by gathering a comprehensive set of links to those texts that are available free of charge. No texts are actually hosted on this site.  Links in LATO are organised by author, or, where authorship is uncertain, by the titles of texts. The aim is to make online copies of ancient Greek texts easily accessible to both scholars and to those with a general interest in ancient literature, to ancient historians and archaeologists, teachers and students.

The Online Medieval and Classical Library : Although primarily a collection of medieval texts, it also contains:
(1) Argonautica, by Apollonius Rhodius (Translation: R.C. Seaton)
(2) The Fall of Troy, by Quintus Smyrnaeus (Translation: A.S. Way)
(3) Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica, by Hesiod, Homer, et al (Translation: H.G. Eveyln-White)
(4) Pharsalia (aka "The Civil War"), by Lucan (Translation: Sir Edward Ridley)

Peitho's Web : Classic Rhetoric and Persuasion : Includes:
(1) Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet
(2) The Divine Sappho
(3) Thucydides, featuring the Jowett Translation
(4) Aristotle on His Predecessors
(5) Lives & Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
(6) Lives of the Ten Orators
(7) Heraclitus of Ephesus
(8) Longinus On the Sublime
(9) Empedocles of Agrigentum
(10) Alcidamas, with his Against the Sophists
(11) Isocrates
(12) Demetrius on Style
(13) Horace, the Art of Poetry
(14) Cicero

Perseus Digital Library : "A continually growing digital library of resources for studying the ancient world. The library's materials include ancient texts and translations, philological tools, maps, online exhibits, extensively illustrated art catalogs, and secondary essays on topics like vase painting. A collaborative team from a number of academic institutions has worked together to amass Perseus materials. Over 70 museums have shared pictures of their art objects." Some of the popular texts available include:
(1) Caesar, Gallic War (English, Latin)
(2) Catullus, Carmina (English, Latin)
(3) Cicero, In Catilinam I (English, Latin)
(4) Vergil, Aeneid (English, Latin)
(5) Herodotus, Histories (English, Greek)
(6) Homer, Odyssey (English, Greek)
(7) Plato, Republic (English, Greek)
(8) Tom Martin, Overview of Classical Greek History from Mycenae to Alexander (English) 

Petronian Society Ancient Novel Page : Includes summaries of ancient novels, including:
(1) Chaireas and Callirhoe
(2) Ethiopian Story
(3) The Ephesian Romance
(4) Daphnis and Chloe
(5) Leukippe and Kleitophon
(6) Apollonius King of Tyre

Princeton University Classical Language Instruction Project : Provides audio passages from classical authors such as Homer, Plato, Pindar, Virgil, Tacitus, Horace, Ovid, Seneca, and Propertius, plus accompaning printed text and translation.

Theoi E-Text Library : A collection of works from ancient Greek and Roman literature in translation. The theme of the library is classical mythology and so the selection presented consists primarily of ancient poetry (epic, lyric, bucolic, et. al.), drama and prose renditions of myth.

Individual Works

Apollonius of Tyana : The charismatic teacher and miracle worker Apollonius lived in the first century AD. He was born in Tyana and may have belonged to a branch of ancient philosophy called neo-Pythagoreanism. He received divine honors in the third century. Although the Athenian sophist (professional orator) Philostratus wrote a lengthy Life of Apollonius, hardly anything about the sage is certain. However, there are several bits and pieces of information that may help us reconstruct something of the life of this man, who was and is frequently compared to the Jewish sage and miracle worker Jesus of Nazareth.

The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus {220 AD} : Selected articles from the English translation of F.C. Conybeare, the Loeb Classical Library, Edition 1912

Apuleius Web Page : A compilation by Benjamin Slade.

Longus : Daphnis and Chloe : Kelly Blanchfield, Jamie Jones, and Carrie Lefler, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. 

Bibliography Of Works Relevant to the Ancient Novel : With annotations by student readers

Love and Desire in the Ancient Novel : In almost all the novels written in antiquity, love plays a role in some aspect. In the novels journeys come and go, but the love between the hero and heroine that surrounds all the voyages and challenges is forever there to stay. Michael Scott, University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Subject Guide

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Young Woman of Pompeii Holding Stylus

Roman mosaic from the tablinum Casa del Poeta tragico (VI 8, 3-5) in Pompeii. Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Naples).

A poet giving directions from a theatrical scene.

Musicians on the Street Mosaic from Pompeii

Musician with tympanon. Detail of a roman mosaic of a street scene with musicians from the Villa del Cicerone in Pompeii. Ther mosaic is signed by Dioskurides of Samos. Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Naples).

Digitizing Classics Program

"Rome Wasn't Digitized in a Day": Building a Cyberinfrastructure for Digital Classicists : The author provides a summative and recent overview of the use of digital technologies in classical studies, focusing on classical Greece, Rome, and the ancient Middle and Near East, and generally on the period up to about 600 AD. The report explores what projects exist and how they are used, examines the infrastructure that currently exists to support digital classics as a discipline, and investigates larger humanities cyberinfrastructure projects and existing tools or services that might be repurposed for the digital classics.  Council on Library and Information Resources.

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