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Classical antiquity ( so-called antiquity) is a colossal time span that covers the history of many cultures and civilizations. Where to go is up to you alone, as it all depends on your interest. First, decide which civilization is most interesting to you. Always remember the remark of the Roman philosopher Seneca – who is everywhere is nowhere-and choose one area for in-depth consideration.
If you are attracted to Greece, then for the first extensive and multifaceted acquaintance with its significance in world history, it is worth reading the three-volume book: Andre Bonnard. Greek civilization. In 3 vols. M. 1991-1992. Greek myths are collected in the work of R. R. Graves, and the religious aspects of the life of the Greeks are best acquainted by reading the work: V. Burkert. Greek Religion: Archaica and Classics, St. Petersburg, 2004 (there are earlier editions; the original text is in German, there is a good English translation). Of the Russian works on the history of Greek literature, the most complete is the three-volume edition: History of Greek Literature. Moscow-L. 1946-1960.
With Rome, everything is more complicated, since T. Mommsen's monumental historical work on the history of Rome before Caesar's death has not been surpassed. To know the history of Rome, it is necessary to read it, but it does not promise to be entertaining; however, in terms of entertainment, you will be rewarded by reading sources: for example, the biographies of emperors by Suetonius will amuse you with a fascinating presentation and a large number of court anecdotes. Interesting will be the two-volume book Culture of ancient Rome, Moscow, 1985. On the history of Roman literature, except for the domestic work History of Roman Literature. 1959-1962., very necessary to read: M. von Albrecht. Istoriya rimskoi literatury [History of Roman Literature], Moscow, 2002-2005.
An overview of the philosophy of classical antiquity can be found in the first of four volumes of an extensive manual: Reale J., Antiseri D. Western philosophy from origins to our days. SPb. 1997-2002.
start by getting acquainted with the gods: find myths, analyze the correspondence of their names in Greek and Roman mythology. I won't answer what specific literature will help you with this, but I think a consultant in a bookstore or Google will help.
when you start to get a little excited about this topic, meet Homer. if you can easily and with interest read the Odyssey and the Iliad (yes, both are better), then you can safely continue your journey through ancient literature. almost anyone. it can be the poet Sappho or Virgil and his poem “Aeneid”. or anything else – after all, there is quite a lot of ancient literature.
From Greek history, I found the books interesting:
Thucydides “History of the Peloponnesian Wars” and Xenophon's “Anabasis”.
The Milo Dialogue from Thucydides is an amazing example of international negotiations that is still relevant and recommended for reading in some universities.
Read Lev Losev's “Ancient Literature”.
If you want – Homer's “Iliad ” or”Odyssey”.
From the lyrics – Sappho.
It is impossible to pass by the myths presented by N. Kuhn.
First, it is worth knowing that ancient literature is divided into two main parts – Greek (original) and Roman (much of which was copied from the Greeks with the banal replacement of the names of the gods).
Secondly, if you have not formed any base before, I advise you to start with the book” Legends and Myths of Ancient Greece “by N. Kuhn, in order to get acquainted with the” ruler “of gods and demigods and their”origins”.
And then you can take some university textbook on antique and choose what to read from there. I can recommend a very good one, I studied it myself, “Ancient Literature” by V. I. Pashchenko and N. I. Pashchenko, from there you can take not only the titles of works, but also sensible criticism. only it is in Ukrainian… but I think there's something like that in Russian, too!