abstract on Late
Antiquity and Fall
of the Roman Empire
Historical abstract on the Middle
Historical abstract on the Renaissance
Historical abstract on the Protestant
Historical abstract on the Age
Dionysius Cato (Circa 300 BC)
Summary: Writer of famous words of wisdom and stoic morals.
I (272 to 337)
Summary: Legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire.
Edict of Milan
St. Augustine of Hippo (354 to 430)
Summary: One of the most important people in the development
City of God
Author(s) (Circa 395)
Summary: Error-prone and controversial historical account
of AD 117 to AD 284; the best of what is extant.
History (Scriptores Historiae Augustae)
Manlius Severinus Boethius (480 to circa 525)
Summary: Translated Greek philosophy into Latin and applied
Christian values; executed for treason.
Author(s) (circa 900 to circa 1100)
Summary: Ancient Irish epic tale.
Destruction of Dá Derga's Hostel (e-Book)
Author(s) (circa 1000)
Summary: Oldest example of Anglo-Saxon literature.
Peter Lombard (circa 1100 to 1160)
Summary: Theologian who reconciled the Bible with writings
Fathers and leading Medieval thinkers.
Book of Sentences
Author(s) (circa 1140 to circa 1170)
Summary: Oldest major work of French literature.
Song of Roland
Stephen Langton (1150 to 1228)
Summary: Archbishop of Canterbury and driving force behind
the Magna Carta.
Aquinas (circa 1225 to 1274)
Author(s) (circa 1250)
Summary: Ancient Icelandic "Epic of the North".
Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs
Dante Alighieri (1265 to 1331)
Summary: Wrote the most important epic poem of Italian literature;
wrote in Italian versus Latin or Greek.
Divine Comedy - Inferno, Purgatorio and
Juan Manuel (1282 to 1349)
Summary: The most important writer of prose in 14th-century
(1304 to 1374)
Summary: Father of Humanism;
coined the term "Dark
Boccaccio (1313 to 1375)
Summary: Prolific vernacular writer of stories with realistic,
as opposed to idealistic, characters of the day.
Langland (circa 1330 to 1387)
Summary: Presumed author of Middle English classic.
Gower (circa 1330 to 1408)
Summary: Writer of epic poems in both Latin and Middle English.
Froissart (circa 1337 to circa 1405)
Summary: Important French chronicler of the mid to late 14th
Chaucer (circa 1343 to 1400)
Summary: The father of English literature.
Pearl Poet (circa 1350 to circa 1425)
Summary: The name given to the unknown 14th century English
author of the Pearl and other poems.
Gawain and the Green Knight
Christine de Pizan (1364 to 1430)
Summary: Europes first professional woman writer.
Book of the City of Ladies
Book of Three Virtues
Thomas à Kempis (circa 1379 to 1471)
Summary: German monk who authored famous book on Christian
Imitation of Christ
Johannes Gutenberg (1398 to 1468)
Summary: Inventor of the printing press.
Thomas Malory (circa 1399 to 1471)
Summary: English writer of tales of Camelot, King Arthur and
his Knights of the Round Table.
da Vinci (1452 to 1519)
Summary: Italian polymath and archetypal "Renaissance
Pico della Mirandola (1463 to 1494)
Summary: Author of what has been called the "Manifesto
of the Renaissance".
on the Dignity of Man
Erasmus (circa 1466 to 1536)
Summary: Humanist, thealogian and writer whose works were
catalysts for the Reformation.
Praise of Folly
Machiavelli (1469 to 1527)
Summary: Famed Italian political theorist, poet and playwright.
Copernicus (1473 to 1543)
Summary: First astronomer to publish work on the Sun, not
the earth, being the center of the solar system.
the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres
Castiglione (1478 to 1529)
Summary: Famed for introducing that a "perfect gentleman"
must also be well educated in the classics.
Book of the Courtier
More (1478 to 1535)
Summary: English humanist who coined the word "utopia"
and used it to title his seminal work.
Luther (1483 to 1546)
Summary: His writings launched the Protestant Reformation
and altered the course of Western Civilization.
the Christian Nobility of the German Nation
Pietro Aretino (1492 to 1556)
Summary: Influential Italian satirist who is also the originator
of modern European pornography.
Cortigiana (A parody of The
Book of the Courtier)
Rabelais (1494 to 1553)
Summary: French priest and major writer of the Renaissance.
and Pantagruel (series of 5 books)
Cellini (1500 to 1571)
Summary: Famed sculpture and goldsmith; author of most famous
autobiography of the Renaissance.
Nostradamus (1503 to 1566)
Summary: One of the world's most celebrated publishers of
Prophecies (Les Propheties)
Paré (circa 1510 to 1590)
Summary: Considered one of the fathers of medical surgery.
in Diverse Places
Konrad von Gesner (1516 to 1565)
Summary: Famed Swiss botanist and zoologist.
de Camões (1524 to 1580)
Summary: Portugal's greatest poet.
de Montaigne (1533 to 1592)
Summary: The French inventor of the essay.
Pléiade (circa 1540)
Summary: 16th Century group of French poets.
et illustration de la langue françoyse (Middle
Gilbert (1544 to 1603)
Summary: Father of magnetic and electric science; coined the
the Magnet (De Magnete, Magneticisque Corporibus, et de
Magno Magnete Tellure)
de Cervantes (1547 to 1616)
Summary: Author of the greatest book in the Spanish language.
Quixote de la Mancha
Spenser (1552 to 1599)
Summary: Elizabethan era poet and celebrated early writer
of modern English.
Sir Walter Raleigh (circa 1552 to 1618)
Summary: Famed English explorer, writer and poet; founded
failed English colony on Roanoke
Sir Philip Sidney (1554 to 1586)
Summary: Author of the first famous English sonnet
Defense of Poesy
Bacon (1561 to 1626)
Summary: Novelist, philosopher and scientist; developed scientific
"observation and experimentation" theory.
Lope de Vega (1562 to 1635)
Summary: Second only to Cervantes in Spanush literature; 425
of his plays survive today.
Marlowe (1564 to circa 1593)
Summary: Leading English playwright before Shakespeare.
Shakespeare (1564 to 1616)
Summary: The greatest writer of English literature.
Galilei (1564 to 1642)
Summary: The father of modern astronomy.
Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
Kepler (1571 to 1630)
Summary: Known for his laws of planetary motion.
Donne (1572 to 1631)
Summary: A leading Jacobean-era poet.
Dekker (circa 1572 to 1632)
Summary: Prolific and long-careered English writer and dramatist.
Jonson (circa 1572 to 1637)
Summary: The most celebrated Jocobean-era English playwright.
Harvey (1578 to 1657)
Summary: English doctor who discovered the circulation of
Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in
Webster (circa 1580 to 1634)
Summary: Jacobean dramatist known for macabre works that present
the darker side of human nature.
Duchess of Malfi
Massinger (1583 to 1640)
Summary: English playwright famous for satirical works with
well developed plots.
New Way to Pay Old Debts
John Ford (1586 tocirca 1640)
Summary: The most significant English playwright during the
reign of Charles I.
Pity She's a Whore (a.k.a. Giovanni and Annabella)
Hobbes (1588 to 1679)
Summary: Famed English philosopher of world importance.
Herbert (1593 to 1633)
Summary: English poet, orator and priest who coined "his
bark is worse than his bite".
Walton (1593 to 1683)
Summary: 17th century expert on fly fishing and rural English
Descartes (1596 to 1650)
Summary: Founder of modern mathematics and philosophy.
on First Philosophy
Calderón de la Barca (1600 to 1681)
Summary: The foremost Spanish dramatist of his time.
Is a Dream
Thomas Browne (1605 to 1682)
Summary: English author of varied works in many fields of
study; debunked superstitions of his day.
Pierre Corneille (1606 to 1684)
Summary: One of the the most important 17th century French
Milton (1608 to 1674)
Summary: English epic poet, essayist and philosopher.
James Biblical Translation Committees (1601 to 1611)
Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1621 to 1676)
Summary: Wrote the first German language adventure novels.
Adventurous Simplex (Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus)
Jean de La Fontaine (1621 to 1695)
Summary: The most famous French fabulist and most widely read
French poet of the 17th century.
(1622 to 1673)
Summary: The greatest French playwright.
Pascal (1623 to 1662)
Summary: French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher.
of the Arithmetical Triangle
Bunyan (1628 to 1688)
Summary: English preacher and Christain writer.
Charles Perrault (1628 to 1703)
of Mother Goose
Huygens (1629 to 1695)
Summary: Developed the wave theory of light.
Dryden (1631 to 1700)
Summary: English poet and playwright who dominated the literature
de Spinoza (1632 to 1677)
Summary: Dutch philosopher whose works heavily influenced
the 18th century Enlightenment.
Locke (1632 to 1704)
Summary: Prominent English philosopher and social contract
Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Treatises of Government
Letter Concerning Toleration
Thoughts Concerning Education
Nicolas Boileau (1636 to 1711)
Summary: French poet and satirist.
Art Poétique (sorry, no link)
Racine (1639 to 1699)
Summary: One of the three great 17th century French dramatists.
Newton (1643 to 1727)
Summary: One of the world's greatest scientists; documented
laws of gravity & motion; co-invented calculus.
Naturalis Principia Mathematica
Leibniz (1646 to 1716)
Summary: Polymath who idependently co-invented calculus; one
of the three great 17th century rationalists.
The Monadology (Monadologie)
Swift (1667 to 1745)
Summary: The foremost satirist in the English language.
Joseph Addison (1672 to 1719)
Summary: Co-founded The
Spectator; Cato, his play on liberty, was influential
with American Revolutionaries.
Richard Steele (1672 to 1729)
Summary: Irish politician, satirist and co-founder of The
Berkeley (1685 to 1753)
Summary: Irish philosopher credited with the development of
Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu (1689 to 1755)
Summary: He is famous for his articulation of the theory of
separation of powers in government.
Spirit of the Laws
(1694 to 1778)
Summary: French philosopher and France's greatest political
on the English
Fielding (1707 to 1754)
Summary: English novelist and dramatist known for his humour
and satirical prowess.
Hume (1711 to 1776)
Summary: Key figure in the history of Western philosophy and
of the Scottish
Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Rousseau (1712 to 1778)
Summary: Swiss philosopher who influenced the French Revolution.
Sterne (1713 to 1768)
Summary: Irish novelist and Anglican clergyman.
Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Smith (1723 to 1790)
Summary: Defined one of the best-known intellectual rationales
for free trade, capitalism and libertarianism.
Kant (1724 to 1804)
Summary: The last major philosopher of the Enlightenment and
a key thinker of modern Europe.
of Pure Reason
of Practical Reason
Ephraim Lessing (1729 to 1781)
Burke (1729 to 1797)
Summary: Anglo-Irish statesman, political theorist, philosopher
on the Revolution in France
Goldsmith (circa 1730 to 1774)
Summary: Irish novelist, playwright and physician..
Stoops to Conquer
Pierre Beaumarchais (1732 to 1799)
Summary: Famous for a series of "Figaro" plays.
Barber of Seville
Marriage of Figaro
Gibbon (1737 to 1794)
Summary: English historian and Member of Parliament.
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Paine (1737 to 1809)
Summary: English-American intellectual, revolutionary and
philosopher; primarily in America and France.
Age of Reason
Boswell (1740 to 1795)
Summary: English biographer and diarist.
Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 to 1832)
Summary: Key figure of 18th/19th century German literature.
Sorrows of Young Werther
Brinsley Sheridan (1751
Summary: Irish playwright and Whig statesman.
School for Scandal
Burns (1759 to 1796)
Summary: The national poet of Scotland.
Schiller (1759 to 1805)
Summary: German poet, philosopher, historian, and dramatist.