Masterpost: Classical Texts in Translation

mythandrists:

The most common question I get on this blog is “can you help me find a translation of [Classical text]?” So in honor of reaching 900 followers, I’ve compiled a list of favourite translations for your reference. Thank you for making this possible!

Below, you will find links to complete, well-written English translations of 100+ ancient Greek and Roman texts, organized by genre and author. Some of these translations are free on the internet; others are books available on Amazon. In almost all cases, the translations for sale will be better than the free translations, but I’ve tried to select the best free translations available on the internet. I have also included a few audiobooks, which are available for free on youtube.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the texts the Greeks and Romans ever wrote, but it’s a start.

Greek Epic and Early Lyric Poetry:

Greek Tragedy and Comedy:

Greek History, Oratory, and Philosophy:

Hellenistic Lyric and Epic, Various Greek Lyric Poetry:

"Golden Age" Roman Epic and Lyric Poetry:

Roman History, Oratory, and Philosophy:

Roman Tragedy and Comedy:

Roman Novels:

Miscellaneous Classical Works:

*Translations marked with asterisks are hosted by The Perseus Project and require you to click through by paragraph, by scene, or by poem.

If you’re looking for something that’s not on this list, I might not know a translation off the top of my head, but I’d be happy to try to find you one. If you’re looking for the original Greek or Latin, try searching The Perseus Project or The Latin Library.

» Jul 19,2014
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Anonymous
I'm writing a novel that features faerie culture significantly. Can you give me some tips on different types of fae, the Seelie and Unseelie Court, strengths, weaknesses, etc? Thanks~

clevergirlhelps:

Names

  • Fairy/faerie/faery
  • Fae/fey/fay
  • Sidhe
  • Wee Folk
  • Fair Folk
  • Good Folk

There isn’t a cut and dried definition of “fairy”. In some places, fairy refers to an ethereal, human-like creature with no empathy. In others, fairy is a catch-all term that encompasses trolls, goblins, banshees, gnomes, brownies, dryads, leprechauns, redcaps, buccas, elves, mermaids, trolls, and others. 

For the sake of simplicity, this article is about the former definition, although you can certainly work the latter definition into your world; I’ve read several books that use the all-encompassing definition to great effect (psst read The Dresden Files psst). 

Origin, Appearance, and Powers

Fairies supposedly kept the wild places in the world before humanity entered the picture. Humanity defeated or warded them away with iron, so the fairies became weaker, but still a force to be reckoned with. In some tales, they live on Earth. In others, they live in another plane or dimension that humans can rarely enter. Tales of fairies also came from religions predating Christianity. Fairies differ in their description: sometimes they are dead, gods, demigods, spirits, or halfway-fallen angels. Many sources believe fairies traded their souls to the Devil in return for their powers, making fairies as a whole soulless. Christian scholars also classified fairies as “too good for Hell, too bad for Heaven”.

The first fairies appearing in folklore resembled contemporary versions of elves more than Tinker Bell: tall, beautiful, and even angelic-seeming. The first descriptions of trolls - classified as a kind of fairy - named them as short and wizened. Small fairies often appear in folklore, their size ranging from minuscule to that of a human child. The earliest fairies did not have wings, although they could fly with magic. Small fairies sometimes rode birds.

Fairies had the power to fly, cast spells, and foresee the future. They also had the ability to cast powerful glamours or illusions that could trick mortal minds into seeing anything.

Courts

Seelie Court

Seelie fairies will seek help from humans and return human kindness with that of their own. They play lighthearted pranks and quickly forget their sorrows. They will not show remorse when they realize the negative effects of their machinations. Seelie appear most often near twilight.  You must offend them to bring down their wrath. Seelie are the nicer of the two fairies. They are also called “The Golden Ones” and “The Light Court”. The Seelie Court is closely associated with spring and summer.

Unseelie Court

The Unseelie appear at night as a group. They attack anyone they come across, often by carrying them through the air, beating them, and forcing the them to kill cattle. Some Unseelie can be fond of a human who respects Unseelie culture. However, this human ends up as a pet rather than a friend. The Unseelie Court is closely associated with winter and autumn.

Weakness

Iron burns them. Rowan repels them. Fairies must keep promises they repeat three times (or just promises they make). 

More Resources

» Jul 2,2014
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» Jun 27,2014
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6 types of love

eros
a passionate physical and emotional love based on aesthetic enjoyment; stereotype of romantic love

ludus
a love that is played as a game or sport; conquest; may have multiple partners at once

storge
an affectionate love that slowly develops from friendship, based on similarity

pragma
love that is driven by the head, not the heart

mania
obsessive love; experience great emotional highs and lows; very possessive and often jealous lovers

agape
selfless altruistic love; spiritual

» Jun 26,2014
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» Jun 23,2014
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name: ramen noodle ramya

age: fifteen

timezone: est

contact: message for aim/skype!

describe yourself in a brief paragraph: i like to cry over models and pretty writing and i am the worst at being productive

favourite plots/characters/tropes: i’m down w/ pretty much anything tbh?? idek i just rly like morally grey dark characters and plots that involve murder

what are you most excited for?: basically everything bc this site sounds so fab already!!!

» Jun 22,2014
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List of Words to Know #23

larmoyante:

Oyez - to call to attention

Thaumaturgy - the performance of miracles

Onomasticon - a dictionary of names

Hypnobioscope - a fictional device for learning while asleep

Jingoism - war-like or aggressive patriotism

Erstwhile - formerly

Zymurgy - the art of practice of fermentation

Umquhile - some time ago

Quondam - previously

Epopoeia - a type of epopee, an epic poem

other words to know

» May 19,2014
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» May 14,2014
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