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TTC - Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life
TTC - Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life
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What makes a written work eternal-its message still so fundamental to the way we live that it continues to speak to us, hundreds or thousands of years distant from the lifetime of its author? Why do we still respond to an ancient Greek playwright's tale of the Titan so committed to humanity's survival that he is willing to endure eternal torture in his defiance of the gods? To the cold advice of a 16th-century Florentine exiled from the corridors of power? To the words of a World War I German veteran writing of the horrors of endless trench warfare?

Most important of all, what do such works-"Great Books" in every sense-mean to us? Can they deepen our self-knowledge and wisdom? Are our lives changed in any meaningful way by the experience of reading them?

In this course, Professor J. Rufus Fears presents his choices of some of the most essential writings in history. These are books that have shaped the minds of great individuals, who in turn have shaped events of historic magnitude.

This course does not analyze the literature or discuss it in detail; rather, it focuses on intellectual history and ethics. What Professor Fears does is to take the underlying ideas of each great work and show how these ideas can be put to use in a moral and ethical life.

Beginning with his definition of a great book as one that possesses a great theme of enduring importance, noble language that "elevates the soul and ennobles the mind," and a universality that enables it to "speak across the ages," Professor Fears examines a body of work that offers an extraordinary gift of wisdom to those willing to receive it.

From the Aeneid and the Book of Job to Othello and 1984, the selections range in time from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the 20th century, and in locale from Mesopotamia and China to Europe and America.

36 lectures
| 30 minutes each

1
Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers From Prison
2
Homer, Iliad
3
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
4
Bhagavad Gita
5
Book of Exodus
6
Gospel of Mark
7
Koran
8
Gilgamesh
9
Beowulf
10
Book of Job
11
Aeschylus, Oresteia
12
Euripides, Bacchae
13
Plato, Phaedo
14
Dante, The Divine Comedy
15
Shakespeare, Othello, the Moor of Venice
16
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
17
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
18
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

19
George Orwell, 1984
20
Virgil, Aeneid
21
Pericles, Oration; Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
22
Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
23
Confucius, The Analects
24
Machiavelli, The Prince
25
Plato, Republic
26
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
27
Sir Thomas Malory, Morte d'Arthur
28
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part 1
29
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part 2
30
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
31
Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
32
Lord Acton, The History of Freedom
33
Cicero, On Moral Duties (De Officiis)
34
Gandhi, An Autobiography
35
Churchill, My Early Life; Painting as a Pastime; WWII
36
Lessons from the Great Books





TTC - Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life


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