The Great Authors & Works of the Liberal Arts Tradition

By Keith Nix

Engage with the intellectual titans of our history and culture.

The Classic Learning Test is shaped by the philosophers, scientists, historians, and poets. Nowhere is this more evident than in our author bank. Though no list could be exhaustive, the authors that form the basis of our test material  represent some of the finest thought and artistic expression in our culture.

From ancient roots in minds like Homer, Plato, and Hippocrates, through the grand development of the Middle Ages in luminaries like Augustine and Dante, down to the accomplishments of the modern era displayed in such authors as Austen, Einstein, and King, these writers and the books they have left behind them are the heart and soul of our civilization.

We all need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our time. And that means old books.

However, approaching the works of these intellectual titans can seem intimidating at first. After all, is it possible to pick up a copy of The City of God or The Meaning of Relativity and just start reading, without a sense of the greater context of the authors and the books themselves?  

At CLT, we’re keenly aware of this challenge. That’s why we’re launching a new blog series designed to introduce you to classic authors. These articles, written by members of our Board of Academic Advisors, will give you a jumping-off point to explore some of the most important authors and works of the liberal arts tradition. You’ll get an overview of each author’s significance, explore their historical context, and sample some of the lessons they offer to the modern reader.

As C.S. Lewis once wrote, “We all need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our time. And that means old books.” We hope that this series will help you discover, read, and enjoy “old books.”


You can find our complete list of classic authors here. Stay tuned for weekly profiles of each one of these minds throughout the ages.

If you liked this piece, check out one of our author profiles (a new one goes up every Monday!). We have posts on Ovid, Avicenna, Jane Austen, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and many more.

Published on 21st October, 2019.

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