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An influential classic and one of the earliest scholarly works of history. Enthusiastically embraced by the author's contemporaries and immediate successors. History gives an account of the war fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens) in Ancient Greece. Unlike the many appearances the Gods make in the writings of Herodotus and the poems of Homer, Thucydides sees history as being caused by the choices and actions of human beings.
The Golden Ass relates the ludicrous adventures of Lucius, a virile young man obsessed with magic. In his enthusiasm to see the use of magic he is accidentally transformed into an ass and thus forced to witness and experience the lives of slaves and the destitute. This is the only surviving work of Greco-Roman literature to give a first person perspective of the abhorrent condition of the lower classes. T. E. Lawrence carried a small copy of the book in his saddlebags throughout the Arab Revolt.
Le Morte d'Arthur is a classic tale of loyalty, love, and death. Malory assembles some French and English Arthurian romances, along with some additions of his own. The outline of the story will be familiar to many, it is the source for many modern Arthurian authors, but modern retellings present only a fraction of the original Malory. First printed in 1485 it is likely it will be as well known and loved in another 500 years.
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