It is commonplace to say that our civilization is built on the ruins of Greece. W. H. Auden’s splendid anthology locates the truth behind the truism, while filling in the gaps in our knowledge of a people who gave us so much of our cultural legacy.
Every page in The Portable Greek Reader contains some fundamental precursor of the ways in which we think about heroism, destiny, love, politics, tragedy, science, virtue, and thought itself, Included are excerpts from the mythologies of Hesiod; the martial epics of Homer; the dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle, and Heraclitus; Aesop’s fables; poems by Pindar and Sappho; the scientific writings of Euclid, Galen, and Hippocrates; and the history of Thucydides. Presented in their most elegant and authoritative translations, and accompanied by Auden’s brilliant introduction, these selections recreate the Greek world in all its splendor, strangeness, and sophistication.
“Engaging and full and intelligent a command performance, brought off with considerable aplomb.”
—The New York Times