Classics Read in 2010

Twitter: @GreatBooksDude

Website: (specializing in online Great Books programs!)

This page will be updated frequently as I attempt to reconstruct when I read things; for some of them I have firm dates, as for the ones I read during my last semester.  Until May of this year I was in school (I graduated), so some of these I read for that purpose, and most I read on my own.  The ones I read for school will be noted.  Many of these I was told not to read by my own professors.  For most of the second half of the year I remained unemployed, despite repeated job applications.  Hard work, it seems, is not a prerequisite for the modern economy.  Neither is intelligence.


The Bhagavad Gita


Euripides–“Alcestis”, “Medea”, “Hippolytus”, “The Children of Hercles”, “Electra”, “The Phoenician Women”, “Helen”, “Rhesus”, “The Cyclops”, “Andromache”, “The Suppliants”, “The Trojan Women”, “Ion”, “Hecuba”, “Heracles Mad”, “Iphigenia at Taurus”, “Iphigenia at Aulis”, “Orestes”

Aristophanes–“The Frogs”, “The Birds”, “Lysistrata”, “The Plutus”, The Clouds”, “The Acharnians”, “The Knights”, “The Wasps”, “The Thesmophoriazusae”, “The Ecclesiazusae”, “The Peace”

Plato–Republic, Statesman, Sophist

Aristotle–Poetics, The Athenian Constitution

Lucretius–On the Nature of Things (this time I completed it!)

Epictetus–The Discourses

Marcus Aurelius–Meditations

Plotinus–The First Ennead, The Second Ennead, The Third Ennead

Chaucer–The Canterbury Tales

Rabelais–Pantagruel and Gargantua

Montaigne–Essays, Books II and III

Sir Francis Bacon–The Advancement of Learning, Novus Organum

Shakespeare–“As You Like It”, “Timon of Athens”, “The Merchant of Venice”, “Troilus and Cressida”, “The Tragedy of King Richard II”, “Pericles, Prince of Tyre”, “The Tragedy of King Richard III”, “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry VIII”, “The WInter’s Tale”, “Cymbeline”, “All’s Well that Ends Well”, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, “Measure for Measure”

Milton–Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, Minor Poetry (for English 420, under Dr. Michael Bryson)

Pascal–Pensees, Scientific Treatises

Spinoza–Ethics, Theological-Political Treatise

Locke–An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Sterne–The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Montesquieu–The Spirit of Laws

Adam Smith–The Wealth of Nations

The Federalist, remainder

Malthus–Essay on the Principle of Population

Washington Irving–“Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Mackay–Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Mill–On Representative Government, On Liberty

Thoreau–Walden (for an Independent Study for English, under Dr. Elizabeth T. Adams), Civil Disobedience, “A Plea for Cap’n John Brown”

Mark Twain–The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Dostoevsky–The Brothers Karamazov

Henry James–The Turn of the Screw

Stephen Crane–The Red Badge of Courage

Veblen–The Theory of the Leisure Class

Jules Verne–Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Henry Adams–The Education of Henry Adams

Brooks Adams–The Law of Civilization and Decay

Jack London–The Call of the Wild

Oswald Spengler–The Decline of the West

James Joyce–Dubliners

Stephen Vincent Benet–John Brown’s Body

Hemingway–The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls (for an Independent Study for English, under Dr. Elizabeth T. Adams), The Old Man and the Sea, The Garden of Eden

Fitzgerald–Tender is the Night (for an Independent Study for English, under Dr. Elizabeth T. Adams)

Faulkner–Light in August (for an Independent Study for English, under Dr. Elizabeth T. Adams)

Orwell–Animal Farm

Steinbeck–Travels with Charley (for an Independent Study for English, under Dr. Elizabeth T. Adams), The Grapes of Wrath

Russell Kirk–The Conservative Mind

In terms of essays and excerpts from the Gateway to the Great Books set (, here’s a brief list:

Hogben, “Mathematics, the Mirror of Civilization”

Forsyth, “Mathematics, in Life and Thought”

Alfred North Whitehead, “On Mathematical Method”, “On the Nature of a Calculus”

Bertrand Russell, “The Study of Mathematics”, “Mathematics and the Metaphysicians”, “Definition of Number”

Kasner and Newman, “New Names for Old”, “Beyond the Googol”

Tobias Dantzig, “Fingerprints”, “The Empty Column”

Leonhard Euler, “The Seven Bridges of Konigsberg”

Norman Robert Campbell, “Measurement”, “Numerical Laws and the Use of Mathematics in Science”

Williom Kingdon Clifford, “The Postulates of the Science of Space”, “The Ethics of Belief”

Henri Poincare, “Space”, “Mathematical Creation”, “Chance”

Pierre Simon de Laplace, “Probability”

Charles Sanders Peirce, “The Red and the Black”

William James, “”The Will to Believe”, “The Sentiment of Rationality”, “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings”, “The Energies of Men”, “Great Men and Their Environment”

John Erskine, “The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent”

John Dewey, “”The Process of Thought”

Epicurus, “Letter to Herodotus”, “Letter to Menoeceus”

Epictetus, The Enchiridion

Walter Pater, “”The Art of Life”

Cicero, “On Friendship”, “On Old Age”

Francis Bacon, “Of Truth”; “Of Death”; “Of Adversity”; “Of Love”; “Of Friendship”; “Of Anger”

George Santayana, “Lucretius”, “Goethe’s Faust

Voltaire, “The Philosophy of Common Sense”

John Stuart Mill, “Nature”

Emerson, “Self-Reliance” (for an Independent Study for English, under Dr. Elizabeth T. Adams), “Nature”, “Thoreau”

William Hazlitt, “On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth”

Thomas Browne, “Immortality”

I began Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, put it down after a couple hundred pages, read a couple hundred more pages, and put it down again.  I finished it much later, as you will see in the appropriate place.

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