What are the best/most readable/fun classic writers to read for someone who starts reading classical literature?

I liked Tacitus (Publius Cornelius Tacitus-Wikipedia ), but rather the history of the last emperors.He writes fairly compact, and it’s always short pieces. Really fascinating.

I have now just read Herodianus (Herodianus-Wikipedia ).’ Crisis in Rome ‘. The translation I have is from 1973. Roman history of 180-238. A kind of Carnival of death, really fascinating. That such a great empire will continue to exist while there are such crazies in power. Also the great power of the army is staggering.

Also very nice to read are the historials of the bishop of Tours.(Gregory of Tours-Wikipedia) This plays around 500 and is about the first Frankish princes.Also very nice to read. I still remember how he told them how to destroy beautiful silver or gold plates to break out the rubies.


If you read Homer, the Iliad, you are more in Old Testament times.The War on Troy is just a backdrop. The story is quietly told and it really leads you into that world. If you are interested a bit for cultural anthropology it is really nice to read.

I have only retold the Odyssey.While the Iliad is in the Trojan War in a few days, the Odyssey is an adventure novel, a kind of window narration. Actually quite difficult because the stories are often symbolic and sometimes refer to mysteries.

Those books that do NOT belong to the canon of the classical literature.So: do not condone you by fathom the Iliad and the Odysseus of Homer, unless you are fascinated by sometimes barely understandable stories and the bipolar behavior of the gods that determined the action.

De Bello Gallico(Julius Caesar) is more accessible.Julius Lapte The influence of the gods to his boot, surprisingly modern ideas looked upon and thickness the truth here and there some. The book was finally a report that meant to underline his leadership qualities and talents as a military strategist. It had to convince the Roman policymakers to give him the most sought-after promotion.

In Classical Antiquity was not only written about war violence, politics and philosophy.The ad hoc written work on the uibarsting of Vesuvius, which is a little bit different from a contemporary newspaper article.

Other books clearly describe how things are going on in everyday life in the Roman Empire.The use of humor and sarcasm were not the least, writers knew how to write a hilarious story with euphemizing language to expose a man of prestige to the buttocks. Reasons: He was caught with his pants on his sandals at a young lady with a spicy occurrence, his wife had him in a very artful way wearing horns, he was seen in a house of Indisciplinary three villages further,…
It is unfortunate that many stories were lost or never written down.

It is worthwhile reading a concise book about everyday life in antiquity.’Everything you always wanted to know-classical antiquity in a nutshell‘ (Herman beli毛n & Fik Meijer) is just one example.

These books are often difficult to find or only fragments of remnants.A must (first FF to ask your mother) is ‘Satyrica(Petronius). It reached us in reasonably intact state.The story takes off in the time of Nero. It’s about Encolpius and Giton, an ex-slave and his young sex buddy. They lead a free existence, but there are also problems: Encolpius leads to impotence. The friends get caught up in an orgie and are on an insane decadent meal: the infamous ‘ Dinner of Trimalchio ‘.

[1 “Petronius ‘ novel is unique because of its sharp, realistic sketch of life in antiquity.Charming cheaters and patzers, bold women and Randy Boys. The author brings them true to life.
A figure like the poet Eurnolpus (lofty beliefs, filmy practices) do not forget you.Even after 2000 years, the light-willed pleasure of Petronius to all these folk figures who display their hedonistic distaste without embarrassing, has not lost any sense of meaning. “

[1 Source: Nederlands Dagblad

Read the Golden donkey of Apuleius, a kind of juicy schelmen novel with many magical or fairy-tale elements.Very humorous and entertaining. It is the only complete novel that has been handed down to us from Roman times.

And from Greek antiquity, you should not miss the Odyssey of Homer, a completely original, variegated and with great speed written history.

Read these two and if they grab you, you have to grab the flavor of classical literature.

O Yes and very impressive I also found Plato’s Discourse on the Immortality of the soul; In depth yes, but also very poetisch.

Leave a Reply