Reading List for SS #21
This is a first sketch. If you read nothing else, you must read the Boethius text. If you have questions or comments, you this post and subsequent posts on the same subject.
Augustine, Civitas Dei (City of God), especially Books I-III
Benedict, The Rule. There are multiple print and online editions, and for those in a hurry, here is a truncated version: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/rul-benedict.asp
Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae (On the Consolation of Philosophy), available in various editions, new and used, and online in several places including:
Cassiodorus, Variae/Letters. Hodgkins’ edition: selections
has a lengthy and useful (not required) introduction followed by a selection of letters. Browse among them and we’ll eventually list a few for particular note.
Procopius, The Gothic War (History of the Wars, Books V-VII), available in Penguin paberback and online at:
Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, Book II, selections to be announced. Gregory's breezy work is entertaining reading and gives excellent insights into what life must have been like under the Franks.
Gregory the Great, Dialogues, especially the Life of Benedict.
Venantius Fortunatus: https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/venantius.html(in Latin). VF was a voluminous poet and hymn-writer, some of whose hymns are a part of the Western Church's liturgical traditions: "Pange lingua," "Vexilla regis prodeunt," and "Salve, festa dies" Englished as "Welcome Happy Morning." His familiar poems to friends are filled with observations of everyday life made by a civilized man, educated in Ravenna, living among the Franks.
I shall be posting on our website links and texts to bits and pieces of things, such as short poems by Latin and Greek authors
It is more important to do the primary reading, but for students looking for background, it is important to stay away from most of the popularizing literature on late antiquity. Here are some books that can be recommended.
Browning, Robert. Justinian and Theodora, widely available in new and used editions.
A useful but somewhat tendentious little volume is Averill Cameron's The Later Roman Empire