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Bedford Anthology of World Literature: The Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern World

Bedford Anthology of World Literature: The Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern World

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Designed to offer a clear, concise, and accessible way to explore the familiar and unfamiliar territories of world literature, this two-volume version of The Bedford Anthology of World Literature offers students and teachers a broad and carefully balanced selection of literary works supported by extensive historical background and generous contextual materials.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312441531
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date: 01/05/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 2000
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.20(d)

About the Author

Paul Davis (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin), professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico, has been the recipient of several teaching awards and academic honors, including that of Master teacher. He has taught courses since 1962 in composition, rhetoric, and nineteenth-century literature and has written and edited many scholarly books, including The Penguin Dickens Companion (1999), Dickens A to Z (1998), and The Lives and Times of Ebenezer Scrooge (1990). He has also written numerous scholarly and popular articles on solar energy and Victorian book illustration. His most recent book is Critical Companion to Charles Dickens (2007).

Gary Harrison (Ph.D., Stanford University), professor and director of graduate studies at the University of New Mexico, has won numerous fellowships and awards for scholarship and teaching. He has taught courses in world literature, British Romanticism, and literary theory at the University of New Mexico since 1987. Harrison's publications include a critical study of William Wordsworth, Wordsworth's Vagrant Muse: Poetry, Poverty, and Power (1994); as well as several articles on topics such as John Clare's poetry, Romanticism and Ecology, nineteenth-century culture, and teaching world literature.

David M. Johnson (Ph.D., University of Connecticut), professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico, has taught courses in world literature, mythology, the Bible as literature, philosophy and literature, and creative writing since 1965. He has written, edited, and contributed to numerous scholarly books and collections of poetry, including Fire in the Fields (1996) and Lord of the Dawn: The Legend of Quetzalcoatl (1987). He has also published scholarly articles, poetry, and translations of Nahuatl myths. His most recent book of poetry is Rebirth of Wonder: Poems of The Common Life (University of New Mexico Press, 2007).

John F. Crawford (Ph.D., Columbia University; postdoctoral studies, Yale University), associate professor of English emeritus at the University of New Mexico, has taught medieval, world, and other literature courses since 1965 at a number of other institutions including California Institute of Technology and Hunter College and Herbert Lehmann College of CUNY. The publisher of West End Press, an independent literary press with 120 titles, Crawford has also edited This Is About Vision: Interviews with Southwestern Writers (1990) and written articles on multicultural literature of the Southwest.

Table of Contents

VOLUME 1: The Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern World (Beginnings–1650)

[*denotes complete longer works]


About the Editors

Pronunciation Key


*THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH [Mesopotamia, c. 2000–c. 1200 B.C.E.]

(Translated by N. K. Sandars)


Text In Context: Hebrew Scriptures

HEBREW SCRIPTURES [Near East, c. 900–100 B.C.E.]

Genesis 1-3, 4:1-17, 4:25-6, 6-8, 9:1-15, 11: 1-9 [Origin Stories]

Genesis 21:1-21, 22:1-18 [Abraham and Isaac]

Exodus 1–5, 6:1–13, 7–12:1–42, 13:17–22, 14 [Moses and the Exodus]

Exodus 19, 20:1-24 [The Ten Commandments]

Exodus 32 [The Golden Calf]

Job 1–7; 38-42 [The Trials of Job]

Psalm 23 [The Lord is my shepherd]

Psalm 104 [Bless the Lord, O my soul]

Psalm 137 [By the rivers of Babylon]

The Song of Songs

(The King James Version)

In the World: Myths of Creation

from THE EPIC OF CREATION [Near East, c. 1800 B.C.E.]

(Translated by Stephanie Dalley)

from HYMN TO ATEN [Egypt, c. 1570–1290 B.C.E.]

(Translated by William Kelly Simpson)

from THE RIG VEDA [India, c. 1000 B.C.E.]

(Translated by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty)

The Song of Purusha

HESIOD [Greece, eighth century B.C.E.]

from Theogony (Translated by Dorothea Wender)

[The Castration of Uranus]

OVID [Rome, 43. B.C.E.–17 C.E.]

from Metamorphoses (Translated by Rolfe Humphries)

[The Creation]


Text in Context: The Odyssey

HOMER [Greece, eighth century B.C.E.]

*The Odyssey (Translated by Robert Fitzgerald)

In the World: Heroes and Adventure

HOMER [Greece, eighth century B.C.E.]

from The Iliad (Translated by Robert Fagles)

Book 18 [The Shield of Achilles]

HEBREW SCRIPTURES [Near East, c. 900–100 B.C.E.]

First Samuel 16:4–18:9 (King James Version)

[David and Goliath]

THE RAMAYANA [India, c. 550 B.C.E.–c. 400 C.E.]

from Book 6: Yuddha Kanda: The Great War (Translated by Swami Venkatesananda)

[Rama Defeats Ravana]

APOLLODORUS [Greece, second century B.C.E.]

from Bibliotheca (Translated by Rhoda A. Hendricks)

[The Labors of Heracles]


SAPPHO [Greece, c. 600 B.C.E.]

Prayer to my lady of Paphos

Don’t ask me what to wear

Lament for a Maidenhead

He is more than a hero

To an army wife in Sardis

You know the place: then

I have not had one word from her

(Translated by Mary Barnard)

CONFUCIUS (KONGFUZI) [China, c. 551–c. 479 B.C.E.]

from The Analects (Translated by Arthur Waley)

[On Confucius the Man]

[On Education]

[On Filial Piety]

[On Ritual and Music]

[On Religion]

[On Morality in Government]

AESCHYLUS [Greece, c. 525–456 B.C.E.]

*Agamemnon (Translated by Robert Fagles)


Text in Context: Antigone

SOPHOCLES [Greece, 496–406 B.C.E.]

*Antigone (Translated by Robert Fagles)

In the World: Rulers and Citizens

JAINISM [India, sixth century B.C.E–first century C.E.]

from Uttaradhyana Sutra (Translated by A. L. Basham)

[Two Ways of Life: King and Monk]

LAO TZU (LAOZI) [China, c. sixth century–third century B.C.E.]

from Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) (Translated by Witter Bynner)

[30: One who would guide a leader of men]

THUCYDIDES [Greece, c. 460–c. 399 B.C.E.]

from The Peloponnesian War (Translated by Benjamin Jowett)

[Pericles’ Funeral Oration]

MENCIUS (MENGZI) [China, c. 371–c. 288 B.C.E.]

from Mencius (Translated by D. C. Lau)


DIOGENES LAERTIUS [Greece, third century C.E.]

from Lives of Eminent Philosophers (Translated by R. D. Hicks)


SUETONIUS [Rome, c. 75–140 C.E.]

from The Lives of the Twelve Caesars (Translated by Alexander Thomson)

[Julius Caesar]


PLATO [Greece, c. 427–347 B.C.E.]


from Phaedo

from The Republic

[The Allegory of the Cave]

(Translated by Benjamin Jowett)

ARISTOTLE [Greece, 384–322 B.C.E.]

from Poetics (Translated by T. S. Dorsch)

[On Tragedy]

BUDDHIST TEXTS [India, fourth century B.C.E.–first century C.E.]

ASHVAGHOSHA [India, c. 100 C.E.]

from The Life of Buddha (Translated by E. B. Cowell)

[Birth and Childhood]

[The Prophecy of a Wandering Sage]

[Awakening to Age, Disease, and Death]

[The Path of Asceticism]

[The Search for Answers]


[Acquiring Knowledge]

from SAMYUTTA NIKAYA (Translated by A. L. Basham)

[Sermon at Benares: The Four Noble Truths]

from MAJJHIMA NIKAYA (Translated by A. L. Basham)

[Right Mindfulness]

from MAHAPARINIBBANA SUTRA (Translated by A. L. Basham)

[The Last Instructions of the Buddha]

LAO TZU (LAOZI) [China, c. sixth century–third century B.C.E.]

from Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) (Translated by Witter Bynner)

1: Existence is beyond the power of words

15: Long ago the land was ruled with a wisdom

16: Be utterly humble

19: Rid of formalized wisdom and learning

20: Leave off fine learning!

28: One who has a man’s wings

29: Those who would take over the earth

36: He who feels punctured

42: Life, when it came to be

43: As the soft yield of water cleaves obstinate stone

47: There is no need to run outside

74: Death is no threat to people

81: Real words are not vain

CHUANG TZU (ZHUANGZI) [China, c. 369–286 B.C.E.]

from Basic Writings (Translated by Burton Watson)

The Wasted Gourd

The Ailanthus Tree

Walking Two Roads

Penumbra and Shadow

The Dream and the Butterfly

Cutting Up the Ox

The Death of Lao Tan


The Job Offer

Yuan-Chu Bird

What Fish Enjoy


Death of Chuang Tzu's Wife


The Swimmer


CATULLUS [Rome, c. 84–c. 54 B.C.E.]

2. Sparrow, O, sweet sparrow

3. Dress now in sorrow, O all

5. Come Lesbia, let us live and love

8. Poor damned Catullus, here’s no time for nonsense

51. He is changed to a god he who looks on her

76. If man can find rich consolation. . . .

85. I hate and love

101. Dear brother, I have come these many miles

(Translated by Horace Gregory)


Text in Context: The Aeneid

VIRGIL [Rome, 70–19 B.C.E.]

The Aeneid (Translated by Frank O. Copley)

from Book 1 [Arriving in Carthage]

Book 2 [The Fall of Troy]

Book 4 [Aeneas and Dido]

Book 6 [Aeneas Visits the Underworld]

from Book 8 [Aeneas Views the History of Rome]

from Book 12 [Aeneas Defeats Turnus]

In the World: Death and the Underworld

from THE DESCENT OF INANNA [Near East, c. 2000 B.C.E.]

(Translated by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer)

THE UPANISHADS [India, ninth century B.C.E.]

from Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishad (Translated by Robert Ernest Hume)

[Karma and Reincarnation]

AESCHYLUS [Greece, c. 525–456 B.C.E.]

from The Libation Bearers (Translated by Richmond Lattimore)

[Prayer to the Dead]

PLATO [Greece, 427–347 B.C.E.]

from The Republic (Translated by F. M. Cornford)

Book 10 [The Myth of Er]

OVID [Rome, 43 B.C.E.–17 C.E.]

from Metamorphoses (Translated by Rolfe Humphries)

Book 10 [The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice]


Text in Context: Bhagavad Gita

BHAGAVAD GITA [India, c. first century B.C.E.–first century C.E.]

(Translated by Barbara Stoler Miller)

The First Teaching: Arjuna's Dejection

from The Second Teaching: Philosophy and Spiritual Discipline

from The Third Teaching: Discipline of Action

from The Sixth Teaching: The Man of Discipline

from The Eleventh Teaching: The Vision of Krishna's Totality

from The Eighteenth Teaching: The Wondrous Dialogue Concludes

In the World: The Good Life

THE UPANISHADS [India, ninth century–first century B.C.E.]

from Katha Upanishad (Translated by Juan Mascaró)

[Driving the Chariot]

HERODOTUS [Greece, c. 480–c. 425 B.C.E.]

from The Persian Wars (Translated by George Rawlinson)

[Solon on Happiness]

CONFUCIUS (KONGFUZI) [China, c. 551–c. 479 B.C.E.]

from The Analects (Translated by Arthur Waley)

[On Goodness]

ARISTOTLE [Greece, 384–322 B.C.E.]

from Nicomachean Ethics (Translated by Philip Wheelwright)

[The Doctrine of the Mean]

EPICURUS [Rome, c. 341–270 B.C.E.]

Letter to a Friend (Translated by Philip Wheelwright)

MARCUS AURELIUS [Rome, 121–180 C.E.]
from Meditations (Translated by George Long)

[To Himself]


THE NEW TESTAMENT [Near East, first century–second century C.E.]

from Luke 1-3 [The birth, youth, and baptism of Jesus]

Matthew 5-7 [Teachings of Jesus: Sermon on the Mount]

from Matthew 13 [Teachings of Jesus: Parable of the Sower]

from Luke 22-24 [The Betrayal, Trial, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus]

from First Corinthians 11-13 [Paul: On the Christian Life]

(The King James Version)

ST. AUGUSTINE [b. North Africa, 354–430]

The Confessions (Translated by John K. Ryan)

from Book 8: The Grace of Faith: 5, 8, 11-12

THE QU’RAN (THE KORAN) [Arabia, 651–652]

Sura 1: The Exordium

from Sura 2: The Cow (1-7, 67-72, 122-137, 191-218)

from Sura 4: Women (1-2, 11-35)

from Sura 5: The Table (15-19, 35-37, 40-49, 65-68, 75-78, 110-120)

Sura 55: The Merciful

Sura 56: That Which Is Coming

Sura 93: Daylight

Sura 96: Clots of Blood

Sura 109: The Unbelievers

Sura 110: Help

Sura 112: Oneness

(Translated by N. J. Dawood)

MUHAMMAD IBN ISHAQ [Arabia, 704–767]

from The Life of Muhammad (Translated by Alfred Guillaume)

The Birth of the Apostle and His Suckling

The Apostle of God Marries Khadija

The Prophet’s Mission

The Apostle’s Public Preaching and the Response

The Night Journey and the Ascent to Heaven

The Ascent to Heaven

The Apostle Receives the Order to Fight

The Apostle’s Illness in the House of A’isha

KALIDASA [India, c. fourth century]

*Shakuntala and the Ring of Recollection (Translated by Barbara Stoler Miller)


In the Tradition: Poets of the Tang Dynasty

WANG WEI [China, 699–761]

Hermitage at Chung-nan Mountain

Crossing the Yellow River

(Translated by Sam Hamill)

LI BAI [China, 701–762]

Going to Visit Tai-T’ien Mountain’s Master (Translated by David Hinton)

Drinking Alone beneath the Moon (Translated by David Hinton)

Sent to My Two Little Children in the East of Lu (Translated by Burton Watson)

DU FU [China, 712–770]

To Li Po on a Winter Day (Translated by Sam Hamill)

P’eng-Ya Song (Translated by David Hinton)

Restless Night (Translated by Burton Watson)

Flying from Trouble (Translated by Florence Ayscough)

BO JUYI [China, 772–846]

Watching the Reapers

Madly Singing in the Mountains

(Translated by Arthur Waley)


BEOWULF [England, eighth–tenth century]

*Beowulf (Translated by R. M. Liuzza)


Text in Context: The Tale of Genji

MURASAKI SHIKIBU (LADY MURASAKI) [b. Japan, c. 973–c. 1030]

from The Tale of Genji (Translated by Edward Seidensticker)

[Evening Faces]

In the World: Courts and Codes of Rule

KAKINOMOTO HITOMARO [Japan, fl. 680–700]

from Man’yoshu Anthology (Translated by Ian Hideo Levy)

On the Death of His Wife: I and II

ONO NO KOMACHI [Japan, fl. 850]

from Kokinshu Anthology (Translated by Laura Rasplica Rodd and Mary Catharine Henkenius)

552: In love-tormented / sleep I saw him

553: Since that brief sleep when / first I saw

554: When my yearning grows / unendurable

938: I have sunk to the/bottom

1030: No moon lights the night

SEI SHONAGON [b. Japan, c. 966–1017]

from The Pillow Book (Translated by Ivan Morris)

In Spring It Is the Dawn

Especially Delightful Is the First Day

The Sliding Screen in the Back of the Hall

MARIE DE FRANCE [England, fl. 1170–1180]

The Lay of Chevrefoil (The Honeysuckle) (Translated by Robert Hanning and Joan Ferrante)


Text in Context: The Song of Roland

from THE SONG OF ROLAND [France, late eleventh century]

(Translated by Patricia Terry)

Laisses 1-5, 8-10, 12, 14-15, 20-22, 26, 28-33, 38, 43-46, 52, 54-61,

63-64, 67-68, 79-80, 83-84, 86-87, 89, 91-93, 104, 110, 112, 128-136,

140, 142, 145, 147-150, 156, 160-164, 168-172, 174, 176, 204-205, 213-214

In the World: The Crusades: War and Faith in the Middle Ages

ROBERT THE MONK [b. France, fl. 1095]

Pope Urban II’s Call to the First Crusade<> (Translated by Frederic Austin Ogg)

from HISTORY OF THE FIRST CRUSADE [France, early twelfth century]

(Translated by James B. Ross)

[The First Contact of Crusaders and Turks]

IBN AL-ATHIR [Mesopotamia, 1160–1233]

from The Collection of Histories (Translated by Francesco Gabrieli. Translated from the Italian by E. J. Costello)

[The Battle of Hittin]

[Jerusalem Reconquered]


FARID UD-DIN ATTAR [b. Iran, c. 1145–1221]

from The Conference of the Birds (Translated by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis)


In the Tradition: Andalusian and European Love Lyrics

IBN HAZM [b. Andalusia (Spain), 994–1064]

from The Dove’s Necklace (Translated by A.J. Arberry)

My Beloved Comes (Translated by Cola Franzen)

IBN ZAYDUN [b. Andalusia (Spain), 1004–1070]

Written from al-Zahra’ (Translated by Cola Franzen)

JUDAH HA-LEVI [b. Andalusia (Spain), 1075-1141]

The Apple (Translated by David Goldstein)

GUILLAUME IX, DUKE OF AQUITAINE [b. Provence (France), 1071–1127]

My companions, I am going to make a vers that is refined

Now when we see the meadows once again

(Translated by Frederick Goldin)

MARCABRU [Provence (France), fl. 1129–1150]

By the fountain in the orchard (Translated by Frederick Goldin)

COUNTESS OF DIA [Provence (France), fl. 1160]

Of things I’d rather keep in silence I must sing (Translated by Magda Bogin)

FRANCESCO PETRARCH [b. Italy, 1304–1374]

from Canzoniere (Translated by Patricia Clark Smith)

1. Oh you, who in these scattered rhymes may find

3. It was the very day the sun’s own light

90. Sometimes she’d comb her yellow braids out loose

292. Those eyes I raved about in ardent rhyme

333. Go forth, my elegies, to that hard stone

SIR THOMAS WYATT [b. England, 1503–1542]

Whoso List to Hunt

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE [b. England, 1564–1616]

Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Sonnet 129: Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Sonnet 130: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun


Text in Context: The Inferno

DANTE ALIGHIERI [b. Italy, 1265–1321]

*The Inferno (Translated by Robert Pinsky)

In the World: Dante and the Medieval World Picture

from THE APOCALYPSE OF PAUL [Greece, fourth century]

(Translated by J. K. Elliott)

BOETHIUS [b. Rome, 480–526]

The Consolation of Philosophy (Translated by Richard Green)

from Book I

from THE BOOK OF MUHAMMAD’S LADDER [Arabia, ninth century]

(Translated by Reginald Hyatte)

Chapters 10, 11, 72, 73, 74, and 79


GEOFFREY CHAUCER [b. England, c. 1340–1400]

from The Canterbury Tales (Translated by Theodore Morrison)

General Prologue

The Wife of Bath’s Prologue

The Wife of Bath’s Tale


Text in Context: Utopia

SIR THOMAS MORE [b. England, 1478–1535]

Utopia (Translated by Clarence H. Miller)

from Book 2

In the World: Varieties of Humanism

IBN KHALDUN [b. North Africa, 1332–1406]

Il Muqaddimah (Translated by Franz Rosenthal)

from Chapter 3


from On the Dignity of Man (Translated by Charles Glenn Wallis)

NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI [b. Italy, 1469–1527]

from The Prince (Translated by Allan H. Gilbert)

MARTIN LUTHER [b. Germany, 1483–1546]

Speech at the Diet of Worms (Translated by Roger A. Hornsby)

[Here I Stand]


MICHEL EYQUEM DE MONTAIGNE [b. France, 1533–1592]

from Essays (Translated by Donald M. Frame)

Of Cannibals


from Don Quixote (Translated by Edith Grossman)

Part I: Chapters 1-8


Text in Context: The Tempest

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE [b. England, 1564–1616]

*The Tempest

In the World: O Brave New World!

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS [b. Italy, 1451–1506]

from Diario (Translated by Robert H. Fuson)

BARTOLOMÉ DE LAS CASAS [b. Spain, 1484–1566]

from The History of the Indies (Translated by George Sanderlin)

HERNÁN CORTÉS [b. Spain, 1485–1547]

Letters from Mexico (Translated by Anthony Pagden)

from The Second Letter


from The Conquest of Mexico (Translated by Angel Maria Garibay K. and Lysander Kemp)


Glossary of Literary and Critical Terms


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