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Thirty-five centuries ago the sun had a daughter: Hatshepsut. Youngest daughter of the Pharaoh, she was a lithe and magical child. But when her older sister died, it became her duty to purify the dynasty's bloodline. She was to wed Thothmes, her fath... View details

Although the north wall of the schoolroom opened onto the garden, the prevailing summer wind did not blow between the dazzling white, color-splashed pillars. It was suffocatingly hot. The students sat...
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Virgil's great epic transforms the Homeric tradition into a triumphal statement of the Roman civilizing mission. Translated by Robert Fitzgerald.... View details

10 Till he could found a city and bring home His gods to Latium, land of the Latin race, The Alban lords, and the high walls of Rome. Tell me the causes now, O Muse, how galled In her divine pride, an...
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Ovid's sensuous and witty poem, in an accessible translation by David Raeburn

In Metamophoses, Ovid brings together a dazzling array of mythological tales, ingeniously linked by the idea of transformation-often as a result of love or lust-where men a... View details

Swiftly Ovid enters the theme of metamorphoses, the mutability of all things in creation. There is not much doubt that the source of his inspiration is in the first book of Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura...
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The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. It tells the story Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods to stop him oppressing the people of Uruk.

This Xist Classics edition has been professionally forma... View details

With the exception of Column I the text of this tablet is preserved almost completely. Gilgamesh is introduced as the ruler of Uruk, but his rule soon became unpopular, since he compelled all the youn...
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"The Call of Cthulhu," first published in the magazine Weird Tales in 1928. The creature is described as "a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigio... View details

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it ...
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The complete Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) in one volume from Vintage Classics. The greatest poem of the Middle Ages, in the standard Carlyle-Okey-Wickstead translation, with full notes.

Dante's Divine Comedy relates the allegorical t... View details

For each canto in these notes, the reader will find broadly factual information and cross-references to texts cited by Dante that are worth reading alongside Dante’s own. The asterisks in the poem tex...
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The procession that crosses Chaucer's pages is as full of life and as richly textured as a medieval tapestry. The Knight, the Miller, the Friar, the Squire, the Prioress, the Wife of Bath, and others who make up the cast of characters - including Cha... View details

Literary classics do not change their language. But the languages in which they were composed are constantly changing. Homer’s Greek, dating from about 800 BCE, remains Homer’s Greek, but even a nativ...
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"Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."

Blind, broken by the death of his wife and bitterly disappointed by the Restoration, Milton dictated his sweeping biblical epic Paradise Lost to a series of helpers. While the struggle between God and S... View details

He went to school to old Mr. Gill, at Paul’s School. Went at his own charge only to Christ’s College in Cambridge at fifteen, where he stayed eight years at least. Then he traveled into France and Ita...
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These stories include the great myths - of Amen-Ra, who created all the creatures in the world; of Isis, seaching the waters for her dead husband Osiris; of the Bennu Bird and the Book of Thoth. But there are also tales told for pleasure about magic,... View details

Ra perceived these things and the plots which the evil among men were preparing against his divine majesty. Then he spoke to his attendants, saying, ‘Gather together the high gods who are my court. Su...
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The first book in the epic Egyptian series

The first book in the epic Egyptian series. 'Fame and popularity breed envy in high places, and the adulation of the mob is fickle. they often take as much pleasure in tearing down the idols that they have g... View details

The Nile that flows through this story has both of us in her thrall. We have spent days of delight voyaging together upon her waters and idling upon her banks. As we are, so is she a creature of this ...
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