From Homer To Theocritus; A Manual Of Greek Literature (1901) by Capps, Edward (1866–1950)
"This volume aims to present a concise but complete survey of the Greek literature of the classical period, extended so as to include the two branches of poetry, the New Comedy and the Idyll, which were brought to perfection after the overthrow of Greek liberty by Alexander. I have tried, so far as space would permit, to place in their proper setting each branch of literature and each author, keeping constantly in mind the course of development of the literature as a whole. Selections from representative English translations are quoted in connection with the principal authors, more extensively for the poets than for the writers of prose. It is hoped that this feature of the book will be found acceptable, both to the general reader who has not the time, even if he has the training and equipment, for comprehensive readings in the Greek texts, and to the average student whose attainments in Greek are not sufficiently extensive to furnish an adequate background for the most profitable study of the ordinary manuals."(Preface)
""From Homer to Theocritus" is a manual of Greek literature during the classic period, which began with epic poetry in general, and specifically with Homer's great epic, and extended through the course of dramatic literature to the modern tendencies beginning in the fourth century. Professor Capps gives a brief critical study to each period and each author, and illustrates with sufficient selections from standard English translations. It is a most excellent book to go to to study the course of Greek literature through its glorious classic period. The book is made with a true scholar's taste and judgment, and is very resourceful. It is illustrated with valuable plates." (Journal Of Education, 29/05/1902)
Introduction To Classical Greek Literature (1903) by Lawton, William Cranston (1853–1941)
"Even to Greek literature this book is strictly an introduction only. It mentions comparatively few names, and attempts to discuss only those supreme masterpieces which have a large interest and value ; which have influenced, or should influence, the imagination, the taste, the forms, of later creative artists. No attempt is made to rival the completeness in detail of a classical dictionary. Lost works and their authors are, as a rule, hardly treated at all. The real end of the story is the death of Plato and Demosthenes, or the loss of freedom at Chæronea.
The larger divisions of the subject are dictated by the orderly successive development of epic, lyric, and drama ; while the principal forms of prose, history and oratory, appear later, all but simultaneously. The philosophic dialogue is the original creation of the greatest unmetrical stylist who ever lived, and it has not, like the other Greek forms, dominated the usage of later literature. Theocritos, the pastoral poet, Plutarch, the biographer, and perhaps Lucian, the satirist, are the later creators of important new forms ; the Greek authors, writing after the Macedonian conquest, who have still the utmost importance for their own sake." (Introduction)
An Abridged History Of Greek Literature (1904) by Croiset, Alfred & Maurice
Contains Ancient Greek terminology
"This Manual is not a work of erudition. It is addressed especially to students in the secondary schools, and to readers who wish to inform themselves quickly as to the essential facts of Greek literature. All matters of controversy, therefore, all questions of authenticity, all enumerations of obscure names that could interest only the specialist, have been omitted. But within the limits imposed by the needs of the public they had in view, the authors have remained faithful to the spirit that guided them in their earlier work. They have wished to give a continuous account, not a series of detached studies on Greek writers, and so have been led to treat the different authors from the point of view of the historic continuity that binds them one to another. Por the principal character in this history is really the literary life of Greece ; and its development they have traced from the beginning down to the time when it was overshadowed by the triumph of Christianity." (Author's Preface)
A Short History Of Greek Literature (1907) by Wright, Wilmer Cave (1868–1951)
Contains Ancient Greek terminology
"The writer of a survey of Greek literature so brief as this feels throughout the task the lack of elbow-room, and must always be acutely conscious of omissions. I have kept constantly in mind the reader who, though little or not at all acquainted with the classics, realizes that he cannot appreciate any other literature, least of all his own, unless he can relate its masterpieces to the types set, once for all, by the Greeks. He may safely ignore all but the best. But this book is intended, no less, for the student of Greek who, in his second or third year at college, will profit immensely by a rapid survey of the whole field of Greek literature. For him every part of that whole be- comes significant, and for his sake the tribe of Euphorion or the declaimers must often usurp space that, if one followed the mere sense of proportion, is due to the creative writers.
Of the prose writers, Julian's is the latest name formally treated, but, in order to include Musaeus and the later epic, I have carried down the sketch of Graeco-Roman poetry to the sixth century." (Preface)
"Despite the rage for science, commerce, and industry. In the schools, the classics, notably the Greek classics, have a sway greater than ever because it is no longer a blind worship but an intelligent admiration and scholarly adoration. With the new reverence for the Greek classics comes a demand for the history and the setting of life in the times of the classics. It is no longer satisfactory to translate Greek into English; one must think. In the Greek, and this can only be done when the environment is adequate. It is to meet such a demand this volume is brought, affording as it does a general survey of the whole field of Greek literature, from Homer to Julian. It is written rather from the literary than the philological standpoint, and contains such helpful features as numerous parallels quoted from English literature, lists of standard translations, and references to modern essays dealing with the Greek masterpieces. At the end of each chapter is a bibliography of the more important literature of the topic treated. It is a book which will appeal both to the general reader and to the college student who wishes to realize intelligently the significance and relations to the whole of the classic masterpieces he is reading." (The Journal Of Education, 12/12/1907)
"This book, which appears in the "Greek Series for Colleges and Schools," edited under the supervision of Professor Herbert Weir Smyth, does credit to its authoress, who is evidently well acquainted with the opinions of modern scholars as well as with the works of the Greek writers. The views expressed are sane and reasonable, and the style is, on the whole, agreeable in spite of a few lapses into figurative expressions of doubtful taste. So (p. 31) it is said of critics of the style of the Homeric poems that they "range over the same ground, but they never put up the same game," and (p. 45) the cyclic poets are said to owe their "second-hand immortality" to the "antiseptic quality" of the Homeric poems.
In a small book which contains the history of the rich literature of more than a thousand years much must necessarily be omitted, and it is therefore only to be expected that those writers whose works are lost or preserved only in fragments are for the most part passed over in silence or with very brief mention. It would, however, have been well to impress upon the reader in some way the fact that in the Alexandrian period and the succeeding centuries the quantity of Greek literature produced was vastly greater than is indicated by the comparatively small number of writers whose works are discussed. Many of those whose works are lost exercised no little influence upon Roman writers, and through them upon the literature of later times. While it is probable that the lost works (like some of the extant works) of many post-classical writers had no great literary excellence, the immense literary activity of the post-classical period is of great importance in the history of literature.
The analysis of the style of each author is clear, and as accurate as the brief space allotted to it allows, but it is doubtful if such analysis helps the student to appreciate the qualities of great literature. A greater number of selections from the Greek authors, whether in the original or in translation, would perhaps have been more useful. In the treatment of the Homeric poems the views of scholars from Wolf to Lang occupy so much space that the reader almost forgets the poems themselves, and, in general, the discussion of modern theories constitutes rather too large a part of the book.
The favorable estimate of the poetry of Archilochus, which is interwoven with the lively account of his life and works, is the traditional one handed down from antiquity, and is less completely justified by the extant fragments than one might wish. On the other hand, Mrs. Wright hardly does justice to the poetry of Bacchylides. The treatment of Menander is excellent, though unfortunately the most important fragments of his comedies were discovered too late to be utilized in this book. Lack of space forbids discussion of further details, but enough has been said to indicate the character of this excellent manual." (Harold N. Fowler, Classical Philology, 04/1908)
"This is a big field to cover in 500 pages; can it be more than a catalogue of names and facts and books ? It is much more than this. The treatment of single authors is necessarily brief, but it is not merely a rehash of facts that we already know. The treatment is individual; we feel the distinctive touch of this historian of literature throughout; she seems acquainted at first hand with the author she discusses and fairly conversant with the literature of the subject. Her scheme or space does not admit of selections from representative English translations, to illustrate the masterpieces of the principal authors, a feature which lends interest to Professor Capps's excellent book From Homer to Theocritus. If we were to have another history of Greek literature-for the reason that there is a new "series" by another publisher, if for no other-then an undeniable requisite was that it must not simply cover the ground, but be readable. One must be grateful to a historian who does not bore us. I have taken up this book on different days and at various hours, when fresh and when tired, and have never failed to become interested. While taking a class through the fragments of the lyric poets, and fresh from the charm of these, I have enjoyed reading Professor Wright on Sappho and Alcaeus, Simonides and Bacchylides." (Charles Forster Smith, The Classical Journal, 04/1908)
A History Of Classical Greek Literature (1908 & 1910, Revised And Enlarged) Mahaffy, John Pentland (1839–1919) (
Contains Ancient Greek terminology
Volume 1/Part 1: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=iau.31858008582425&view=2up&seq=10
Volume 1/Part 2: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uva.x001150658&view=2up&seq=8
Volume 2/Part 1: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112111568975&view=2up&seq=8
Volume 2/Part 2: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112111568991&view=2up&seq=8
Greek Literature (1914) by Tillyard, Henry Julius Wetenhall (1881–1968)
Ideal for novice readers
"The study of Greek literature is therefore a proper element in a liberal education. The Greek language, naturally flexible and rich in poetical words, becomes in the hands of the great writers a medium of unequalled force, clearness, and adaptability, able to express as well the highest aspirations of the poet as the subtlest shades of philosophical argument or the most abstruse technicalities. The books of Greece have passed the critical selection of the ages, and the student, unencumbered by masses of inferior material, can approach the works of acknowledged masters, the true fountain-head of European culture." (Preface)
A History Of Ancient Greek Literature (1923, New And Revised Edition) by Fowler, Harold North (1859–1955)
"The book contains little or nothing which should not be familiar to every educated man and woman. The college student should therefore be expected to use it all, though more time should of course be spent in the study of the chapters on the greatest writers than in learning about the authors of less importance. The pupil in the secondary school, however, may not always have the time to pay any attention to the less important Greek authors. It may therefore be in many instances desirable to stop the classroom use of the book at the end of the Attic period, adding only enough from the later parts to make the pupils acquainted with Theocritus, Callimachus, Apollonius Rhodius (especially if the pupils have read or are to read Virgil), Polybius, Plutarch, and Lucian. In the case of immature pupils, it may be well to omit the chapter on the Homeric Question, and even the chapters on the early prose writers.
Far the greater part of the book is taken up with the history of Greek literature before the Alexandrian period. This is desirable, because the works of the Alexandrian and Roman times are lost for the most part and never possessed the literary importance of the great writings of the earlier days. On the other hand, the writings of the later times are too important to be altogether overlooked. Roman literature was most powerfully influenced by Alexandrian literature, and has in turn exerted a most powerful influence upon the literature of all later times. ' A summary account of Alexandrian and Graeco-Roman literature is therefore included in this book, in the belief that our students should not be allowed to forget that Greek life and thought continued to influence the world long after the political independence of Greece came to an end. For a somewhat similar reason — to call attention to the influence of Greek thought, Greek education, and Greek writers upon the progress of Christianity — an account of some of the Christian writers has been included." (Preface)
"This book can be recommended as a reference work upon the history of Greek literature, but not as a textbook. In about 460 pages Mr. Fowler has enumerated all the writers of ancient Greek from Homer to the time of Justinian. He has evidently been at great pains to inform himself, as accurately as the more or less fragmentary evidence will permit, upon their lives and writings. His reading in Greece has apparently been extensive. In matters of disputed chronology and authorship his attitude is one of judicious conservatism, which tends to make his work a safe reference guide for young students.
Mr. Fowler, however, seems to lack some of the qualities which one writing a history of literature, especially of ancient Greek literature, should possess. His work shows no large grasp of literary tendencies, no ability to look back upon some period and touch upon its salient weaknesses or elements of greatness, so as to sum up the influence of one literary generation upon another. The topical treatment, necessary perhaps in a reference work of this kind, has been carried to such an extent as to destroy all feeling of connection between the various periods of Greek literary development and to leave no impression of its intrinsic unity." (W. L. Westermann, The Classical Journal, 05/1906)
History Of Ancient Greek Literature (Part 1)
History Of Latin Literature
History Of English Literature
History Of Italian Literature
History Of Persian Literature
History Of Spanish Literature
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
1 post • Page 1 of 1