"O my father, I understand nothing but the beauty which came to me in books."

Hippo's favorite classics:

  • The Odyssey - Homer
    Andra moi ennepe Mousa polutropon hos mala polla [318K]

    Exquisite figure, as of heaven's shaping, waited beside a pillar as he passed...
    "Fare well, stranger; in your land remember me who met and saved you.
    It is worth your thought". - Translated by Robert Fitzgerald

  • The Aeneid - Virgil (P. Vergilius Maro)
    Arma virumque cano Troiae qui primus ab oris [317K]

    "Some day, perhaps, remembering even this
    Will be a pleasure. We are going on
    Through whatsoever chance and change, until
    We come to Latium, where the fates point out
    A quiet dwelling-place, and Troy recovered.
    Endure, and keep yourself for better days.
    He kept to himself the sorrow in the heart,
    Wearing, for them, a mask of hopefulness."
    - Translated by Rolfe Humphries

  • The Iliad - Homer
    Mênin aeide thea Pêlêïadeô Achilêos [225K]

    "So speaking glorious Hektor held out his arms to his baby,
    who shrank back to his fair-girdled nurse's bosom
    screaming, and frightened at the aspect of his own father,
    terrified as he saw the bronze and the crest with its horse-hair,
    nodding dreadfully, as he thought, from the peak of the helmet.
    Then his beloved father laughed out, and his honoured mother,
    and at once glorious Hektor lifted from his head the helmet
    and laid it in all its shining upon the ground. Then taking
    up his dear son he tossed him about in his arms, and kissed him,
    and lifted his voice in prayer to Zeus and the other immortals:
    'Zeus, and you other immortals, grant that this boy, who is my son,
    may be as I am, pre-eminent among the Trojans,
    great in strength, as am I, and rule strongly over Ilion;
    and some day let them say of him: "He is better by far than this father",
    as he comes in from the fighting; and let him kill his enemy,
    and bring home the blooded spoils, and delight the heart of his mother'."
    - Translated by Richmond Lattimore

  • The Song of Roland
  • Yvan, The Knight With the Lion - Chrétien de Troyes
    "The wound that Love has dealt the lord
    wont heal like wounds from lance or sword,
    for any wound a sword has cut
    the doctors can cure quickly, but
    the wounds of Love, by definition,
    are worst when nearest their physician.
    So wounded is the lord Yvain,
    and he will not be whole again,
    since Love's possessed him totally
    and left the place she used to be."
    - Translated by Ruth Harwood Cline

  • Aeschylus
  • Oresteia -

    "Sent forth from the palace I have come to convey libations to the sound of sharp blows of my hands. My cheek is marked with bloody gashes where my nails have cut fresh furrows. And yet through all my life my heart is fed with lamentation. Rips are torn by my griefs through the linen web of my garment, torn in the cloth that covers my breast, the cloth of robes struck for the sake of my mirthless misfortunes."

    Prometheus Bound -

    "It was mortal man
    to whom I gave great privileges and
    for that was yoked in this unyieldig harness.
    I hunted out the secret spring of fire
    that filled the narthex stem, which when revealed
    became the teacher of each craft to men
    a great resource. This is the sin committed
    for which I stand accountant, and I pay
    nailed in my chains under the open sky.
    So let the curling tendril of the fire
    from the lightning bolt be sent against me: let
    the air be stirred with thunderclaps, the winds
    in savage blasts convulsing all the world."
    - Translated by David Greene

  • Sophocles
  • Antigone -

    "Yes, it was not Zeus that made the proclamation;
    nor did Justice, which lives with those below, enact
    such laws as that, for mankind. I did not believe
    your proclamation had such power to enable one who will someday die to override
    God's ordinances, unwritten and secure.
    They are not of today and yesterday;
    they live forever; none knows when first they were.
    These are the laws whose penalties I would not
    incur from the gods, through fear of any man's temper."
    - Translated by David Greene

    Oedipus the King -

    "If a man walks with haughtiness
    of hand or word and gives no heed
    to Justice and the shrines of Gods
    despises - may an evil doom
    smite him for his ill-starred pride of heart!-
    if he reaps gains without justice
    and will not hold from impiety
    and his fingers itch for untouchable things.
    When such things are done, what man shall contrive
    to shield his soul from the shafts of the God?
    When such deeds are held in honour,
    why should I honour the Gods in the dance?"
    - Translated by David Greene

    The Women of

    - Kouden touton hoti me Zeus

    "Maiden, come from the house with us.
    You have seen a terrible death
    and agonies, many and strange, and there is
    nothing here which is not Zeus."
    - Translated by Michael Jameson

  • Euripides
  • The Medea -

    "For in other ways a woman
    Is full of fear, defenseless, dreads the sight of cold
    Steel; but, when once she is wronged in the matter of love,
    No other soul can hold so many thoughts of blood."
    - Translated by Rex Warner


    "The life of man entire is misery:
    he finds no resting place, o haven from calamity.
    But something other dearer still than life
    the darkness hides and mist encompasses,
    we are proved luckless lovers of this thing
    that glitters in the underworld: no man
    can tell us of the stuff of it, expounding
    what is, and what is not: we know nothing of it.
    Idly, we drift, on idle stories carried."
    - Translated by David Greene

  • Inferno - Dante Alighieri
  • The Histories - Herodutus
  • Poetics - Aristotle
  • Symposium - Plato
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • "No one can see death,
    no one can see the face of death,
    no one can hear the voice of death,
    yet there is savage death that snaps off mankind.
    For how long do we build a household?
    For how long do we seal a document?
    For how long do brothers share the inheritance?
    For how long is there to be jealousy in the land?
    For how long has the river risen and brought the overflowing waters,
    so that dragonflies drift down the river?
    The face that could gaze upon the face of the Sun
    has never existed ever.
    How alike are the sleeping and the dead.
    The image of Death cannot be depicted.
    Yes, you are a human being, a man?"
    - Translated by Maureen Gallery Kovacs


    That's all folks !!!

    Favorites    More Favorites    Non-fiction    Non-English    Others    Hippo home