Ancient Greece’s legacy can be seen all around us, including in our political system — but many of us don’t know that much about it. Fortunately, we have someone who has devoted his life to studying this remote time and place to give us a reading list. Chris Pelling, Emeritus Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford, recommends his top five books on Ancient Greece.
Greek Thought, Arabic Culture
by Dimitri Gutas
Great Medieval Thinkers: Avicenna
by Jon McGinnis
Avicenna's 'De Anima' in the Latin West
by Dag Nikolaus Hasse
Maimonides in His World: Portrait of a Mediterranean Thinker
by Sarah Stroumsa
The Teleological Ethics of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī
by Ayman Shihadeh
Arabic philosophy was hugely influential during the Islamic Golden Age; at one point, the Persian polymath Avicenna’s influence outstripped that of Aristotle. But a strong tradition has continued in the centuries since, explains Professor Peter Adamson, as he selects five of the best books on the subject.
The Social And Economic History Of Roman Empire
by Michael Rostovtzeff
A History of Education in Antiquity
by Henri-Irénée Marrou
Philosophy as a Way of Life
by Pierre Hadot
Mosaics as History: The Near East from Late Antiquity to Islam
by GW Bowersock
Pauvreté économique et pauvreté sociale à Byzance
by Evelyne Patlagean
Greek myths are not all classical tales of heroes and tempestuous gods. Here, the novelist Christos Chomenidis chooses five books that get to the heart of what it really means to hail from Greece, and why it’s hard to live in the wake of the Ancients.
The classical Greek philosopher is credited with laying the foundation of Western philosophy – without ever having written a word. Here, the eminent scholar M M McCabe enters into dialogue with Five Books to recommend the best texts through which we might understand Socrates, and engage with the eternal question: How best to live?
Cultural and philosophical changes that occurred in late antiquity are essential to our understanding of the world today, but few us know much about that period. Historian Robin Lane Fox recommends the best books to read to get a good sense of late antiquity.
The human condition has not changed down the millennia, so it’s no surprise that ancient philosophy has much to teach us about how to live our lives, argues Jules Evans. He picks the best books about ancient philosophy in modern life.
The award-winning writer selects five books on India and says that the Mahabharata, eight times the length of the Bible, is one of the great works of literature of mankind – and every bit as good as it’s made out to be