14 September

Robert B Downs's Famous Books Ancient and Medieval: Outlines of 108 Great Works That Have Shaped Modern Civilization [1964] and Molders of the Modern Mind: 111 Books That Shaped Western Civilization [1961] together form a single list that covers all of literary history: the latter begins chronologically where the former left off. However, these two books overlap with a third, Books That Changed the World (published in two significantly-different editions, 1956 and 1978) in a jumbled way. Simply put, essays from the '56 book appeared in Molders, but the latter overall has a larger number of essays. Meanwhile, Downs wrote Famous Books, Ancient and Medieval, since the first edition of Books That Changed the World included only post-medieval works (that is, it could be considered a first version of Molders). So, the '78 second edition of Books adds to the first: several essays from Famous, a few of the essays unique to Molders, and an essay on Rachel Carson originally published in another Downs work, Books That Changed America. In short, Books That Changed the World is almost irrelevant to this project, because nearly all of its selections are also found in Famous and Molders. The Carson essay is not in either of those, and the selections for two authors, Marx and Freud, are different in Books than they are in Molders. The Carson, Marx, and Freud selections not found in Molders are thus being included in the master list here.

Famous Books, Ancient and Medieval:
The Book of the Dead (c. 4000-1500 B C)

Hammurabi (c. 2125-2080 B C), The Code of Hammurabi

The Bible (c. 1000 B C-A D 150)

Homer (c. 850 B C): The Iliad; The Odyssey

Hesiod (c. 776 B C), Works and Days

Solon (c. 640-560 B C), Poems

Aesop (c. 620-560 B C), Fables

Gautama, the Buddha (563-483 B C), Tripitakas

Kung Fu-Tse (Confucius) (c. 551-479 B C), Analects

Aeschylus (525-456 B C): Prometheus Bound; Oresteia

Pindar (c. 522-442 B C), Odes

Sophocles (495-406 B C): Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone

Herodotus (484?-425 B C), History of the Persian Wars

Euripides (c. 480-406 B C): Medea; Hippolytus; The Trojan Women; The Bacchae

Hippocrates (c. 460-377 B C), Aphorisms

Thucydides (c. 455-399 B C), History of the Peloponnesian War

Aristophanes (c. 448-380 B C): The Clouds; The Birds; Lysistrata; The Frogs

Xenophon (c. 430-350 B C), Anabasis

Plato (c. 427-347 B C): Symposium; Apology; Crito; Phaedo; Republic; Statesman; Laws; Timaeus

Demosthenes (384-322 B C), Philippics [Downs only refers to the first-third Philippics]

Aristotle (384-322 B C): Organon; History of Animals; Physics; On the Heavens; Meteorologics; Mechanics; Nicomachean Ethics; Politics; Rhetoric; 45) Poetics

Theophrastus (c. 370-287 B C), 46) On the History of Plants; 47) On the Causes of Plants

Menander (c. 342-292 B C), 48) The Girl From Samos; 49) The Dour Man; 50) The Shearing of Glycera; 51) The Arbitration

Euclid (c. 330-275 B C), Elements of Geometry

Archimedes (287?-212 B C), On the Sphere and Cylinder

Titus Maccius Platus (c. 255-184 B C), Plays

Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 B C), On Agriculture

Polybius (c. 204-122 B C), The Histories

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B C): Orations; Letters; Philosophical Essays; Republic; Laws

Caius Julius Caesar (102-44 B C), Commentarii de Bello Gallico ("Commentaries on the Gallic War")

Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 96-55 B C), De Rerum Natura ("On the Nature of Things")

Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86-34 B C), The War With Catiline; The War With Jugurtha

Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84-54 B C), Poems

Publius Vergilius Maro (70-19 B C), Aeneid

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 B C), Satires; Odes; Epistles

Strabo (c. 64 B C-A D 21), Geography

Titus Livius (59 B C-A D 17), History of Rome

Aulus Cornelius Celsus (c. 25 B C-A D 50), De Medicina

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B C-A D 65), Moral Essays; Tragedies

Marcus Virtruvius Pollio (First century B C), On Architecture

Pliny the Elder (23-79), Natural History

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. 35-95), Institutio Oratoria

Pedacius Dioscorides (c. 40-80), Materia Medica

Marcus Valerius Matrialis [Martial] (c. 40-104), Epigrams

Plutarch (c. 45-120), Parallel Lives of Greeks and Romans

Cornelius Tacitus (c. 55-120), Annals

Decimus Junius Juvenalis (c. 60-140), Satires

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 70-140), Lives of the Caesars

Claudius Ptolemaeus (c. 100-70), Geography

Lucian (c. 120-190): Dialogues; 80) True History

Claudius Galen (c. 130-200), On the Natural Faculties

The Talmud (c. 200-500)

Diogenes Laërtius (c. 225-275), Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers

St. Augustine (354-430): Confessions; City of God

Flavius Anicius Justinianus [Justinian I], Corpus Juris Civilis

The Koran (c. 610-632)

The Venerable Bede (673-735), Ecclesiasticae Historiae Gentis Anglorum ("Ecclesiastical History of the English People")

The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night (c. 900-1500)

Avicenna (Abu Ali a-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina) (980-1037), Canon of Medicine

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100-1154), History of the Kings of England

John of Salisbury (c. 1115-1180), The Statesman's Book (Policraticus)

Magna Carta (1215)

Roger Bacon (1214?-1294), Opus Majus ("Major Work")

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), Summa Theologica

Marco Polo (c. 1254-1324), The Travels of Marco Polo the Ventian

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), The Divine Comedy

Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), The Decameron

John Wycliffe (c. 1320-1384), Wycliffite Bible

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340-1440), The Canterbury Tales

Molders of the Modern Mind:
Christopher Columbus' Letter of Christopher Columbus Concerning Newly Discovered Islands (1493)

Desiderius Erasmus' The Praise of Folly (1511)

Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516)

Martin Luther's An Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (1520)

Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince (1532)

John Calvin's Institute of the Christian Religion (1536)

Nicolaus Copernicus' Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543)

Andreas Vesalius' On the Structure of the Human Body (1543)

Jean Bodin's The Six Books on the State (1576)

Michel de Montaigne's Essays (1580-1595)

William Gilbert's On the Loadstone, Magnetic Bodies and On the Great Magnet of the Earth (1600)

William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1603)

Francis Bacon's Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human (1605)

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605-1615)

Johannes Kepler's The New Astronomy (1609) and Harmony of the World (1619)

Hugo Grotius' On the Law of War and Peace (1625)

William Harvey's Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals (1628)

Galileo Galilei's Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican (1632)

René Descartes' A Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences (1637)

John Milton's Areopagitica: a Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing, in the Parliament of England (1644)

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill (1651)

Robert Boyle's The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico-Physical Doubts & Paradoxes (1661)

Robert Hooke's Micrographia: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses With Observations and Inquiries Thereupon (1665)

John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)

Isaac Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687)

John Locke's Two Treatises of Government (1690)

Pierre Bayle's Historical and Critical Dictionary (1697)

Anton von Leeuwenhoek's Letters to the Royal Society of England (1710)

Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719)

Giambattista Vico's The New Science (1725)

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726)

Carolus Linneaus' System of Nature (1758-59)

Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws (1748)

Denis Diderot's Encyclopedia, or Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts (1751-72)

Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language (1755)

Jean Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)

François Marie Arouet de Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary (1794)

Cesare Bonesana Beccaria's On Crimes and Punishments (1764)

William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Law of England (1765-69)

Thomas Jefferson's A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774)

Adam Smith's An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)

Thomas Paine's Common Sense, Addressed to the Inhabitants of America (1776)

Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-88)

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay's The Federalist: A Collection of Essays Written in Favor of the New Constituion (1788)

James Hutton's Theory of the Earth; or An Investigation of the Laws Observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land Upon the Globe (1788)

Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's Elementary Treatise of Chemistry (1789)

Jeremy Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)

Edmund Burke's Reflections on the French Revolution (1790)

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography (1791)

Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)

William Godwin's An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Political Justice, and Its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness (1793)

Antoine-Nicolas de Condorcet's Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (1795)

Immanuel Kant's Eternal Peace; a Philosophical Proposal (1795)

Edward Jenner's An Inquiry Into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ Vaccincæ, a Disease Discovered in Some of the Western Counties of England, Particularly Gloucestershire, and Known by the Name of the Cow Pox (1798)

Thomas Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)

Pierre Simon Laplace's Celestial Mechanics (1799-1825)

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi's How Gertrude Teaches Her Children (1801)

Johann Gottlieb Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation (1807-08)

John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808-27)

Robert Owen's A New View of Society, or, Essays on the Formation of the Human Character  (1813-14)

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's The Philosophy of Right (1821)

Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828)

Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface, by Reference to Causes Now in Operation (1830-33)

Auguste Comte's Course of Positive Philosophy (1830-42)

Karl von Clausewitz's On War (1832-34)

Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835-40)

William Holmes McGuffey's Eclectic Readers (1836-37)

Michael Faraday's Experimental Researches in Electricity (1839-55)

Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz's Studies on Glaciers (1840)

Pierre Joseph Proudhon's What Is Property? or an Inquiry Into the Principle of Right and of Government (1840)

Thomas Carlyle's On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841)

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essays (1841-44) [because the two dates of the given period are also the publication dates of Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, we are interpreting Downs's listing not as an unspecified selection of Emerson's essays--since Emerson did write essays other than those in the two collections--but as a selection of those two books]

Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos (1845-62)

Hermann von Helmholtz's On the Conservation of Force (1847)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' The Communist Manifesto (1848)

Henry David Thoreau's Resistance to Civil Government (1849)

Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)

Charles Dickens' Hard Times (1854)

Louis Pasteur's Treatise on the Fermentation Known as Lactic (1857)

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859)

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A Douglas' Political Debates...in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois (1860)

John Stuart Mill's On Liberty (1859)

Victor Marie Hugo's Les Misérables (1862)

Gregor Johann Mendel's 'Experiments in Plant Hybridization' (1866)

Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1865)

Joseph Lister's 'On the Antiseptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery' (1867)

Horatio Alger, Jr.'s Ragged Dick (1867)

Walt Whiman's Democratic Vistas (1871)

Josiah Willard Gibbs' On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances (1876-78)

Henry George's Progress and Property: An Inquiry Into the Cause of Industrial Depressions, and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth; the Remedy (1879)

Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House (1879)

Robert Koch's 'The Etiology of Tuberculosis' (1882)

Herbert Spencer's The Man Versus the State (1884)

Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, 2000-1887 (1888)

George Bernard Shaw, Sidney Webb, and Others, Fabian Essays in Socialism (1889)

Alfred T Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 (1890)

Sir James G Frazer's The Golden Bough (1890; 1911-15)

Frederick Jackson Turner's 'The Significance of the Frontier in American History' (1893)

Havelock Ellis' Studies in the Psychology of Sex (1897-1928)

Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)

John Dewey's School and Society (1899)

Halford Mackinder's 'The Geographical Pivot of History' (1904)

Frederick Winslow Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management (1911)

Woodrow Wilson's The New Freedom (1913)

Albert Einstein's Relativity, the Special and General Theory (1917)

Nikolai Lenin's The State and Revolution (1918)

John Maynard Keynes' The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919)

Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (1925-27)

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov's Conditioned Reflexes: an Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex (1927)

Sigmund Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents (1930)

Books That Changed the World, 2nd ed.:
Karl Marx: Das Kapital

Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams

Rachel Carson: Silent Spring