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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Good Old Days

I actually taught Martianus Cappela in the hay-day of my teaching. He developed liberal arts education and here, I list some of the topics of such, divided into the Trivium and Quadrivium.

He defined the seven liberal arts, later divided. We owe a tremendous debt to St. Anselm, who stopped the rot of bad seminary training by introducing these subjects into the seminaries.


  1. grammar
  2. logic
  3. rhetoric
  • the Quadrivium
  1. arithmetic
  2. geometry
  3. music
  4. astronomy --- from the wiki list but on many sites

Now, when these are no longer taught, a young person is at a great disadvantage. He cannot and does not learn how to think.

That is the purpose of Classical Education-to teach a person how to think.

The following is an example list compiled from How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler (1940), and How to Read a Book, 2nd ed. by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren (1972):
  1. Homer – IliadOdyssey
  2. The Old Testament
  3. Aeschylus – Tragedies
  4. Sophocles – Tragedies
  5. Herodotus – Histories
  6. Euripides – Tragedies
  7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War
  8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings
  9. Aristophanes – Comedies
  10. Plato – Dialogues
  11. Aristotle – Works
  12. Epicurus – "Letter to Herodotus"; "Letter to Menoecus"
  13. Euclid – Elements
  14. Archimedes – Works
  15. Apollonius – Conics
  16. Cicero – Works (esp. OrationsOn FriendshipOn Old AgeRepublicLawsTusculan DisputationsOffices)
  17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things
  18. Virgil – Works (esp. Aeneid)
  19. Horace – Works (esp. Odes and EpodesThe Art of Poetry)
  20. Livy – History of Rome
  21. Ovid – Works (esp. Metamorphoses)
  22. Quintilian – Institutes of Oratory
  23. Plutarch – Parallel LivesMoralia
  24. Tacitus – HistoriesAnnalsAgricolaGermaniaDialogus de oratoribus (Dialogue on Oratory)
  25. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic
  26. Epictetus – Discourses; Enchiridion
  27. Ptolemy – Almagest
  28. Lucian – Works (esp. The Way to Write HistoryThe True HistoryThe Sale of CreedsAlexander the Oracle MongerCharonThe Sale of LivesThe FishermanDialogue of the GodsDialogues of the Sea-GodsDialogues of the Dead)
  29. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
  30. Galen – On the Natural Faculties
  31. The New Testament
  32. Plotinus – The Enneads
  33. St. Augustine – "On the Teacher"; ConfessionsCity of GodOn Christian Doctrine
  34. The Volsungs Saga or Nibelungenlied
  35. The Song of Roland
  36. The Saga of Burnt Njál
  37. Maimonides – The Guide for the Perplexed
  38. St. Thomas Aquinas – Of Being and EssenceSumma Contra GentilesOf the Governance of RulersSumma Theologica
  39. Dante Alighieri – The New Life (La Vita Nuova); "On Monarchy"; Divine Comedy
  40. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and CriseydeThe Canterbury Tales
  41. Thomas a Kempis – The Imitation of Christ
  42. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks
  43. Niccolò Machiavelli – The PrinceDiscourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
  44. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of FollyColloquies
  45. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
  46. Thomas More – Utopia
  47. Martin Luther – Table TalkThree Treatises
  48. François Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel
  49. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion
  50. Michel de Montaigne – Essays
  51. William Gilbert – On the Lodestone and Magnetic Bodies
  52. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote
  53. Edmund Spenser – ProthalamionThe Faerie Queene
  54. Francis Bacon – EssaysThe Advancement of LearningNovum OrganumNew Atlantis
  55. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays
  56. Galileo Galilei – Starry MessengerTwo New Sciences
  57. Johannes Kepler – The Epitome of Copernican AstronomyHarmonices Mundi
  58. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in AnimalsOn the Circulation of the BloodGeneration of Animals
  59. Grotius – The Law of War and Peace
  60. Thomas Hobbes – LeviathanElements of Philsophy
  61. René Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the MindDiscourse on the MethodGeometryMeditations on First PhilosophyPrinciples of PhilosophyThe Passions of the Soul
  62. Corneille – Tragedies (esp. The Cid, Cinna)
  63. John Milton – Works (esp. the minor poems; AreopagiticaParadise LostSamson Agonistes)
  64. Molière – Comedies (esp. The MiserThe School for WivesThe MisanthropeThe Doctor in Spite of HimselfTartuffeThe Tradesman Turned GentlemanThe Imaginary InvalidThe Affected Ladies)
  65. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial LettersPensées; Scientific Treatises
  66. Boyle – The Sceptical Chemist
  67. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light
  68. Benedict de Spinoza – Political TreatisesEthics
  69. John Locke – A Letter Concerning TolerationOf Civil GovernmentAn Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingSome Thoughts Concerning Education
  70. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies (esp. AndromachePhaedraAthalie (Athaliah))
  71. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural PhilosophyOpticks
  72. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on MetaphysicsNew Essays on Human UnderstandingMonadology
  73. Daniel Defoe – Robinson CrusoeMoll Flanders
  74. Jonathan Swift – The Battle of the BooksA Tale of a TubA Journal to StellaGulliver's TravelsA Modest Proposal
  75. William Congreve – The Way of the World
  76. George Berkeley – A New Theory of VisionA Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  77. Alexander Pope – An Essay on CriticismThe Rape of the LockAn Essay on Man
  78. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian LettersThe Spirit of the Laws
  79. Voltaire – Letters on the EnglishCandidePhilosophical Dictionary
  80. Henry Fielding – Joseph AndrewsTom Jones
  81. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human WishesDictionaryRasselasLives of the Poets
  82. David Hume – A Treatise of Human NatureEssays Moral and PoliticalAn Enquiry Concerning Human UnderstandingHistory of England
  83. Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Discourse on InequalityOn Political EconomyEmileThe Social ContractConfessions
  84. Laurence Sterne – Tristram ShandyA Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
  85. Adam Smith – The Theory of Moral SentimentsThe Wealth of Nations
  86. William Blackstone – Commentaries on the Laws of England
  87. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure ReasonGroundwork of the Metaphysic of MoralsCritique of Practical ReasonProlegomena to Any Future Metaphysics; The Science of Right; Critique of JudgmentPerpetual Peace
  88. Edward Gibbon – The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman EmpireAutobiography
  89. James Boswell – JournalThe Life of Samuel Johnson
  90. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier – Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry)
  91. Alexander HamiltonJohn Jay, and James Madison – Federalist Papers (together with the Articles of ConfederationUnited States Constitution and United States Declaration of Independence)
  92. Jeremy Bentham – Comment on the CommentariesIntroduction to the Principles of Morals and LegislationTheory of Fictions
  93. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – FaustPoetry and Truth
  94. Thomas Robert Malthus – An Essay on the Principle of Population
  95. John Dalton – A New System of Chemical Philosophy
  96. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier – Analytical Theory of Heat
  97. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – The Phenomenology of SpiritScience of LogicElements of the Philosophy of RightLectures on the Philosophy of History
  98. William Wordsworth – Poems (esp. Lyrical Ballads; Lucy poems; sonnets; The Prelude)
  99. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems (esp. Kubla KhanThe Rime of the Ancient Mariner ); Biographia Literaria
  100. David Ricardo – On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation
  101. Jane Austen – Pride and PrejudiceEmma
  102. Carl von Clausewitz – On War
  103. Stendhal – The Red and the BlackThe Charterhouse of ParmaOn Love
  104. François Guizot – History of Civilization in France
  105. Lord Byron – Don Juan
  106. Arthur Schopenhauer – Studies in Pessimism
  107. Michael Faraday – The Chemical History of a CandleExperimental Researches in Electricity
  108. Nikolai Lobachevsky – Geometrical Researches on the Theory of Parallels
  109. Charles Lyell – Principles of Geology
  110. Auguste Comte – The Positive Philosophy
  111. Honoré de Balzac – Works (esp. Le Père GoriotLe Cousin PonsEugénie GrandetCousin BetteCésar Birotteau)
  112. Ralph Waldo Emerson – Representative MenEssays; Journal
  113. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter
  114. Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America
  115. John Stuart Mill – A System of LogicPrinciples of Political EconomyOn LibertyConsiderations on Representative GovernmentUtilitarianismThe Subjection of Women;Autobiography
  116. Charles Darwin – On the Origin of SpeciesThe Descent of ManAutobiography
  117. William Makepeace Thackeray – Works (esp. Vanity FairThe History of Henry EsmondThe VirginiansPendennis)
  118. Charles Dickens – Works (esp. Pickwick PapersOur Mutual FriendDavid CopperfieldDombey and SonOliver TwistA Tale of Two CitiesHard Times)
  119. Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine
  120. George Boole – The Laws of Thought
  121. Henry David Thoreau – Civil DisobedienceWalden
  122. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – Das Kapital (Capital); The Communist Manifesto
  123. George Eliot – Adam BedeMiddlemarch
  124. Herman Melville – TypeeMoby-DickBilly Budd
  125. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and PunishmentThe IdiotThe Brothers Karamazov
  126. Gustave Flaubert – Madame BovaryThree Stories
  127. Henry Thomas Buckle – A History of Civilization in England
  128. Francis Galton – Inquiries into Human Faculties and Its Development
  129. Bernhard Riemann – The Hypotheses of Geometry
  130. Henrik Ibsen – Plays (esp. Peer GyntBrandHedda GablerEmperor and GalileanA Doll's HouseThe Wild DuckThe Master Builder)
  131. Leo Tolstoy – War and PeaceAnna Karenina; "What Is Art?"; Twenty-Three Tales
  132. Richard Dedekind – Theory of Numbers
  133. Wilhelm Wundt – Physiological PsychologyOutline of Psychology
  134. Mark Twain – The Innocents AbroadAdventures of Huckleberry FinnA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtThe Mysterious Stranger
  135. Henry Adams – History of the United StatesMont-Saint-Michel and ChartresThe Education of Henry AdamsDegradation of Democratic Dogma
  136. Charles Peirce – Chance, Love, and LogicCollected Papers
  137. William Sumner – Folkways
  138. Oliver Wendell Holmes – The Common LawCollected Legal Papers
  139. William James – Principles of PsychologyThe Varieties of Religious ExperiencePragmatismA Pluralistic UniverseEssays in Radical Empiricism
  140. Henry James – The AmericanThe Ambassadors
  141. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spoke ZarathustraBeyond Good and EvilOn the Genealogy of MoralityThe Will to PowerTwilight of the IdolsThe Antichrist
  142. Georg Cantor – Transfinite Numbers
  143. Jules Henri Poincaré – Science and HypothesisScience and MethodThe Foundations of Science
  144. Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of DreamsThree Essays to the Theory of SexIntroduction to PsychoanalysisBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleGroup Psychology and the Analysis of the EgoThe Ego and the IdCivilization and Its DiscontentsNew Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
  145. George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces
  146. Max Planck – Origin and Development of the Quantum TheoryWhere Is Science Going?Scientific Autobiography
  147. Henri Bergson – Time and Free WillMatter and MemoryCreative EvolutionThe Two Sources of Morality and Religion
  148. John Dewey – How We ThinkDemocracy and EducationExperience and NatureThe Quest for CertaintyLogic – The Theory of Inquiry
  149. Alfred North Whitehead – A Treatise on Universal AlgebraAn Introduction to MathematicsScience and the Modern WorldProcess and RealityThe Aims of Education and Other EssaysAdventures of Ideas
  150. George Santayana – The Life of ReasonScepticism and Animal FaithThe Realms of Being (which discusses the Realms of Essence, Matter and Truth); Persons and Places
  151. Vladimir Lenin – ImperialismThe State and Revolution
  152. Marcel Proust – In Search of Lost Time (formerly translated as Remembrance of Things Past
  153. Bertrand Russell – Principles of MathematicsThe Problems of PhilosophyPrincipia MathematicaThe Analysis of MindAn Inquiry into Meaning and TruthHuman Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits
  154. Thomas Mann – The Magic MountainJoseph and His Brothers
  155. Albert Einstein – The Theory of RelativitySidelights on RelativityThe Meaning of RelativityOn the Method of Theoretical PhysicsThe Evolution of Physics
  156. James Joyce – "The Dead" in DublinersA Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManUlysses
  157. Jacques Maritain – Art and ScholasticismThe Degrees of KnowledgeFreedom and the Modern WorldA Preface to MetaphysicsThe Rights of Man and Natural LawTrue Humanism
  158. Franz Kafka – The TrialThe Castle
  159. Arnold J. Toynbee – A Study of HistoryCivilization on Trial
  160. Jean-Paul Sartre – NauseaNo ExitBeing and Nothingness
  161. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – The First CircleCancer Ward
  1. thanks to wiki, but found on other sites as well

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a list!

I have never heard of most of these.

I am going to find a book - listed in the classical academy at St Jerome's in Maryland - that tells you how to get the classical education you didn't receive as a child as an adult.

I will definitely be copying this list, STM.