The Humanities Sequence, in Haiku

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Artist's rendition of a typical Hume class

What has scads of small books, has 3,000 years of world history, and operates in both verse and prose? No, it’s not Red China — it’s Princeton’s very own Humanities Sequence!

The Humanities Sequence, or “Hume,” focuses on Western thought through reading the “great books.” Unfortunately, Hume is a lot of work. Fortunately, Tiger is here to help. We proudly present the Hume sequence – in its entirety, in order, in haiku. Enjoy!

1. Homer’s Illiad

“Ten years of fighting
To penetrate the Trojan
Walls. These rubbers work.”

2. Homer’s Odyssey

“It’s been twenty years
Since he’s seen these craggy shores
She really wants it.”

3. Herodotus Histories

“Greco-Persian Wars?
This guy just goes on and on.
Biden’s ancestor.”

4. Thucydides Peloponnesian War

“Stupid people talk.
They start a war for money–
Not unlike George Bush.”

5. Aeschylus Oresteia

“Wife wants his ass dead
‘Cause he sacrificed their girl.
Someone call Montel.”

6. Sophocles Antigone

“Father was her bro;
Mother was her grandmother;
It’s all relative.”

7. Euripides The Bacchae

“A fool of a king
Forgets the party credo:
Avoid drunk bitches.”

8. A Presocractics Reader

Says Plato to Zeno:
“Funny Thing Happened
On the Way to the Forum,
No more syllables.”

9. Plato’s Symposium

“Explains Socrates:
Gay sex isn’t just clean fun
It’s pedagogy.”

10. Plato’s Republic

“Philosopher king
Spends time thinking, not acting
Gets head cut off. Oops.

11. Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics

“We can agree that
One’s precision is vital
In virtued haikus and stuff.”

12. Polybius Rise of the Roman Empire

“Carthage versus Rome:
It is just like 300,
But THAT. WAS. SPARTA.”

13. Caesar The Gallic War

“He writes a memoir
‘Fore his presidency starts.
Critics kill sequel.”

14. Virgil’s Aeneid

“Homeric moments,
Roman history mixed in:
This is fan fiction.”

15. Ovid Metamorphoses

“Everything changes,
A woman becomes a cow.
So, what else is new?”

16. The Stoics Reader

“Death is no problem.
I enjoy what fate hands me,
In my mom’s basement.”

17. Lucretius On the Nature of the Universe

“Many parallel
Worlds in this big universe.
I wrote this before.”

18. The Bible

“Son of the father
Walks all over the water.
Can’t make this stuff up.”

19. St. Augustine Confessions

“Once was a sinner
Then he took to the pulpit.
Altar boys beware.”

20. Boethius Consolation of Philosophy

“Prison lit. is great:
The author has time to think.
Careful with the soap.”

21. Beowulf

“He slays three monsters
At the expense of his life.
What an exchange rate.”

22. Chretien de Troyes Perceval, the Story of the Grail

“Naive young kid makes
First recorded quest for grail.
Scoops Dan Brown, suckaaaaaaaa.”

23. Dante Inferno

“Nine circles of pain,
But this Hell ain’t got nothing
on Princeton’s finest.”

24. Dante Purgatorio

“Climbing the mountain,
But they are frigging tired.
Where is their Sherpa?

25. Dante Paradiso

“Nine heavenly spheres,
Four maidens orbiting me.
Wait, who has three boobs?”

-SRS

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