The other day I was trying to think of a list of literary works from antiquity besides the Bible that could be described as ‘essential’ based on the criterion that most (or many) people have at least heard of them by title and/or author, even if that’s all they know about them. It must, it seems to me, be a rather short list. Here is what I’ve come up with for the Greek side.
Aristotle, Politics and, perhaps, Poetics
Homer, Iliad and Odyssey
Sophocles, Oedipus the King