“Civilizing the Barbarians” Course

Amazon’s A9.com has published a fascinating course on Western literature called, “Civilizing the Barbarians.” It’s available on YouTube as a series of 17 video lectures by Sr. Principal Engineer, Alexander Stepanov.

Stepanov says that you don’t have to read a lot of books to understand Western civilization. You just have a read a few, carefully. The guide to his course offers a short canon of literature for careful reading.

The course’s short canon includes:

Homer
  • The Iliad
  • The Odyssey
Plutarch
  •     Parallel Lives
Plato
  • Symposium: On love
  • Apology, Crito, Phaedo: Trial, imprisonment, and death of Socrates
  • Gorgias: On justice
  • Republic
Euclid
  • The Elements
Bible
  • Old Testament
    • Genesis
    • Exodus
    • Samuel 1 and 2
    • Kings 1 and 2
    • Jonah
  • New Testament
    • Luke
    • Acts
Shakespeare

Leave a comment if you’ve read most of these. This list is short enough to be very approachable.
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