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Ancient, Classical & Medieval

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  • The Homeric Hymnsby Homer; Nicholas Richardson; Jules Cashford

    Penguin Books Ltd 2003; US$ 15.98

    Composed for recitation at festivals, these 33 songs were written in honour of the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greek pantheon. They recount the key episodes in the lives of the gods, and dramatise the moments when they first appear before mortals. Together they offer the most vivid picture we have of the Greek view of the relationship between... more...

  • Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketchesby Lucian; Keith Sidwell

    Penguin Books Ltd 2004; US$ 20.78

    Described by a later Greek historian as "a man seriously committed to raising a laugh", Lucian exulted in the exposure of absurdity and the puncturing of pretension, and was capable of finding a comic angle on almost any subject. In this selection we see him conversing with his literary enemies, railing against hypocrisy and the vanity of human wealth... more...

  • The Bacchae and Other Playsby Euripides

    Penguin Books Ltd 2006; US$ 15.98

    Through their sheer range, daring innovation, flawed but eloquent characters and intriguing plots, the plays of Euripides have shocked and stimulated audiences since the fifth century BC. Phoenician Women portrays the rival sons of King Oedipus and their mother's doomed attempts at reconciliation, while Orestes shows a son ravaged with guilt after... more...

  • Orestes and Other Playsby Euripides; Philip Vellacott

    Penguin Books Ltd 2006; US$ 25.58

    Written during the long battles with Sparta that were to ultimately destroy ancient Athens, these six plays by Euripides brilliantly utilize traditional legends to illustrate the futility of war. The Children of Heracles holds a mirror up to contemporary Athens, while Andromache considers the position of women in Greek wartime society. In The Suppliant... more...

  • The Iliadby Homer; Peter Jones; E V Rieu

    Penguin Books Ltd 2003; US$ 15.98

    One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode in the Trojan War. At its centre is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader Agamemnon. But when the Trojan Hector kills Achilles' close friend Patroclus, he storms... more...

  • Heracles and Other Playsby Euripides

    Penguin Books Ltd 2002; US$ 17.58

    Heracles/ Iphigenia Among the Taurians/ Helen/ Ion/ Cyclops: Of these plays, only 'Heracles' truly belongs in the tragic sphere with its presentation of underserved suffering and divine malignity. The other plays flirt with comedy and comic themes. Their plots are ironic and complex with deception and elusion eventually leading to reconciliation between... more...

  • On the Shortness of Lifeby Seneca

    Penguin Books Ltd 2004; US$ 7.98

    Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals... more...

  • Frogs and Other Playsby Aristophanes; Shomit Dutta

    Penguin Books Ltd 2007; US$ 15.98

    The master of ancient Greek comic drama, Aristophanes combined slapstick, humour and cheerful vulgarity with acute political observations. In The Frogs , written during the Peloponnesian War, Dionysus descends to the Underworld to bring back a poet who can help Athens in its darkest hour, and stages a great debate to help him decide between the traditional... more...

  • The Comediesby Terence; Betty Radice; Betty Radice

    Penguin Books Ltd 2004; US$ 23.98

    The Roman dramatist Terence (c. 186-159 BC) adapted many of his comedies from Greek sources, rendering them suitable for audiences of his own time by introducing subtler characterization and more complex plots. In his romantic play, The Girl from Andros, Terence portrays a love affair saved by a startling discovery. The Self-Tormentor focusses on a... more...

  • Electra and Other Playsby Sophocles; Pat Easterling; David Raeburn

    Penguin Books Ltd 2008; US$ 14.38

    Sophocles? innovative plays transformed Greek myths into dramas featuring complex human characters, through which he explored profound moral issues. Electra portrays the grief of a young woman for her father Agamemnon, who has been killed by her mother?s lover. Aeschylus and Euripides also dramatized this story, but the objectivity and humanity of... more...