A Guide to Oriental Classics

Table of Contents (3rd Edition, 1989)


I. Classics of the Islamic Tradition

The Seven Odes (Al-Mu’allaqat)
The Qur’an (Al-Qur’an)
The Ring of the Dove (Tawq al-Hamama), by Ibn Hazm (994-1064)
The Maqamat of al-Hamadhani (Maqamat al-Hamadhani) (968-1008)
The Assemblies of al-Hariri (Maqamat al-Hariri) (1054-1122)
The Thousand and One Nights (Alf Layla wa-Layla)
Deliverance from Error (Al-Munqidh min al-Dalal), by al-Ghazali (1058-1111)
On the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy (Kitab fasl al-maqal), by Averroes (Ibn Rushd) (1126-1198)
The Conference of Birds, by Farid al-Din ’Attar (ca. 1142-ca. 1220)
The Mystical Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273)
The Prolegomena (Al-Muqaddima) of Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406)
The Shahnama
The Ruba’iyyat
of ’Umar Khayyam (eleventh century)
The Book of Dede Korkut (Kitab-i Dede Korkut)
The Mystical Poetry of Yunus Emre (d. ca. 1320)
Leyla and Mejnun, by Fuzuli (ca. 1495-1556)


II. Classics of the Indian Tradition

The Vedas
(ca. 900-500 B.C.)
Mahabharata (ca. fifth century B.C.-fourth century C.E.)
Bhagavadgita (ca. 100 B.C.-A.D. 100)
Ramayana of Valmiki (ca. 200 B.C.)
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (ca. A.D. 300)
The Vedanta Sutra with the Commentary of Shankaracharya (ca. 780-820)
Theravada Buddhism: The Tipitaka
Theravada Buddhism: The Dhammapada (ca. 300 B.C.)
Theravada Buddhism: The Milindapanha (ca. first century C.E.)
Theravada Buddhism: The Mahasatipatthana Sutta
Mahayana Buddhism: Prajnaparamita (ca. 100 B.C.-A.D. 400)
Mahayana Buddhism: The Srimaladevisimhanada Sutra
Mahayana Buddhism: The Lankavatara Sutra
Mahayana Buddhism: The Sukhavativyuha Sutras
Mahayana Buddhism: The Bodhicaryavatara of Shantideva (ca. 650)
Supplementary Readings on Indian Buddhism
Shakuntala (Abhijnanasakuntala) of Kalidasa (ca. 400)
The Little Clay Cart (Mrrcchakatika) of Shudraka (ca. 400)
Pancatantra (ca. 200 B.C.) According to Purnabhadra (ca. 1199)
Sanskrit Lyric Poetry
Gitagovinda of Jayadeva (ca. twelfth century)
Indian Devotional Poetry
Indo-Islamic Poetry
Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
Autobiography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)


III. Classics of the Chinese Tradition

The Analects (Lun-yü) of Confucius (551-479 B.C.)
Mo Tzu, or Mo Ti
Lao Tzu, or Tao-te Ching
Chuang Tzu
Mencius (Meng Tzu, 372-289 B.C.)
The Great Learning (Ta-hsüeh)
The Mean (Chung-yung)
Hsün Tzu, or Hsün Ch’ing
Han Fei Tzu
Records of the Historian: The Shih chi of Ssu-ma Ch’ien (ca. 145-ca. 90 B.C.)
Texts of Chinese Buddhism
The Lotus Sutra (Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, or Miao-fa Lien-hua ching)
The Vimalakirtinirdesa Sutra (Wei-mo-chieh so-shuo ching)
The Awakening of Faith in Mahayana (Ta-ch’eng ch’i-hsin lun)
Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (Liu-tsu t’an ching)
The Record of Lin-chi (d. 866)
Supplementary Readings on Chinese Buddhism
Works of Chu Hsi (1130-1200)
Works of Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529)
General Readings in Chinese Fiction
The Water Margin, or All Men Are Brothers (Shui-hu chuan)
Journey to the West, or Monkey (Hsi-yu Chi), by Wu Ch’eng-en (ca. 1506-1581)
The Golden Lotus (Chin P’ing Mei)
Dream of the Red Chamber (Hung-lou meng), by Ts’ao Hsüeh-ch’in (Ts’ao Chan, d. 1763)
Chinese Drama
Chinese Poetry
The Book of Songs (Shih ching)
The Songs of the South (Ch’u Tz’u) by Ch’ü Yüan and Other Poets
Chinese Poets and Poetry


IV. Classics of the Japanese Tradition

Court Poetry: The Kokinshû and other Imperial Anthologies
The Pillow Book (Makura no sôshi) of Sei Shônagon
The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari) by Murasaki Shikibu
Poetic Diaries and Poem Tales
Texts of Japanese Buddhism
Writings of Kûkai (Kôbô Daishi, 774-835)
Writings of Buddhist Masters of the Kamakura Period
Writings of the Zen Master Hakuin (1686-1769)
Supplementary Readings in Japanese Buddhism
An Account of My Hut (Hôjôki) by Kamo no Chômei (1153-1236)
Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa) by Yoshida Kenkô (1283-1350)
The Tale of the Heiki (Heiki monogatari)
The Nô Plays
The Fiction of Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693)
The Poetry and Prose of Matsuo Bashô (1644-1694)
The Plays of Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725)
The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (Chûshingura, ca. 1748), by Takeda Izumo, Miyoshi Shôraku, and Namiki Senryû
Kokoro, by Natsume Sôseki (1867-1914)


Table of contents of A Guide to the Oriental Classics, edited by William Theodore de Bary, Ainslie Embree, and Amy Vladeck Heinrich (3rd edition, 1989, Columbia University Press). The book also includes extensive bibliographical references.

Note: In the list above I have omitted the numerous accents in the Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit entries, most of which are macrons (horizontal lines over letters), because they do not reproduce consistently in Internet formats. In the few places where I have decided to indicate a macron (primarily in Japanese names), I have replaced it with a circumflex (e.g. Bashô). It indicates a lengthening of the vowel — o-oh instead of oh.

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