Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
T. S. Eliot
Four Quartets
Briunt Norton

Friday, December 11, 2009

St. Thomas Aquinas College Great Books List

St Thomas Aquinas is another college that uses only the great books as texts. Everything Below is directly from their site.

The Curriculum

The College's curriculum is an integrated liberal arts program based primarily on a study of the Great Books. Guided by College faculty, students analyze and discuss in tutorials, seminars, and laboratories these works of the greatest minds of our tradition. By daily practice in reading, translation, demonstration, and argument, students form habits of thought and discourse which will stay with them throughout their lives. And by means of these habits, they can better lay hold of the knowledge and wisdom recorded in the Great Books.

The textbooks that most colleges and universities use are soon outdated; they quickly go out of fashion and are discarded. New ways to think about things unceasingly replace the old. Yet a consensus exists among generations of thinkers and writers that certain works have enduring relevance. They never go out of style. Why is this?

Lucretius was a Roman poet and philosopher who 2,000 years ago wrote a treatise called "On the Nature of Things." This title could well describe any of the Great Books. These works - whether philosophy or science, history or drama - describe things as they really are. They reveal the reality at the core of human experience, a reality that - regardless of time or place - does not change. A person hungry for wisdom can return to these books over and over again without exhausting their meaning. These are the books that have the power to shape human events and to change lives.

The following is a list of works read in whole or in part in the College's curriculum. They are not all of equal weight. Some are regarded as masterworks, while others serve as sources of opinions that either lead students to the truth, or make the truth more evident by opposition to it.
Freshman Year


Homer Iliad, Odyssey
Plato Ion, Republic, Symposium
Aeschylus Agamemnon, Choephoroe, Eumenides
Sophocles Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone
Herodotus Histories
Aristotle Poetics, Rhetoric
Plutarch Lives (Lycurgus, Pericles, Alcibiades, Aristides, Alexander)
Euripides Hippolytus
Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War
Aristophanes The Birds, The Clouds

Wheelock Latin: An Introductory Course Based on Ancient Authors
Nesfield Aids to the Study and Composition of English

Euclid Elements

Aristotle Parts of Animals
DeKoninck The Lifeless World of Biology
Fabre Souvenirs Entomologiques
Galen On the Natural Faculties
Harvey On the Motion of the Heart and Blood, On Animal Generation
Linnaeus Systema Naturae
Pascal On the Equilibrium of Liquids
Archimedes On Floating Bodies
Mendel Plant Hybridization
various authors Scientific papers of Driesch, Gould, Marler, Tinbergen, Goethe, Virchow, von Frisch, et alia
Measurements Manual

Plato Meno, Protagoras, Gorgias, Apology, Crito, Phaedo
Porphyry On the Predicaments (Isagoge)
Aristotle Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, Topics
St. Thomas Aquinas Proem to the Posterior Analytics

The Holy Bible

Sophomore Year


Vergil Aeneid
Lucretius On the Nature of Things
Cicero Offices
Livy Ab Urbe Conditia
Plutarch Lives(Marcellus, Tiberius & Caius Gracchus, Marius, Sylla, Caesar, Cato the Younger, Brutus)
Tacitus Annals
Epictetus Manual
St. Augustine Confessions, On the Teacher
Boethius Consolation of Philosophy
Dante Divine Comedy
Chaucer Canterbury Tales
Spenser Faerie Queen
St. Thomas Aquinas On the Teacher

Wheelock Latin: An Introductory Course Based on Ancient Authors
Martin of Denmark Tractus De Modis Significandi
Horace, Cicero Selections
St. Thomas Aquinas Selections
Canon of the Mass

Plato Timaeus
Ptolemy Almagest
Copernicus Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
Apollonius On Conic Sections
Kepler Epitome of Copernican Astronomy, Astronomia Nova
Archimedes On Conoids and Spheroids

Aristotle On Generation and Corruption
St. Thomas Aquinas On the Principles of Nature,
On the Combination of the Elements
Lavoisier Elements of Chemistry
Avogadro Masses and Proportions of Elementary Molecules
Dalton Proportion of Gases in the Atmosphere
Gay-Lussac Combination of Gaseous Substances
Pascal Treatise on the Weight of the Mass of the Air
various authors Scientific papers of Berthollet, Couper, Lavoisier, Mendeleev, Richter, Wollaston, Cannizzaro, et alia
Atomic Theory Manual

Pre-Socratic Philosophers Fragments
Aristotle Physics
On the Soul


St. Augustine On Christian Doctrine,On the Spirit and the Letter, On Nature and Grace, On the Gift of Perseverance, On the Predestination of the Saints, City of God
St. Athanasius On the Incarnation
Gaunilo On Behalf of the Fool
St. Anselm Proslogion, Reply to Gaunilo
St. John Damascene An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
Return to top
Junior Year


Cervantes Don Quixote
St. Thomas Aquinas On Kingship, Summa Theologiae
Machiavelli The Prince, Discourses
Bacon The Great Instauration, Novum Organum
Shakespeare Julius Caesar, King Richard the Second, King Henry the Fourth: Part One, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Sonnets
Montaigne Essays
Descartes Discourse on Method, Meditations, Rules for the Direction of the Mind
Pascal Pensées
Hobbes Leviathan
Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Second Essay on Civil Government
Berkeley Treatise Concerning Human Understanding
Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Swift Gulliver's Travels
Milton Paradise Lost
Gibbon Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Corneille Le Cid
Racine Phaedre
Rousseau Social Contract, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
Spinoza Theologico-Political Treatise
various authors Articles of Confederation
Declaration of Independence
U.S. Constitution
Hamilton, Madison, Jay Federalist Papers
Smith Wealth of Nations
Kant Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Critique of Pure Reason, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
Leibniz Discourse on Metaphysics

Plato Timaeus
Boethius On Music
Mozart Sonatas
Gustin Tonality

Viete Standard Enumeration of Geometric Results, Introduction to the Analytic Art
Descartes Geometry
Archimedes Quadrature of the Parabola
Griffin Mathematical Analysis
various authors Mathematical works of Hippocrates, Archimedes, Cavalieri, Pascal, Leibniz, Bernoulli, Newton, Berkeley, Bolzano, et alia

Descartes Principles of Philosophy
Galileo Two New Sciences
Newton Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Aristotle Nicom. Ethics

St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologiae:

On Sacred Doctrine
On God
On Law

Return to top
Senior Year


Tolstoy War and Peace
Goethe Faust
Hegel Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy of History
Flaubert Three Tales
Feuerbach Essence of Christianity
J. S. Mill Utilitarianism
Marx Capital, Communist Manifesto, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, German Ideology
Melville Billy Budd
Willa Cather My Antonia
Engels Quantity and Quality, Negation of the Negation
Darwin Origin of Species
Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil, Use and Abuse of History
Twain Huckleberry Finn
Austen Emma
Freud General Introduction to Psychoanalysis
Jung Analytical Psychology
Newman Development of Christian Doctrine
Kierkegaard Fear and Trembling, Philosophical Fragments
Ibsen A Doll's House
Dostoyevski Brothers Karamazov
Eliot Ash Wednesday, Journey of the Magi, The Waste Land
St. Pius X Pascendi Dominici Gregis
Leo XIII Aeterni Patris, Rerum Novarum
Pius XI Quadragesimo Anno
Pius XII Humani Generis
Vatican II Lumen Gentium
Plato Phaedrus
Vico The New Science
Tocqueville Democracy in America, The Old Regime and the French Revolution
Husserl The Idea of Phenomenology
Lincoln and Douglas Debates
Flannery O'Connor A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Enduring Chill
St. Thomas Aquinas The Division and Method of the Sciences

Pascal Generation of Conic Sections
Taylor Integral Calculus
Dedekind Essay on the Theory of Numbers
Lobachevski Geometrical Researches on the Theory of Parallels

Einstein Relativity: The Special and General Theory
Huygens Treatise on Light
Newton Optiks
Maxwell A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism
Gilbert De Magnete
Ampere Papers
various authors Mechanics, Waves, and Optics Manual
Electricity and Magnetism Manual

Aristotle Physics, Metaphysics
St. Thomas Aquinas On Being and Essence

St. Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologiae: On the Trinity, On the Sacraments, On the Passion of Christ

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