26 June

The web site World Canonical Texts originally presented a list of 36 works, plus lists of 16 and four derived from those 36; then presented a list of 150, from which lists of 100, 50, 25, and 12 were derived. However, not all of the works on those shorter lists are in the 150 and 36 tallies; each list is meant to stand on its own as representative of the world's major religious and philosophical movements, thus making substitutions necessary at times. Also, the entries in the list of 36 do not always take the same form in the list of 150 (for example, the list of 150 has Plato's complete works, while the 36 only has The Republic).

Despite this complex set-up, this site makes an extraordinary contribution to the literature of book lists/ canons/ reading plans. Far more so than the Norwegian Book Club's World Library, these lists, especially when combined into a single list as I have done here, offer the only "great books" list not dominated by the West. By focusing on religious and philosophical texts, the anonymous author (who tells us a few details about himself, most important that he's Chinese) effectively offers a path to understanding the Christian, Islamic, Classical Chinese, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions in their literary manifestations. Perhaps only a list emphasizing poetry could be as truly global. In contrast, most of the lists we've seen emphasize fiction, namely the novel (the major exception being Seymour-Smiths's, and to a lesser extent Eliot's, Adler's, Van Doren's and the Great Books of the Western World lists, all of which nonetheless are Western-dominated.)

This site's lists, like nearly all of the "great books" lists, do not rank the works, except insofar that those works in the shorter lists are more representative and perhaps more significant (the creator of the site is not always clear on this point). I got the order in which they're presenting here by starting with the shortest list, so that the first-fourth here constitute the list of 4 at the site; they are followed by the works in the list of 12 not already included in the list of 4, the works in the list of 16 not already included in the lists of 4 or 12, and so on.  

Plato - Dialogues

Mahabharata

Sima Qian - Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian)

Muhammad (reciter) - Quran

Herodotus - Histories

Samyutta Nikaya

Bible

Xiao Tong - Wenxuan [Selections of Refined Literature] ("includes substantial parts of Chu Ci, and poetry up [to] the compilers' time including [...] Cao Zhi or Tao Yuanming")

Sankara - Brahmasutrabhasya

Al-Ghazali - Revival of Religious Sciences

Zhu Xi - Sishu Zhangju Jizhu (Commentaries on Four Books) ("commentaries include The Analects, Mengzi, and Li Ji from which Zhong Yong and Da Xue are 2 chapters" or, as this compiler puts it on another page, "Lunyu ("Analects"), Menzi ("Mencius") and Liji ("Records of Rites") are included"--just to give an example of the differing spellings used without any definite pattern throughout these lists)

Shakespeare - First Folio

Kant - Critique of Pure Reason

Nagarjuna - Mulamadhyamakakarika

Plato - Republic

Virgil - Aeneid

Wang Bi - Works (Wang Bi Ji) ("includes Zhouyi and Laozi")

Su Shi - Dongpo Quanji (Works) ("Su Shi's Works -- given that his ci poetry work are selected in Huaan Cixuan -- is just the traditional collection of his prose and shi poetry writings")

Al-Tabari - Tarikh al-Tabari (History of Prophets and Kings)

Ibn Sina [Avicenna] - Al-Shifa [The Book of Healing]

Rumi - Masnavi

Kalidasa - Works ("most important works include "Abhijnanasakuntalam (drama), Kumarasambhava (epic poetry) and Meghaduta (shorter poetry)")

Augustine - On the Trinity

Zhiyi - Fahua Xuanyi

Ferdowsi - Shahnameh

Ramanuja - Bhagavadgitabhasya

Dante - Commedia

Amir Khusrau ("his third diwan (collection) called Ghurrath-ul-Kamal is among his most important works, [as are] his historical masnavis Ashiqe and Noh Sepehr")

Gao Bing - Tangshi Pinhui ("early Ming compilation of Tang poetry - the way it classifies poets, and poems by sub-genre is commonly used afterwards such as the popular 300 Tang Poems")

Descartes - Meditations on First Philosophy

Gibbon - Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Rig Veda

Homer - Iliad

Aristotle - Metaphysics

Laws of Manu (Manava Dharmasastra)

Eusebius - Church History

Kalidasa - The Recognition of Shakuntala [already numbered above]

Zhiyi - Commentaries on Vimalakirti Sutra

Kong Yingda - Correct Meanings of Mao Odes (Maoshi Zhengyi) ("Shi Jing ("Classics of Odes") is included")

Xuanzang - Records of Western Religions

Cheng Xuanying - Zhuangzi Zhushu (Sub-commentary on Zhuangzi)

Three Hundred Tang Poems

Dao Yuan - Jingde Chuandenglu (Transmission of Lamp)

Sima Guang - Zizhi Tongjian (Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government)

William Shakespeare - Hamlet [already indirectly included as part of the First Folio]

Cao Xueqin - The Story of the Stone (Shitou Ji)

Marx - Das Kapital

Plato - Complete Works

Xunzi - Xunzi

Ramayana

Umasvati - Tattvathasutra/bhasya

Muallaquat

Manikkavachakar - Tiruvacakam

Murasaki Shikibu - Genji Monogatari

Ibn Arabi - Meccan Revelations

Calvin - Institutes

Abul Fazl - Akbarnama

Cervantes - Don Quixote

Descartes - Discourses on Method

Locke - Two Treatises on Government

Austen - Pride and Prejudice

Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov

Guo Xiang - Zhuangzi Zhu (Commentaries on Zhuangzi) ("includes Zhuangzi")

Sophocles - Theban Plays

Thucydides - Peloponnesian Wars

Mozi - Mozi

Dong Zhongshu - Chunqiu Fanlu

Kautilya [Chanakya] - Arthasastra

Ovid - Metamorphoses

Livy - History of Rome

Asvaghosa - Buddhacarita

Vimalakirtinirdesasutra [Vimalakīrti Sūtra

Origen - On First Principles

Patanjali - Yogasutra

Pancatantra

Ge Hong - Baopuzi

Liu Yiqing - Shishuo Xinyu

Hala - Sattasai

Mahavamsa [The Great Chronicle]

Pseudo-Dionysius Aeropagite

Wonhyo - Dacheng Qixinlun Shuji ("includes The Awakening of Faith")

Du You - Tongdian

Abu Nuwas - Diwan

Al-Bukhari - Sahih Al-Bukhari

Udayana - Nyayakusumanjali

Hujwiri - Kashf al-Mahjub

Al-Hariri - Maqamat al-Hariri

Wang Zhe - Chongyang Quanzhenji

Musa ibn Maymum (Maimonides) - Guide for the Perplexed

Jayadeva - Gita Govinda

Shinran - Jiao Xing Xin Zheng (Kyogyoshinsho)

Huang Sheng - Huaan Cixuan ("a Southern Song compilation that includes ci poetry of various styles")

Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica

Rashiduddin [Rashid-al-Din Hamadani] - Jami al-Tawarikh

Gregory Palamas - Triads

Hafez - Divan

Chaucer - Canterbury Tales

Tsong Kha Ba - Ocean of Reason Commentary on Mulamadhyamakakarika

Machiavelli - The Prince

Luther - Three Treatises of 1520

Yi Hwang - Sheng Xue Shi Tu (Seonghaksipdo)

Luis de Camoens - Lusiads

Montaigne - Essays

Adi Granth

Mulla Sadra - Al-Asfar [The Transcendent Philosophy of the Four Journeys of the Intellect]

Milton - Paradise Lost

Huang Zongxi - Mingru Xuean

Mustafa Naima - Tarikh-i Naima [Ravdatu l-Huseyn fi Hulasat-i-ahbari l-Hafiqayn]

Voltaire - Essay on Manners

Goethe - Faust

Mickiewicz - Pan Tadeusz

J S Mill - On Liberty

Ghalib - Divan

Cicero - On Duties

Sappho - Lyrical Poems

Early Upanisads

Hanfeizi - Hanfeizi

Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Plotinus - Enneads

Avesta

Bhartrhari - Satakatraya

Yogacarabhumi [Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra] [Discourse on the Stages of Yogic Practice]

Buddhaghosa - Visuddhimagga

Tao Hongjing - Zhengao

Bede - English Church History

John of Damascus - Fountain of Wisdom

Al-Shafii - Al-Risala

Bana - Kadambari

Bhagavata Purana

Kukai - Jujushinron

Al-Masudi - Meadows of Gold

Nizamulmulk - Siyasatnama

Abhinavagupta - Tantraloka

Somadeva - Kathasaritsagara

Shao Yong - Huangji Jingshi Shu [Book of Supreme World Ordering Principles]

Chretien de Troyes - Arthurian Romances

Petrarch - Canzoniere

Al-Suhrawardi [Sohrevardi] - Hikmat al-Ishraq [Oriental Theosophy]

Ibn Khaldun - Kitab al-Ibar [Muqaddimah]

Sadi [Saadi Shirazi] - Gullistan

Hemacandra - Trisastisalakapurusacaritra [Tri-shashthi-shalaka-purusha-charitra]/ Parisistaparvan [Parishista-parvan] [Lives of Sixty-Three Great Men]

Kaviraja [Suri] - Raghavapandaviya

Wang Chongyang (Wang Zhe) - Chongyang Quanzhen Ji ("commentaries include Zhouyi Cantong Qi")

Yu Yan - Zhouyi Cantong Qi Fahui [Elucidation of the Cantong Qi]

Wang Shifu - Xixiang Ji [The Story of the Western Wing]

Shi Naian - Shuihu Zhuan

Jose de Acosta - Natural and Moral History of the Indies

Fuzuli - Epic of Layla and Majnun

Gu Yanwu - Rizhi Lu

Matshuo Basho - Works ("mostly Haiku poetry, but also including a famous travel works [sic] Oku no Hosomichi")

Hugo - Les Miserables

Hume - Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Lyrical Ballads

Whitman - Leaves of Grass

William James - Pragmatism

Schleiermacher - The Christian Faith

Burckhardt - Civilization of Renaissance in Italy

Nietzsche - Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Tolstoy - War and Peace

Solovyov - Lectures on Divine Humanity [Lectures on Godmanhood]

Shah Waliullah - Hujjat Allah al-Baligha [The Conclusive Argument From God

Bi Yuan - Xu Zizhi Tongjian

Xuanzhuang - Datang Xiyu Ji [The Great Tang Records on the Western Religions