What are the best books about ancient Greek history and literature?

asked by Anonymous
270 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 28

    #1The Greek Way

    The Greek Way

    The Greek Way is a book by Edith Hamilton detailing the lives of ancient Greeks, particularly of Athenians in 500 B.C., a time when they produced excellent art and literature that still captivate people after two thousand years.


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    Shreyas Jhadav
    Written on March 9, 2018
    "This is maybe the best book I ever read on Greek myths. Very well written and just interesting to read, even if you don't have any particular interest in the subject. The writer just makes all these stories and the stories about the stories very intriguing."
  2. 26

    #2Poetics

    Poetics

    Poetics is a book written by Aristotle examining the Greek theater of his time, particularly the tragedies written by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. It is translated by Joe Sachs and printed by Penguin Classics.

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    Divya Patil
    Written on March 14, 2018
    "This option provides you with the story of one famous Greek Poet. Aristotle. It is a proven story that has been around cor centuries and this would be a good jumpstart book for diving into Greek history and literature."
  3. 25

    #3The Iliad and the Odyssey

    The Iliad and the Odyssey

    The Iliad and the Odyssey are poems written by ancient historian Homer about notable moments in Greek history. The Iliad is about Achilles and the Trojan War, while the Odyssey is a tale involving the gods. Shandonpress printed this book.

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    Christina Davidson
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "This tells of tale of old. Strength and loyalty at its finest. Along with betrayal and murder. Boom. This story!"
  1. 24

    #4The Peloponnesian War

    The Peloponnesian War

    The Peloponnesian War is a book by Donald Kagan narrating one of the darkest moments in Greek history when Greek cities fought against each other, particularly the two biggest cities: Athens and Sparta.

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    Mary Dixon
    Written on March 6, 2018
    "This book is a great history of the Peloponnesian War and incredibly interesting. The scenes are vividly described."
  2. 22

    #5On Sparta

    On Sparta

    On Sparta is a book by Plutarch depicting the lives of ancient Spartans, from their rigorous military regimen for boys to their killing of unhealthy babies by letting them die of hunger. This version is translated by Richard Talbert.

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    Ashley Contreras
    Written on March 9, 2018
    "If you want to know about the real Spartans then you need to read this book. It is crazy how they lived and died. Their society was destined to crumble."
  3. 21

    #6Lysistrata

    Lysistrata

    Lysistrata is an ancient comedy play written by Aristophanes and translated by Sarah Ruden. The story revolves around one woman who forced other Greek women to withhold sex from their husbands in an effort to stop the Peloponnesian war.

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    Lisa Huang
    Written on March 15, 2018
    "This rollicking new translation of Aristophanes' comic masterpiece is rendered in blank verse for dialogue and in lyric meters and free verse for the songs. Appended commentary essays--on Athenian democracy, ancient Greek warfare, Athenian women, and Greek Comedy--offer lively and informative discussions not only of Aristophanes, but of the broader fifth-century social, political, and cultural context as well."
  4. 19

    #7Electra

    Electra
    Electra is a story written by Sophocles detailing how Electra and her brother Orestes took vengeance against their mother Clytemnestra and step-father Aegisthus for murdering their real father Agamemnon after the Trojan War. 
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    Carol Barnett
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "Electra by Sophocles is a great classic from ancient Greece. It draws you in with the story about Electra and Orestes after the Trojan War. "
  5. 18

    #8Homeric Hymns

    Homeric Hymns
    Homeric Hymns is a book containing 33 poems written by the ancient historian Homer and translated by Jules Cashford. These songs are written for festivals of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.
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    Ruth Reynolds
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "If you want a book that describes the Greek view of the relationship between gods and humans, this is the book for you. Written in poems/songs, they tell about important events in the lives of the gods. "
  6. 15

    #9The Greek Myths

    The Greek Myths
    The Greek Myths: Complete Edition is a historical folklore book curated by Robert Graves on the classic ancient mythologies of ancient Greece. Published in 1992 by Penguin Books.
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    Tammy Montgomery
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I love reading all about greek gods and heroes. This book pretty much has all the major tellings and it's definitely one of my favorites from the genre!"
  7. 13

    #10Medea

    Medea
    Medea is a classic tragedy play written by the Greek playwright Euripides and translated by Rex Warner. With over 40 pages, this book is first published in -431 and published in 1993 by Dover Publications.
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    Cheng Gu
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "Medea is a true classic. If you love ancient Greek history and literature, this book is for you. This version is a good translation, and is easy to follow. So many years later, it is still moving and speaks to the human experience. A great choice for inquisitive readers of all ages. "
  8. 12

    #11Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

    Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone
    Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone is a History, Criticism, Literature , Fiction book written by Sophocles, Elizabeth Osborne, J.E. Thomas. 
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    Sean Wells
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "If your a huge fan of ancient greek history you need to read this now."
  9. 8

    #12The Trial and Death of Socrates

    The Trial and Death of Socrates

    The Trial and Death of Socrates is a classical nonfiction philosophy book written by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett, and with an Introduction by David Taffel. Published by Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading.

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    Bob Ma
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I wanted to find a good book about ancient Greek history and literature and came across The Trial and Death of Socrates. This is a really interesting book that has a great classical feel. It also touches on various subjects of interest at the time, bringing the work to life. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking into greek history and literature. "
  10. 7

    #13Metamorphoses

    Metamorphoses

    The poems of Ovid bring us a collection of mythological tales about the idea of the transformation as a result of love or lust, and the beginning of the World and the deification of Emperor Augustus. 

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    Jeremy Cox
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "In you are interest in ancient history and classical book Metamorphoses is just right for you. After reading it, you will realize that many things that you knew from the other authors are actually based on or influenced by the ancient Greek history."
  11. 5

    #14D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

    D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

    D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is a children's novel by Ingri d'Aulaire. It follows the story of the legendary gods, goddesses and legendary figures of ancient Greece, as well as the myths behind them. It was published in 1992 by Delacorte Press.

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    Scott Alvarado
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "If you are looking to share the greek history and gods with your kids, D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is an interesting and good way to do it. It follows the stories and myths of the legendary Greek gods and goddesses. "
  12. 4

    #15The Republic

    The Republic
    The Republic is one of the most famous works of the Greek philosopher Plato. Written around 380 BC, the book is a Socratic dialogue in which an ideal state is defined. Is considered one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory.
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    Beverly Herrera
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "It is interesting sometimes to read about ancient ideology and the vision of the greatest man of this earth. Greek philosophy has always been a good idea and this book is an essencial work of art for those who want their sense of understanding this world go beyond reality."
  13. 3

    #16The Histories

    The Histories

    The Histories is a compilation of systematically obtained records by Herodotus, the ancient Greek considered to be the first historian. His works depict the origin of Greco-Persian wars. This translation was done by Aubrey de Selincourt.

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    Jeremy Obrien
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "The Histories is an old book that has been translated over the years that follows the cause of the ancient war between the Greek and Persian empire. It's a great pickup for those interested or studying the history of ancient times."
  14. 1

    #17The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)

    The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)

    Admired by the ancient Greek poets, one should have definitely got their hands on Homer's The Odyssey. It serves as the canon work in literature in which every man's journey through life was carefully and creatively narrated.

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    Joan Hoffman
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) does a great job of combining Greek history and literature. Classic writing that will always be relevant."
  15. 0

    #18The Penelopiad

    The Penelopiad
    The Penelopiad is a book written by Margaret Atwood based on Homer's The Odyssey. It is about Penelope and his husband Odysseus who came back from the war and mysteriously killed her twelve maids. 
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    Rishika Singh
    Written on March 21, 2018
    "Sure, the focus has always been on the soldier, Odysseus, who went away to a foreign war, took a long time to get back home due to numerous pleasant and unpleasant distractions, and received the classic “bad homecoming” when he arrived. With a bit of gender-empathy, it was only natural for Atwood to reflect upon that “ever-faithful” wife, as well, as the author says, the fate of the 12 maids that Odysseus hanged – the “collateral damage.”"
  16. 0

    #19Prometheus Bound

    Prometheus Bound
    Prometheus Bound is a classic play written by Aeschylus. This edition of Prometheus Bound was published on February 1, 1990 by Oxford University Press and was translated by James Scully and C. John Herington.
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Summary

Best What are the best books about ancient Greek history and literature
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Greek WayBooks 28 Paid
2PoeticsBooks 26 Paid
3The Iliad and the OdysseyBooks 25 Paid
4The Peloponnesian WarBooks 24 Paid
5On SpartaBooks 22 Paid
6LysistrataBooks 21 Paid
7ElectraBooks 19 Paid
8Homeric HymnsBooks 18 Paid
9The Greek MythsBooks 15 Paid
10MedeaBooks 13 Paid
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