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 XLV is the second 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:
• from Christian tradition, the New Testament books Corinthians I and II, plus a selection of hymns ancient and modern
• Buddhist writings that elucidate the life and teachings of the beloved 5th century BC prophet Siddhartha Gautama, aka the Buddha
• the Bhagavad-Gita, the "Song Celestial," one of the gems of Hindu philosophy
• selections from the Koran, touching on the most important of Mohammed's revelations