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Originally published between 1909 and 1917 under the name "Harvard Classics," this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology-was assembled by American academic CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926), Harvard University's longest-serving president. Also known as "Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf," it represented Eliot's belief that a basic liberal education could be gleaned by reading from an anthology of works that could fit on five feet of bookshelf.
Volume XLIV is the first of two volumes to feature sacred writings from around the globe, those not merely essential to believers but enjoyed by secular readers as great works of literature. Included here:
• the Sayings of Confucius, the wisdom of the 5th century BC philosopher whose teachings suffuse Chinese culture to this day
• from Hebrew tradition, the Books of Job, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes, which form the core of the Old Testament
• from Christian mythology, the Book of Luke and Acts.