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Gateways to World Literature The Ancient World through the Early Modern Period, Volume 1,9780205787104
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Gateways to World Literature The Ancient World through the Early Modern Period, Volume 1



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Gateways to World Literaturepresents a fresh and diverse range of the world's great literature in a two-volume set that links past and present, East and West, and literary and cultural contexts at an affordable price. The anthology includes epic and lyric poetry, drama, and prose narrative, with many complete works and a focus on the most influential pieces and authors from each region and time period. Engaging introductions, scholarly annotations, maps, pronunciation guides, and illustrations developed by a distinguished editorial team provide a wealth of materials that support and illuminate the selections.

Author Biography

David Damrosch is Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is a past president of the American Comparative Literature Association, and has written widely on world literature from antiquity to the present. His books include What Is World Literature? (2003), The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh (2007), and How to Read World Literature (2009). He is the founding general editor of the six-volume Longman Anthology of World Literature, 2/e (2009) and the editor of Teaching World Literature (2009).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations







THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH (c. 1200 B.C.E.), (trans. Stephanie Dalley)


GENESIS (1st millennium B.C.E.),  (trans. Robert Alter)

Chapters 1-11


THE SONG OF SONGS (1st millennium B.C.E.), (trans. Jerusalem Bible translation)


HOMER (8th century B.C.E.)

            from The Iliad (trans. Richmond Lattimore)

                        Book 1: The Wrath of Achilles

                        Book 18: Achilles’ Sheild

                        Book 22: The Death of Hektor

                        Book 24: Achilles and Priam

            The Odyssey (trans. Robert Fagles)

                        Book 1. Athena Inspires the Prince

                        Book 6. The Princess and the Stranger

                        Book 9. In the One-Eyed Giant's Cave

                       Book 11. The Kingdom of the Dead

                        Book 22. Slaughter in the Hall

                        Book 23. The Great Rooted Bed

                        Book 24. Peace


SAPPHO  (early 7th century B.C.E)

            Rich-throned immortal Aphrodite (trans. M. L. West)

            Come, goddess (trans. M. L. West)

            Some think a fleet (trans. M. L. West)

            He looks to me to be in heaven (trans. M. L. West)

            Love shakes my heart (trans. M. L. West)

            Honestly, I wish I were dead (trans. M. L. West)

            …she worshipped you (trans. M. L. West)

            Like a sweet-apple (trans. M. L. West)

            The doorman's feet (trans. M. L. West)


SOPHOCLES (496-406 B.C.E.)

            Oedipus the King (trans. David Grene)


EURIPIDES (c. 480-405 B.C.E.)

            The Medea (trans. Rex Warner)


PLATO (c. 429-347 B.C.E)

            Apology (trans. Jowett)


 THE RAMAYANA OF VALMIKI (last centuries B.C.E.)

            Book 2: The Exile of Rama (trans. Sheldon Pollock)

            Book 3: The Abduction of Sita (trans. Sheldon Pollock)

            Book 6: The Death of Ravana and The Fire Ordeal of Sita (trans. Goldman et al.)


THE BOOK OF SONGS (1000-600 B.C.E.)

            1 The Ospreys Cry (trans. Arthur Waley)

            5 Locusts (trans. Arthur Waley)

            20 Plop Fall the Plums (trans. Arthur Waley)

            23 In the Wilds is a Dead Doe (trans. Arthur Waley)

            26 Cypress Boar (trans. Arthur Waley)

            45 Of Fair Girls (trans. Arthur Waley)

            76 I Beg You, Zhong (trans. Arthur Waley)

            166 May Heaven Guard (trans. Arthur Waley)

            189 The Beck (trans. Arthur Waley)

            234 What Plant is not Faded? (trans. Arthur Waley)

            238 Oak Clumps (trans. Arthur Waley)

            245 Birth to the People (trans. Arthur Waley)

            283 So They Appeared (trans. Arthur Waley)


CONFUCIUS (551-479 B.C.E.)

            from The Analects (trans. S. Leys)


VIRGIL (70-19 B.C.E.)

            Aeneid (trans. Robert Fitzgerald)

                        from Book 1: A Fateful Haven

                        Book 4: The Passion of the Queen

                        from Book 12: The Death of Turnus


OVID (43 B.C.E.-18 C.E.)

            Metamorphoses (trans. A. D. Melville)

                from Book 3


                        Narcissus and Echo

               from Book 6


               from Book 8

                        The Minotaur

                        Daedalus and Icarus

               from Book 10

                        Orpheus and Eurydice

                        Orpheus' Song: Ganymede, Hyacinth, Pygmalion

               from Book 11

                        The Death of Orpheus

               from Book 15



CATULLUS (84-54 B.C.E.)

                3 “Cry out lamenting, Venuses and Cupids” (trans. Charles Martin)

                5 “Lesbia, let us live only for loving”

                13 “You will dine well with me, my dear Fabullus”

                51 “To me that man seems like a god in heaven”

                76 “If any pleasure can come to a man through recalling”

                85 (“I hate & love”)

                107 “If ever something which someone with no expectation”


HORACE (65-8 B.C.E.)

                Satire1.5 (“Leaving the big city behind”)

                 from Odes

                1.9 (“You see Soracte standing white and deep”)

                2.14 (“Ah how quickly, Postumus, Postumus”)





Poetry of the Tang Dynasty

WANG WEI (701-761)

           from   The Wang River Collection (trans. Pauline Yu)


                        1 Meng Wall Cove         

                        5 Deer Enclosure

                        8 Sophora Path

                        11 Lake Yi

                        17 Bamboo Lodge

            Bird Call Valley


            Farewell to Yuan the Second on His Mission to Anxi

            Visiting the Temple of Gathered Fragrance

            Zhongnan Retreat

            In Response to Vice-Magistrate Zhang

LI BO (701-62)

            Drinking Alone by Moon (trans. Vikram Seth)

            Fighting South of the Ramparts (trans. Arthur Waley)

            The Road to Shu is Hard (trans. Vikram Seth)

            Bring in the Wine (trans. Vikram Seth)

            The Jewel Stairs' Grievance (trans. Ezra Pound)

            The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter (trans. Ezra Pound)

            Listening to a Monk from Shu Playing the Lute (trans. Vikram Seth)

            Farewell to a Friend (trans. Pauline Yu)

            In the Quiet Night (trans. Vikram Seth)

            Sitting Alone by Jingting Mountain (trans. Stephen Owen)

            Question and Answer in the Mountains (trans. Vikram Seth)

DU FU (712-770)

            Ballad of the Army Carts (trans. Vikram Seth)

            Moonlit Night (trans. Vikram Seth)

            Spring Prospect (trans. Pauline Yu)

            Traveling at Night (trans. Pauline Yu)

            Autumn Meditations (trans. A.C. Graham)

            Yangzi and Han (trans. A.C. Graham)

 BO JUYI (772-846)

            Song of Unending Sorrow (trans. Witter Bynner)


MURASAKI SHIKIBU (c. 978 – c. 1014)

            from The Tale of Genji (trans. Edward Seidensticker)

                        from Chapter 1: The Paulownia Court

                        from Chapter 2: The Broom Tree

                        from Chapter 5: Lavender

                        from Chapter 7: An Autumn Excursion

                        from Chapter 9: Heartvine

                        from Chapter 10: The Sacred Tree

                        from Chapter 12: Suma

                        from Chapter 13: Akashi

                        from Chapter 25: Fireflies

                        from Chapter 34: New Herbs (Part 1)

                        from Chapter 35: New Herbs (Part 2)

                        from Chapter 36: The Oak Tree

                        from Chapter 40: The Rites

                        from Chapter 41: The Wizard


THE QUR’AN  (trans. N.J. Dawood)

            from Sura 41. Revelations Well Expounded

            from Sura 79. The Soul Snatchers

            from Sura 15. The Rocky Tract

            from Sura 2. The Cow

            from Sura 7. The Heights

            Sura 1. The Opening

            from Sura 4. Women

            from Sura 5. The Table

            from Sura 24. Light

            from Sura 36. Ya Sin

            from Sura 48. Victory

            Sura 71. Noah

            Sura 87. The Most High

            Sura 93. Daylight

            Sura 96. Clots of Blood

            Sura 110. Help


THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS (9th – 14th century)

            Prologue: The Story of King Shahrayar and Shahrazad (trans. Husain Haddawy)

                   His Vizier's Daughter

                     [The Tale of the Ox and the Donkey]

                     [The Tale of the Merchant and His Wife]

            The Tale of the Porter and the Young Girls (trans. Powys Mathers after J.C. Mardrus)

                      [The Tale of Zubaidah, the First of the Girls]

            from The Tale of Sympathy the Learned  (trans. Powys Mathers after J.C. Mardrus)

            Conclusion (trans. Powys Mathers after J.C. Mardrus)


BEOWULF (c. 750-950) (trans. Alan Sullivan and Timothy Murphy)


Iberia, the Meeting of Three Worlds

Castilian Ballads and Traditional Songs (c. 11th -14th century)

            Ballad of Juliana (trans. Edwin Honig)

            Abenámar (trans. William M. Davis)

            These mountains, mother (trans. James Duffy)

            I will not pick verbena (trans. James Duffy)

            Three moorish girls (trans. Angela Buxton)

Mozarabic Kharjas (10th-early 11th century)

            As if you were a stranger (trans. Peter Dronke)

            Ah tell me, little sisters (trans. Peter Dronke)

            My lord Ibrahim (trans. Peter Dronke)

            I'll give you such love (trans. Peter Dronke)

            Take me out of this plight (trans. Peter Dronke)

            Mother, I shall not sleep (trans. William M. Davis)

Ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240)

            Gentle now, doves (trans. Michael Sells)

Solomon Ibn Gabirol (c. 1021- c. 1057)

            She looked at me and her eyelids burned (trans. William M. Davis)

            Behold the sun at evening (trans. Raymond P. Scheindlin)

            The mind is flawed, the way to wisdom blocked (trans. Raymond P. Scheindlin)

            Winter wrote with the ink of its rain and showers (trans.Raymond P. Scheindlin)

Yehuda Ha-Levi (before 1075-1141)

            Cups without wine are lowly (trans. William M. Davis)

            Ofra does her laundry with my tears (trans. Raymond P. Scheindlin)

            Once when I fondled him upon my thighs (trans. Raymond P. Scheindlin)

            From time's beginning, You were love's abode (trans. . Raymond P. Scheindlin)

            Your breeze, Western shore, is perfumed (trans. David Goldstein)

            My heart is in the east (trans. David Goldstein)

Ramón Lull (1232-1315)

            from Blanquerna: The Book of the Lover and the Beloved (trans. E. Allison Peers)

Dom Dinis, King of Portugal (1261-1325)

            Provençals right well may versify (trans. William M. Davis)

            Of what are you dying, daughter? (trans. Barbara Hughes Fowler)

            O blossoms of the verdant pine (trans. Barbara Hughes Fowler)

            The lovely girl arose at earliest dawn (trans. Barbara Hughes Fowler)

Martin Codax (fl. mid-13th century)

            Ah God, if only my love could know (trans. Peter Dronke)

            My beautiful sister, come hurry with me (trans. Barbara Hughes Fowler)

            Oh waves that I've come to see (trans. Barbara Hughes Fowler)


MARIE DE FRANCE (mid-12th - early 13th century)

            Lais (trans. Joan Ferrante and Robert Hanning)


                        Bisclavret (The Werewolf)

                        Chevrefoil (The Honeysuckle)



        The Divine Comedy (trans. Allen Mandelbaum)



GEOFFREY CHAUCER (c. 1340-1400)

        Canterbury Tales (trans. J.U. Nicolson)

                        The General Prologue

                        The Wife of Bath’s Prologue

                        The Wife of Bath’s Tale






Decameron  (trans. G.H. McWilliam)

        First Day [Introduction]

        First Day, Third Story [The Three Rings]

        Third Day, Tenth Story [Locking the Devil Up in  Hell]

        Seventh Day, Fourth Story [The Woman Who Locked Her Husband Out]

        Tenth Day, Tenth Story [The Patient Griselda]



        Canzoniere (trans. Mark Musa)

        During the Life of My Lady Laura

            1 ("O you who hear within these scattered verses")

            3 ("It was the day the sun’s ray had turned pale")

            16 ("The old man takes his leave, white-haired and pale")

            35 ("Alone and deep in thought I measure out")

            52 ("Diana never pleased her lover more")

            90 ("She’d let her gold hair flow free in the breeze")

            126 ("Clear, cool, sweet-running waters")

            195 ("From day to day my face and hair are changing")

        After the Death of My Lady Laura

            267 ("O God! that lovely face, that gentle look")

            277 ("If Love does not give me some new advice")

            291 ("When I see coming down the sky Aurora")

            311 ("That nightingale so tenderly lamenting")

            353 ("O lovely little bird singing away")

            365 ("I go my way lamenting those past times")



        Essays (trans. Donald Frame)

            Of Idleness

            Of the Power of the Imagination

            Of Cannibals

            Of Repentance



        Don Quixote (trans. John Rutherford) 

            Part 1: 1549

                             Chapter 1. [The character of the knight]

                             Chapter 2. [His first expedition]

                             Chapter 3. [He attains knighthood]

                             Chapter 4. [An adventure on leaving the inn]

                             Chapter 5. [The knight's misfortunes continue]

                             from Chapter 6. [The inquisition in the library]

                             Chapter 7. [His second expedition]

                             Chapter 8. [The adventure of the windmills]

                             Chapter 9. [The battle with the gallant Basquel]

                             Chapter 10. [A conversation with Sanchol]

                             from Chapter 18. [A second conversation with Sanchol]

                             Chapter 22. [The liberation of the galley slaves]

                             Chapter 25. [The knight's penitence]

                             Chapter 52. [The last adventure]

                   Part 2: 1632

                             Chapter 3. [The knight, the squire, and the bachelor]

                             Chapter 4. [Sancho provides answers]

                             Chapter 10. [Dulcinea enchanted]

                             Chapter 72. [Knight and squire return to their village]

                             Chapter 73. [A discussion about omens]

                             Chapter 74. [The death of Don Quixote]




            1 ("From fairest creatures we desire increase")

            3 ("Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest")

            17 ("Who will believe my verse in time to come")

            55 ("Not marble nor the gilded monuments")

            73 ("That time of year thou mayest in me behold")

            87 (Farewell: thou art too dear for my possessing)

            116 ("Let me not to the marriage of true minds")

            126 ("O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power")

            127 ("In the old age black was not counted fair")

            130 ("My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun")

        The Tempest       


MesoAmerica: The Meeting of Three Worlds

Bernal Díaz del Castillo (1492 - 1584) 

        from  The True History of the Conquest of New Spain (trans.  Alfred Percival Maudslay)

The Aztec-Spanish Dialogues of 1524

        from  The Aztec-Spanish Dialogues of 1524 (trans. Jorge Klor de Alva)

Songs of the Aztec Nobility (15th - 16th century) 

        Make your beginning, you who sing (trans. David Damrosch

        from Water-Pouring Song (trans. John Bierhorst)

        Moctezuma, you creature of heaven, you sing in Mexico  (trans. John Bierhorst)

Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz (c.1651 - 1695)

        from The Loa for the Auto Sacramental of The Divine Narcissus (trans. Patricia A. Peters and Renee Domeier )


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