Ancient History & Civilisation


This is a general bibliography; particular bibliographies relevant to each thinker are to be found at the end of the section dedicated to that thinker. In both bibliographies, I have listed both the best and the most recent books, but I have been more selective where articles from academic journals are concerned, while maintaining the purpose of providing the reader with a reasonable spread of views. I mention only those articles which are or are likely to become canonical (or at least which have not been superseded), those whose interpretative thrust is clearly expressed, and those whose focus is wider than, say, the attempt to establish the text of a particular testimonium or fragment, and which are therefore more likely to be of interest to the readers of this volume. There is a fairly large output of articles every year, and any more thorough listing would soon be out of date.


[1] H. Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 3 vols., ed. W. Kranz, 6th edn. (Zurich: Weidmann, 1951–2).

[2] G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven, and M. Schofield, The Presocratic Philosophers, 2nd edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).

[3] M. Untersteiner, Sofisti: Testimonianze e frammenti, 4 vols. (Florence: Nuova Italia, 1961–2).

[4] M. R. Wright, The Presocratics (Bristol: Bristol Classical Press, 1985).


[5] J. Barnes, Early Greek Philosophy (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987).

[6] P. K. Curd and R. D. McKirahan, A Presocratics Reader (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1996).

[7] M. Gagarin and P. Woodruff (eds.), Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

[8] R. K. Sprague (ed.), The Older Sophists (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1972).

[9] P. Wheelwright, The Presocratics (New York: Macmillan, 1966).

General Histories of Early Greek Philosophy

[10] W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. i: The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962); vol. ii: The Presocratic Tradition from Parmenides to Democritus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965); vol. iii: The Sophists and Socrates (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969).

[11] T. H. Irwin, Classical Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).

[12] R. D. McKirahan, Philosophy before Socrates (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994).

[13] J. M. Robinson, An Introduction to Early Greek Philosophy (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968).

[14] C. C. W. Taylor (ed.), Routledge History of Philosophy, vol. i: From the Beginning to Plato (London: Routledge, 1997).

General Books on the Presocratics

[15] J. Barnes, The Presocratic Philosophers, 2 vols. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979; single paperback vol., 1982).

[16] P. K. Curd, The Legacy of Parmenides: Eleatic Monism and Later Presocratic Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998).

[17] D. J. Furley, The Greek Cosmologists, vol. i: The Formation of the Atomic Theory and Its Earliest Critics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

[18] E. Hussey, The Presocratics (London: Duckworth, 1972).

[19] A. A. Long (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

[20] M. C. Stokes, One and Many in Presocratic Philosophy (Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies, 1971).

Collections of Articles

[21] J. P. Anton and G. L. Kustas (eds.), Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1971).

[22] J. P. Anton and A. Preus (eds.), Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy, vol. ii (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983).

[23] K. J. Boudouris (ed.), The Sophistic Movement (Athens: Athenian Library of Philosophy, 1982).

[24] —— (ed.), Ionian Philosophy (Athens: International Center for Greek Philosophy and Culture, 1989).

[25] D. J. Furley, Cosmic Problems (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

[26] D. J. Furley and R. E. Allen (eds.), Studies in Presocratic Philosophy, 2 vols. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970, 1975).

[27] G. B. Kerferd (ed.), The Sophists and their Legacy (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1981).

[28] E. N. Lee et al. (eds.), Exegesis and Argument: Studies in Greek Philosophy Presented to Gregory Vlastos (Assen: Van Gorcum 1973 = Phronesis, suppl. vol. 1).

[29] J. Mansfeld, Studies in the Historiography of Greek Philosophy (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1990).

[30] A. P. D. Mourelatos (ed.), The Pre-Socratics: A Collection of Critical Essays (New York: Doubleday, 1974).

[31] K. Robb (ed.), Language and Thought in Early Greek Philosophy (La Salle, Ill.: Monist Library of Philosophy, 1983).

[32] R. A. Shiner and J. King-Farlow (eds.), New Essays on Plato and the Presocratics (Canadian Journal of Philosophy (Guelph), suppl. vol. 2, 1976).

[33] G. Vlastos, Studies in Ancient Greek Philosophy, vol. i: The Presocratics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).

Greek Religion and Myths

[34] W. Burkert, Greek Religion (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985).

[35] P. E. Easterling and J. V. Muir (eds.), Greek Religion and Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

[36] G. S. Kirk, Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (1970).

[37] —— The Nature of Greek Myths (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974).

[38] M. P. Nilsson, A History of Greek Religion, 2nd edn. (London: Oxford University Press, 1949).

[39] R. C. T. Parker, ‘Greek Religion’, in J. Boardman et al. (eds.), The Oxford History of the Classical World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), 254–74.

[40] S. Price, Religions of the Ancient Greeks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

The Predecessors of the Presocratics

[41] F. M. Cornford, Principium Sapientiae: A Study of the Origins of Greek Philosophical Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952).

[42] A. Finkelberg, ‘On the Unity of Orphic and Milesian Thought’, Harvard Theological Review, 79 (1986), 321–35.

[43] H. Frankfort et al., Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946).

[44] A. Laks and G. W. Most (eds.), Studies on the Derveni Papyrus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).

[45] R. D. McKirahan, ‘Speculations on the Origins of Ionian Scientific and Philosophical Thought’, in [24], 241–7.

[46] O. Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, 2nd edn. (Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1957).

[47] R. B. Onians, The Origins of European Thought about the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time, and Fate (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951).

[48] H. S. Schibli, Pherekydes of Syros (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990).

[49] B. Snell, The Discovery of the Mind in Greek Philosophy and Literature (1953; New York: Dover, 1982).

[50] M. C. Stokes, ‘Hesiodic and Milesian Cosmogonies’, Phronesis, 7 (1962), 1–37, and 8 (1963), 1–34.

[51] M. L. West, ‘Three Presocratic Cosmogonies’, Classical Quarterly, 13 (1963), 154–76.

[52] —— The Orphic Poems (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983).

[53] —— ‘Ab Ovo: Orpheus, Sanchuniathon and the Origins of the Ionian World Model’, Classical Quarterly, 44 (1994), 289–307.

Concept Studies of the Presocratics

[54] H. C. Baldry, ‘Embryological Analogies in Pre-Socratic Cosmogony’, Classical Quarterly, 26 (1932), 27–34.

[55] J. Barnes, ‘Aphorism and Argument’, in [31], 91–109.

[56] H. Cherniss, ‘The Characteristics and Effects of Presocratic Philosophy’, in [26], i. 1–28 (first pub. Journal of the History of Ideas, 12 (1951)).

[57] F. M. Cornford, ‘Innumerable Worlds in Presocratic Philosophy’, Classical Quarterly, 28 (1934), 1–16.

[58] J. Ferguson, ‘The Opposites’, Apeiron, 3.1 (1969), 1–17.

[59] K. von Fritz, ‘Nous, Noein, and their Derivatives in Pre-Socratic Philosophy (Excluding Anaxagoras)’, in [30], 23–85 (first pub. Classical Philology, 40 (1945) and 41 (1946)).

[60] E. Hussey, ‘The Beginnings of Epistemology: From Homer to Philolaus’, in S. Everson (ed.), Companions to Ancient Thought, vol. i: Epistemology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 11–38.

[61] W. Jaeger, The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers (London: Oxford University Press, 1947).

[62] J. H. Lesher, ‘The Emergence of Philosophical Interest in Cognition’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 12 (1994), 1–34.

[63] G. E. R. Lloyd, Polarity and Analogy: Two Types of Argumentation in Early Greek Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966).

[64] S. Makin, Indifference Arguments (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1993).

[65] A. P. D. Mourelatos, ‘The Real, Appearances, and Human Error in Early Greek Philosophy’, Review of Metaphysics, 19 (1965), 346–65.

[66] —— ‘Pre-Socratic Origins of the Principle That There are No Origins from Nothing’, Journal of Philosophy, 78 (1981), 649–65.

[67] —— ‘Quality, Structure, and Emergence in Later Presocratic Philosophy’, Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, 2 (1986), 127–94.

[68] G. M. Stratton, Theophrastus and the Greek Physiological Psychology before Aristotle (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1917).

[69] W. J. Verdenius, ‘Notes on the Presocratics’, Mnemosyne, 3 (1947), 271–89, and 4 (1948), 8–14.

[70] G. Vlastos, ‘Equality and Justice in Early Greek Cosmogonies’, in [26], i. 56–91, and in [33], 57–88 (first pub. Classical Philology 42 (1947)).

[71] —— ‘Theology and Philosophy in Early Greek Thought’, in [26], i. 92–129, and in [33], 3–31 (first pub. Philosophical Quarterly, 2 (1952)).

[72] M. L. West, Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient (London: Oxford University Press, 1971).

[73] M. R. Wright, ‘Presocratic Minds’, in C. Gill (ed.), The Person and the Mind (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 207–25.

Discussion of Sources

[74] H. Cherniss, Aristotle’s Criticism of Presocratic Philosophy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1935).

[75] W. K. C. Guthrie, ‘Aristotle as Historian’, in [26], i. 239–54 (first pub. Journal of Hellenic Studies, 77 (1957)).

[76] P. Kingsley, ‘Empedocles and his Interpreters: The Four Element Doxography’, Phronesis, 39 (1994), 235–54.

[77] A. A. Long, ‘Theophrastus’ De Sensibus on Plato’, in K. A. Algra et al. (eds.), Polyhistor: Studies in the History and Historiography of Ancient Philosophy (Leiden: Brill, 1996), 345–62.

[78] S. Makin, ‘How Can We Find Out What Ancient Philosophers Said?’, Phronesis, 33 (1988), 121–32.

[79] J. B. McDiarmid, ‘Theophrastus on the Presocratic Causes’, in [26], i. 178–238 (first pub. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 61 (1953)).

[80] C. Osborne, Rethinking Early Greek Philosophy: Hippolytus of Rome and the Presocratics (London: Duckworth, 1987).

Presocratic Science

[81] F. M. Cornford, ‘Was the Ionian Philosophy Scientific?’, in [26], i. 29–41 (first pub. Journal of Hellenic Studies, 62 (1942)).

[82] D. R. Dicks, Early Greek Astronomy to Aristotle (London: Thames and Hudson, 1970).

[83] —— ‘Solstices, Equinoxes and the Presocratics’, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 86 (1966), 26–40.

[84] C. H. Kahn, ‘On Early Greek Astronomy’, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 90 (1970), 99–116.

[85] G. S. Kirk, ‘Sense and Common-Sense in the Development of Greek Philosophy’, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 81 (1961), 105–17.

[86] G. E. R. Lloyd, Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle (London: Chatto & Windus, 1970).

[87] —— Magic, Reason and Experience: Studies in the Origin and Development of Greek Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979).

[88] —— Methods and Problems in Greek Science: Selected Papers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

[89] D. O’Brien, ‘The Relation of Anaxagoras and Empedocles’, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 88 (1968), 93–113.

[90] —— ‘Derived Light and Eclipses in the Fifth Century’, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 88 (1968), 114–27.

[91] S. Sambursky, The Physical World of the Greeks (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1956).

[92] B. L. van der Waerden, Science Awakening (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1975).

[93] M. R. Wright, Cosmology in Antiquity (London: Routledge, 1995).

General Books and Articles on the Sophists

[94] R. Bett, ‘The Sophists and Relativism’, Phronesis, 34 (1989), 139–69.

[95] E. R. Dodds, ‘The Sophistic Movement and the Failure of Greek Liberalism’, in id., The Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), 92–105.

[96] E. A. Havelock, The Liberal Temper in Greek Politics (London: Jonathan Cape, 1957).

[97] G. B. Kerferd, The Sophistic Movement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).

[98] J. V. Muir, ‘Religion and the New Education: The Challenge of the Sophists’, in [35], 191–218.

[99] A. Nehamas, ‘Eristic, Antilogic, Sophistic, Dialectic: Plato’s Demarcation of Philosophy from Sophistry’, History of Philosophy Quarterly 7 (1990), 3–16; repr. in id., Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 108–22.

[100] M. Nill, Morality and Self-interest in Protagoras, Antiphon and Democritus (Leiden: Brill, 1985).

[101] J. Poulakos, Sophistical Rhetoric in Classical Greece (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995).

[102] H. D. Rankin, Sophists, Socratics and Cynics (London: Croom Helm, 1983).

[103] J. de Romilly, The Great Sophists in Periclean Athens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

[104] F. Solmsen, Intellectual Experiments of the Greek Enlightenment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975).

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