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Here is my plan for reading and reviewing all the “Great Books of the Western World”. Most of this list comes from greatbooksacademy.org but I’ve changed it a little bit.

These great books of the western world are the foundation for most of the ideas in our modern-day world in which we live in today.

Of course you need to read more widely than just these great books written by ‘old, dead, white men’. But you can always supplement this list with other great books from people of colour, women, and writers from other cultures as well.

This plan does not go through entirely all the great books, however it does go through most of the main ones. I would rather get through the most important books and then go back through the whole list to catch the others that are of interest to me.

Step by step like the tortoise is the best way.

So, let’s get started.

Year 1: Great Books of the Ancient Greeks

  1. Aeschylus – Prometheus Bound
  2. Homer – The Iliad
  3. Homer – The Odyssey
  4. Aeschylus – Agamemnon
  5. Aeschylus – Libation Bearers
  6. Aeschylus – Eumenides
  7. Euripedes – Trojan Women
  8. Euripedes – Alcestis
  9. Aesop – Aesop’s Fables
  10. Sophocles – Oedipus Rex
  11. Sophocles – Oedipus at Colonus
  12. Sophocles – Antigone
  13. Euripides – Hippolytus
  14. Herodotus – Histories
  15. Plutarch – Lycurgus
  16. Plutarch – Solon
  17. Plutarch – Pericles
  18. Plutarch – Alcibiades
  19. Euripedes – Medea
  20. Euripedes – Bacchae
  21. Thucydides – Peloponnesian War
  22. Plato – Ion
  23. Plato – Meno
  24. Plato – Gorgias
  25. Plato – Republic
  26. Plato – Symposium
  27. Plato – Apology
  28. Plato – Euthyphro
  29. Plato – Citro
  30. Plato – Phaedo
  31. Aristotle – Poetics
  32. Aristotle – On the Heavens
  33. Aristotle – On the Soul
  34. Aristotle – Ethics
  35. Aristotle – Metaphysics
  36. Plutarch – Aristides, Alexander
  37. Hippocrates – The Oath
  38. Hippocrates – On Ancient Medicine
  39. Hippocrates – On Airs, Waters, Places
  40. Euclid – Elements

Year 2: Great Books of the Ancient Romans

  1. Virgil – Aeneid
  2. Livy
  3. Plutarch – Romulus
  4. Plutarch – Numa Pomulus
  5. Plutarch – Coriolanus
  6. Plutarch – Caesar
  7. Caesar – Conquest of Gaul
  8. Plutarch – Cato the Younger
  9. Plutarch – Antony
  10. Plutarch – Brutus
  11. Plutarch – Cicero
  12. Cicero – On Friendship
  13. Cicero – On Duties
  14. Tacitus – Annals
  15. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things
  16. Epictitus – Discourses
  17. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
  18. Ptolemy – Almagest
  19. Galen – On the Natural Faculties
  20. Plotinus – Enneads
  21. Old Testament – Genesis
  22. New Testament
  23. St John – Book of Revelation
  24. St. Augustine – Confessions
  25. Boethius – Consolation of Philosophy
  26. St. Augustine – City of God
  27. Muhammed – Qu’ran
  28. Bede – History of the English People
  29. Tennyson – Sir Galahad
  30. Tennyson – Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  31. Al-Makrisi – Memoirs of the Crusades
  32. Al-Makrisi – Crusade of St. Louis
  33. Kempis – Imitation of Christ
  34. Dante – The Divine Comedy

Year 3: Great Books of the High Middle Ages to the Renaissance

  1. Chaucer – Canterbury Tales
  2. Aquinas
  3. Machiavelli – The Prince
  4. Sir Thomas More – Utopia
  5. Erasmus – Praise of Folly
  6. Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
  7. Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion
  8. Montaigne – Essays
  9. Cervantes – Don Quixote
  10. Shakespeare – Comedy of Errors
  11. Shakespeare – A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream
  12. Shakespeare – The Taming of the Shrew
  13. Shakespeare – Coriolanus
  14. Shakespeare – Julius Caesar
  15. Galileo – Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
  16. Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice
  17. Shakespeare – Henry V
  18. Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind
  19. Descartes – Discourse on Method
  20. Descartes – Meditations
  21. Bacon – The New Atlantis
  22. Bacon – Novum Organum
  23. Hobbes – Leviathan
  24. Milton – Paradise Lost
  25. Pascal – Pensees
  26. Shakespeare – Romeo & Juliet

Year 4: Great Books of the Modern Era

  1. Shakespeare – Hamlet
  2. Shakespeare – Othello
  3. Shakespeare – King Lear
  4. Shakespeare – The Tempest
  5. Moliere – Tartuffe
  6. Racine – Phaedra
  7. Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels
  8. John Locke – Essay Concerning Human Knowledge
  9. John Locke – Second Essay on Civil Governmnet
  10. John Locke – Letter on Toleration
  11. David Hume – An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  12. David Hume – Treatise of Human Nature
  13. David Hume – Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
  14. Jacques Rousseau – The Social Contract
  15. Jacques Rousseau – On the Origin of Inequality
  16. The Federalist Papers
  17. Aquinas – Q 105, Art.1
  18. US Declaration of Independence
  19. Articles of Confederation
  20. The Constitution of the United States of America
  21. De Tocqueville – Democracy in America
  22. J.S. Mill – Representative Government
  23. Jane Austen – Emma
  24. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason
  25. Immanuel Kant – Fundamnetal Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals
  26. Goethe – Faust
  27. Georg Hegel – Philosophy of Right
  28. Georg Hegel – The Philosophy of History
  29. Tolstoy – War and Peace
  30. Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky – The Brother Karamazov
  31. Adam Smith – Wealth of Nations
  32. Communist Manifesto
  33. Abraham Lincoln – 1st & 2nd Inaugural Addresses
  34. Abraham Lincoln – Gettysburg Address
  35. Abraham Lincoln – Emancipation Proclamation
  36. Henry David Thoreau – Walden
  37. Henry David Thoreau – Disobedience
  38. Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  39. Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species
  40. George Orwell – Nineteen Eighteen Four
  41. Einstein – Relativity: The Special and General Theory
  42. Willa Cather – My Antonia

Did I miss any Great Books of the Western World?
If so, then please let me know in the comment section below!

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