Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels Allusions & Cultural References

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Aristotle (2.3.6, 3.8.1)
  • Demosthenes (2.6.6)
  • Cicero (2.6.6)
  • Dionysius Halicarnassensis (2.7.1)
  • Lucius Junius Brutus (3.7.10)
  • Socrates (3.7.10, 4.8.9)
  • Cato the Younger (3.7.10)
  • Sir Thomas More (3.7.10)
  • Homer (3.8.1)
  • Didymus (3.8.1)
  • Eustathius (3.8.1)
  • John Duns Scotus (3.8.1)
  • Ramus (a.k.a. Pierre de la Ramée) (3.8.1)
  • René Descartes (3.8.2)
  • Pierre Gassendi (3.8.2)
  • Epicurus (3.8.2)
  • Polydore Virgil (3.8.4)
  • Plato (4.8.9)
  • The Aeneid (4.12.3)
  • Horace (4.12.6)

Historical References

  • Alexander the Great (3.7.7)
  • Hannibal (3.7.8)
  • Julius Caesar (3.7.9-10)
  • Pompey the Great (3.7.9)
  • Brutus (3.7.10)
  • Epaminondas (3.7.10)
  • Brutus (3.7.10)
  • The Spartans (3.8.3)
  • Heliogabalus (3.8.3)
  • Agesilaus (3.8.3)
  • the Battle of Actium (3.8.9)
  • Mark Antony (3.8.9)
  • Augustus (3.8.9, 4.12.6)
  • Publicola (3.8.9)
  • Agrippa (3.8.9)
  • Charles V of France (4.3.2)
  • the Glorious Revolution that began the reign of William and Mary in 1689 ("Revolution under the Prince of Orange") (4.5.2)
  • The War of Spanish Succession ("the long war with France") (4.5.2)
  • Hernán (Ferdinando in the text) Cortéz (4.12.6)

Pop Cultural References

  • Niagara Falls (2.8.4)
  • Phaëton, God of the Sun (2.8.13)
  • Herman Moll, Dutch mapmaker (4.11.3)

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