Reading Lists

All graduate students in the Department of Classics have required reading. Please choose from the list below, for the required texts related to your program.

Classics

The texts listed below are representative of the works that constitute Classics as a field of literary study: you should read them all in the original Greek and Latin before attempting the literature general examinations. 

As a further guide, the texts noted in square brackets, after the phrase ‘in trans.’, are those you would find it especially helpful to have read in English translation. Please note that these texts are suggested as a helpful guide and are not intended to be regarded as required.

  1. Aeschylus: Oresteia [in trans.: all]
  2. Apollonius: Argonautica 3 [in trans.: all]
  3. Aristophanes: LysistrataFrogs [in trans.: all]
  4. Aristotle: Poetics [in trans.: RhetoricNicomachean Ethics 1]
  5. Callimachus: Hymn to PallasAetia fr. 1 Pfeiffer (=Prolog)
  6. Demosthenes: Or. 9 (Third Philippic) [in trans.: On the Crown]
  7. EuripidesBacchaeHippolytusMedea [in trans.: Ion, Alcestis, Helen, Iphigeneia in Aulis, Cyclops]
  8. Herodotus: Books 1, 7, 8 [in trans.: all]
  9. Hesiod: Theogony 1-210, Works and Days 1-382 [in trans.: all]
  10. Homer: Iliad 1, 2.1-493, 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 18, 21, 22, 24; Odyssey 1-6, 8-12, 16, 19, 21, 23-24 [in trans.: all + Homeric Hymns]
  11. Isocrates: Panegyricus [in trans.: Antidosis]
  12. Longus: Daphnis and Chloe 1-2 [in trans.: all]
  13. Lucian: Vera Historia 1.1-4 & 2 [in trans.: all + De Historia Scribenda]
  14. Lyric: Campbell’s selections of Archilochus, Tyrtaeus, Alcman, Mimnermus, Solon, Stesichorus, Sappho, Alcaeus, Anacreon, Xenophanes, Simonides, Bacchylides 17 & 18
  15. Lysias: 1 (On the Murder of Eratosthenes)
  16. Menander: Dyscolus [in trans.: Samia]
  17. Pindar: Olympian 1, 6, 7, 14; Pythian 1, 2, 4, 6, 8; Nemean 7 [in trans.: all Epinicia]
  18. Plato: PhaedrusSymposiumRepublic 10 [in trans.: Phaedo, Gorgias, Republic all, Seventh Epistle]
  19. Plutarch: Life of Alexander [in trans.: Coniugalia PraeceptaQuomodo Adulescens Poetas Audire Debeat]
  20. Sophocles: AjaxOedipus RexAntigone [in trans.: all]
  21. Theocritus: 1, 2, 7, 11, 15 [in trans.: 3-6, 22]
  22. Thucydides: Books 1, 2, 7 [in trans.: all]
  23. Xenophon: Hellenica 2, Memorabilia 2 [in trans.: Anabasis, Apology, Oeconomicus]
  24. Apuleius: Metamorphoses 4.28-6.24 (=‘Cupid and Psyche’) [in trans.: all]
  25. Augustine: Confessions 1, 8 [in trans.: 2-7]
  26. Caesar: Bellum Civile 1 [in trans.: all + Bellum Gallicum]
  27. Catullus: all
  28. Cicero: In Cat. 1; Pro ArchiaPro CaelioPhilippic 2; De Oratore 1.1-159, 3.120-230; selected letters (Att. 1.16, 2.19, 4.1, 4.4, 9.6a, 13.52, 14.12; Fam. 1.9, 4.5, 5.12, 8.1, 15.5, 15.6) [in trans.: Pro Sex. Roscio, In Verrem 2.4, Pro Lege Manilia, In Catilinam all, Pro SestioDe Oratore all, De Republica 1, 6, De Officiis]
  29. Horace: Odes 1, 3, 4; Satires 1; ‘Ars Poetica’ [in trans.: all]
  30. Juvenal: 3, 6, 10 [in trans. 1-2, 4-5, 8]
  31. Livy: Books 1, 6, 21 [in trans.: Books 2-5, 22]
  32. Lucan: Book 7 [in trans.: all]
  33. Lucretius: Books 1, 3 [in trans.: all]
  34. Ovid: Amores 1; Metamorphoses 1, 8, 15; Fasti 4; Tristia 4.10 [in trans.: Ars Amatoria 1, Heroides 7, Metamorphoses all]
  35. Petronius: Satyricon 26-72 (=‘Cena Trimalchionis’) [in trans.: all]
  36. Plautus: Menaechmi [in trans.: Aulularia, Pseudolus, Rudens]
  37. Pliny: selected letters (1.12, 2.1, 2.20, 3.14, 3.16, 3.21, 4.19, 4.22, 5.8, 7.17, 7.24, 7.27: Sherwin- White ed.)
  38. Propertius: Books 1, 4
  39. Quintilian: Book 10
  40. Sallust: Bellum Catilinae [in trans.: Bellum Iugurthinum]
  41. Seneca: Thyestes; selected letters (51, 56, 79, 84, 86, 88, 114, 122: Summers ed.) [in trans.: ApocolocyntosisMedeaPhaedra, [Sen.] Octavia]
  42. Statius: Silvae 4; Thebaid 9
  43. Tacitus: Annals 1-4 [in trans.: Dialogus de OratoribusAgricolaAnnals all, Histories 1-2]
  44. Terence: Adelphoe [in trans.: Heautontimoroumenos, Phormio]
  45. Virgil: EcloguesGeorgics 4; Aeneid [in trans.: Georgics 1-3]

    The following can be added as supplements to the suggestions for helpful readings in English translation:    

  1. Chariton: Chaereas and Callirhoe
  2. Dio Chrysostom: Or. 12
  3. Augustus: Res Gestae

Classical Philosophy

Haec sic pernosces parva perductus opella…
“So you’ll become very knowledgeable about these things, guided with just a little effort…”
Lucretius On the nature of things 1.1114

Required for all candidates:

  1. Aristotle: Physics II; Nicomachean Ethics I, II 1-6; and Metaphysics Alpha.
  2. Plato: Apology, Phaedo, Republic I, II, IV, V 471c-VII, X to 607a.

Options:
Candidates should prepare seven to ten of the 19 options, selected in consultation with their advisor; substitutions for the texts listed are permitted with the adviser’s consent.

  1. Aeschylus: AgamemnonPrometheus Bound or Eumenides
  2. Aristophanes: Clouds
  3. Aristotle: Categories 1-5; de Anima II 1-7, 12; Nic Ethics III 1-5, VII 1-3, X 6-8; Metaphysics Lambda
  4. Epicurus: Letter to HerodotusLetter to MenoeceusPrincipal Doctrines
  5. Euclid: Elements I
  6. Euripides: Bacchae or Medea or Helen
  7. Herodotus: Histories I
  8. Hippocrates: On Ancient MedicineOn the Sacred Disease
  9. Homer: Iliad, six books
  10. Isocrates: Against the SophistsAntidosis
  11. Pindar: Olympians I, II; Pythian III
  12. Plato: ProtagorasParmenides (to 137b); Theaetetus (to 187a)
  13. Plotinus: Enneads I 4 (On Eudaimonia); Enneads IV 8 (On the Descent of the Soul into Bodies); Enneads V 1 (On the Three Primary Hypostases
  14. Presocaratics (“B” fragments only, in Diels-Kranz): Anaximander; Xenophanes; Heraclitus; Parmenides; Zeno; Empedocles (On Nature); Anaxagoras; Leucippus; Democritus
  15. Pyrrhonian Skepticism and Stoicism Sextus Empirius Pyrrhonian Sketches I; Diogenes Laertius Lives VII, 39-160.
  16. The Sophistic Movement “B” fragments in Diels-Kranz of: Gorgias; Antiphon, Teralogies Dissoi Logoi
  17. Sophocles: Oedipus TyrannusAntigone
  18. Thucydides: History II
  19. Xenophon: Memorabilia I, IV; Apology

Latin Authors - Required:

  1. Cicero: De Finibus I-III, V
  2. Lucretius: De Rerum Natura I-III

Latin Authors - Options: Candidates should prepare two to four of the eight options, selected in consultation with their advisers; substitutions for the text listed are permitted with the adviser’s consent.

  1. Augustine: Contra AcademicosConfessions XI; De Libero Arbitrio II
  2. Boethius: Theological TractatesDe Consolatione Philosophiae
  3. Cicero: Disputationes Tusculanae I, IV, V; De Natura Deorum II
  4. Horace: Odes
  5. Lucretius: De Rerum Natura IV-VI
  6. Ovid: Metamorphoses
  7. Seneca: De IraDe Beneficiis I-II; De Tranquillitate Animi
  8. Vergil: Aeneid, six books

Program in the Ancient World

The list below is divided into two sections, Greek and Roman, and each section comprises two parts: the texts listed in Part I of each section are those on which you will be tested in Part I (translation) of the PAW general examination; the documents listed in Part II of each section are those on which you will be tested in Part II (commentary) of the general examination. For the documents listed in Part II, please note that you are expected to read them in Greek and Latin, and will be so examined, even when available English translations are noted; for a description of what the commentaries in Part II should include, please see the end of this document.

GREEK

Part I

  • Aeschylus: Oresteia

  • Aristophanes: LysistrataWasps

  • Aristotle: Ath. Pol.

  • Callimachus: Hymn to PallasAetia fr. 1 Pfeiffer (=Prolog)

  • Demosthenes: Or. 9 (Third Philippic)

  • Euripides: BacchaeMedea

  • Herodotus: Books 1, 7, 8

  • Hesiod: Theogony 1-210, Works and Days 1-382

  • Homer: Iliad 1, 2.1-493, 6, 9, 16, 18, 22, 24; Odyssey 6, 9-12, 19, 21-2

  • Isocrates: Panegyricus

  • Lucian: Vera Historia 1.1-4 & 2

  • Lyric: Campbell’s selections of Archilochus, Tyrtaeus, Alcman, Mimnermus, Solon, Stesichorus, Sappho, Alcaeus, Anacreon, Xenophanes, Simonides, Bacchylides 17 & 18

  • Lysias: 1 (On the Murder of Eratosthenes)

  • Pindar: Olympian 1, 7, 14; Pythian 1, 8; Nemean 7

  • Plato: SymposiumRepublic 10

  • Plutarch: Life of Alexander

  • Sophocles: AntigoneOedipus Rex

  • Theocritus: 1, 2, 7, 11, 15

  • Thucydides: Books 1, 2, 7

  • Xenophon: Hellenica 2, Anabasis 1

Part II

Abbreviations

Greek texts:

ML = R. Meiggs and D.M. Lewis (eds.), A selection of Greek historical inscriptions to the end of the fifth century BC, revised edition, Oxford 1988.

RO = P.J. Rhodes and R. Osborne (eds.), Greek historical inscriptions, 404-323 BC, Oxford 2003 (includes translations).

ISE = L. Moretti (ed.), Iscrizioni storiche ellenistiche (Florence 1967-75).

Sylloge3 = W. Dittenberger (ed.), Sylloge inscriptionum Graecarum, third edition

revised by F. Hiller von Gaertringen, Lipsiae 1915-20.

OGIS = W. Dittenberger (ed.), Orientis Graeci inscriptions selectae, Lipsiae 1903- 1905.

SEG = Supplementum epigraphicum Graecum, Leiden 1923-

Sokoloswki LSAM = F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées de l’Asie Mineure, Paris 1955.

Translations:

Fornara = C.W. Fornara (ed.), Translated Documents of Ancient Greece and Rome, 1, Archaic Times to the end of the Peloponnesian War, second edition, Cambridge 1983.

Harding = P. Harding (ed.), Translated Documents of Ancient Greece and Rome, 2,

From the end of the Peloponnesian War to the battle of Ipsus, Cambridge 1985.

Burstein = S.M. Burstein (ed), Translated Documents of Ancient Greece and Rome, 3, The Hellenistic Age from the battle of Ipsos to the death of Kleopatra VII, Cambridge 1985.

Sherk = R.K. Sherk (ed.), Translated Documents of Ancient Greece and Rome, 4,

Rome and the Greek East to the death of Augustus, Cambridge 1984.

Please note: for Hellenistic inscriptions, refer to Harding, Burstein and Sherk also for chronology and bibliography. All dates are B.C.

  • ML 2 Law on the constitution: Dreros, 650-600 (Fornara 11)

  • ML 5 The foundation of Cyrene: late seventh century (Fornara 18)

  • ML 6 The Athenian archon-list (Fornara 23)

  • ML 7 Greek mercenaries in Egyptian service: 591 (Fornara 24)

  • ML 8 Law from Chios: 575-550 (Fornara 19)

  • ML 20 Law of the Eastern Lokrians relative to their colony at Naupaktos: (?) 500- 475 (Fornara 47)

  • ML 23 The decree of Themistokles: 480 (Fornara 55)

  • ML 37 Athenian alliance with Egesta: (?) 458-7 (Fornara 81)

  • ML 41 Civil laws of Gortyn: about 450 (Fornara 88)

  • ML 45 Athenian decree enforcing the use of Athenian coins, weights, and measures: (?) c. 450-446 (Fornara 97)

  • ML 47 Athenian treaty with Kolophon: (?) 447-6 (Fornara 99)

  • ML 49 Athenian colony at Brea: c. 445 (Fornara 100)

  • ML 58 Financial decrees moved by Kallias: 434-3 (Fornara 119)

  • ML 67 Contributions to the Spartan war fund: (?) about 427 (Fornara 132)

  • ML 69 Reassessment of the tribute of the Athenian Empire: 425-4 (Fornara 136)

  • ML 86 Republication of Draco’s law on homicide: 409-408 (Fornara 15)

  • RO 22 Prospectus of the Second Athenian League, 378/7

  • RO 25 Athenian law on approvers of silver coinage, 375/4

  • RO 30 A Theban monument after Leuctra, 371

  • RO 34 Alliance between Athens and Dionysius of Syracuse, 368/7

  • RO 76 Common Peace and League of Corinth, 338/7

  • RO 79 Athenian law threatening the Areopagus in the event of a plot against democracy, 337/6

  • RO 84 Alexander the Great and Chios, 334

  • RO 88 The Athenian ephebic oath and the ‘oath of Plataea’, mid fourth century

  • RO 101 Restoration of exiles at Tegea, 324/2

  • ISE 44 Hellenic League of Antigonos and Demetrios (Harding 138)

  • Sylloge3 374 Athens honors Philippides, son of Philokles, from Kephale, a friend of King Lysimachos, 283/2 (Burstein 11)

  • OGIS 219 A decree of Ilion honoring Antiochos I, 280-278 (Burstein 15)

  • Sylloge3 390 Decree of the League of the Islanders recognizing the Ptolemaieia, 280- 278 (Burstein 92)

  • OGIS 221 Dossier concerning a grant of royal land by Antiochos I to Aristodikides of Assos, 281-262 (Burstein 21)

  • Sylloge3 434/5 The Chremonides decree, first half of the 260’s (Burstein 56)

  • OGIS 55 Telmessos honors Ptolemaios, son of Lysimachos, 240/39 (Burstein 100)

  • ISE 87 Treaty between Rome and the Aetolian League, 212 or 211(Sherk 2)

  • SEG 41.1003 Teos awards Antiochos III and his queen Laodike III divine honors for granting the city inviolability and relieving it of the tributes it had paid to Attalos I, 204/3 (Burstein 33)

  • OGIS 90 The Rosetta Stone: selections from the Greek version of a trilingual decree passed by a synod of the priests of Egypt at Memphis on the occasion of the coronation of Ptolemaios V as king of Egypt, 196 (Burstein 103)

  • Sylloge3 646 Two decrees of the senate on affairs at Thisbai, 170 (Sherk 21)

  • OGIS 763 Letter of Eumenes II to the Ionian League, 167/6 (Burstein 88)

  • SEG 9.7 Testament of Ptolemaios VIII Euergetes II, leaving his kingdom of Cyrene to the Romans, 155 (Burstein 104)

  • Sylloge3 683 Dossier concerning the arbitration of a land dispute between Messene and Sparta by Miletos, about 138 (Burstein 80)

  • Sokolowksi LSAM 49 The cult of the goddess Roma in Miletus, c. 130 (Sherk 41)

  • Sylloge3 684 Letter of Q. Fabius Maximus to the city of Dyme, perhaps 115 BC (Sherk 50)

  • Sylloge3 725 The Lindos Chronicle, 99 (Burstein 46)

  • Sylloge3 764 A letter of Caesar with a copy of a decree of the senate concerning Mytilene (Sherk 83)

ROMAN

Part I

  • Apuleius: Apology

  • Caesar: Bellum Civile 1

  • Catullus: all

  • Cicero: In Cat. 1; Pro CaelioPhilippic 2; selected letters (Att. 1.16, 2.19, 4.1, 4.4, 9.6a, 13.52, 14.12; Fam. 1.9, 4.5, 5.12, 8.1, 15.5, 15.6)

  • Horace: Odes 1, 3.1-6, 4; Satires 1

  • Juvenal: 3, 6, 10

  • Livy: Books 1, 6, 21

  • Lucan: Book 7

  • Lucretius: Books 1.1-148, 3.830-1094

  • Ovid; Metamorphoses 1, 8, 15; Fasti 4; Tristia 4.10

  • Petronius: Satyricon 26-72 (=‘Cena Trimalchionis’)

  • Plautus: Menaechmi

  • Pliny: selected letters (1.12, 2.1, 2.20, 3.14, 3.16, 3.21, 4.19, 4.22, 5.8, 7.17, 7.24, 7.27:

    Sherwin-White ed.)

  • Propertius: Books 4

  • Quintilian: Book 10

  • Sallust: Bellum Catilinae

  • Seneca: selected letters (51, 56, 79, 84, 86, 88, 114, 122: Summers ed.)

  • Statius: Silvae 4;

  • Tacitus: Annals 1-4, Dialogus

  • Terence: Adelphoe

  • Virgil: EcloguesGeorgics 4; Aeneid 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12 Part II

(Dessau numbers have been provided simply as a standard point of reference; CIL, Inscr. Ital., AE,

Crawford RS, and FIRA where they are more accessible.)

  • Twelve Tables/XII Tabulae (FIRA I, c. 2)

  • Senatus Consultum de Bacchanalibus (ILS 18)

  • The Polla Elogium & Gracchan land markers (ILS 23; Inscr. Ital. 3.1: 272; ILS 24-26; Inscr. Ital. 3.1: 275-279: land markers)

  • So-called ‘Pirate Law’/Lex de provinciis praetoriis from Delphi/Cnidos (Crawford, RS, 1: 12)

  • Decree of Cn. Pompeius Strabo (ILS 8888)

  • Lex Acilia Repetundarum (Crawford, RS, 1:1)

  • Tabula Heracleensis (Crawford, RS, 1: 24)

  • Lex Coloniae Ursonensis/Coloniae Genetivae (Crawford, RS, 1: 25)

  • ‘Elogium of Turia’ / ‘Laudatio Turiae’ (ILS 8393 = S. Lancel ed., Paris, 2002)

  • Augustus, Res Gestae (P. Brunt-J. M. Moore; or A. E. Cooley ed.)

  • SC de Gnaeo Pisone Patre (W. Eck, A. Caballos & F. Fernández eds. 1996)

  • Honors for Germanicus: Tabula Siarensis (Crawford, RS 37)

  • Honors for Germanicus: Tabula Hebana (Crawford, RS 38)

  • Speech of Claudius from Lugdunum (ILS 212)

  • Lex de Imperio Vespasiani (ILS 244 = McCrum-Woodhead, no. 1)

  • Lex Irnitana (J. González, JRS 76 [1986])

  • Municipal Contracting: Lex Libitinaria from Puteoli (AE 1971: 88

  • Lex Collegii Funeraticii Lanuvini (ILS 7212 = FIRA 3: 35)

  • Typical ‘military diplomas’ (ILS 1986, 2002, 2006)

  • Selection of funerary epitaphs (7873, 7927, 7966, 7989, 8130, 8162, 8216, 8272,

    8345)

  • Typical senatorial and equestrian career inscriptions (senators: ILS 915, 986, 1029, 1065, 1067; equites: 1326, 1330, 1374, 1410, 1412)

  • Citizenship: Tabula Banasitana (AE 1971: 534)

  • Tabulae Patronatus (ILS 7217, 7218)

  • African domain inscription: Henchir Mettich (CIL 8.25902 = FIRA/1/100)

  • Praetorian Prefect: Control of Herders/Saepinum (CIL 9.2438; FIRA 1/2/61)

  • Mining Regulations: Lex Metalli Vipascensis (ILS 6891; FIRA 1/2/104)

  • Games: Gaius Appuleius Diocles the charioteer (ILS 5287)

  • Games: Control of Gladiatorial Costs (ILS 5163)

  • Typical sales contracts: slaves and houses (FIRA 3: 87-90, 132, 136)

  • ‘Testamentum Dasumii’ (CIL 6.10229; FIRA 3: 48)

  • Alimenta inscription: Ligures Baebiani (ILS 6509: selection)

  • A selection of municipal career inscriptions (ILS 6163, 6264, 6286, 6797, 6818, 6827)

  • Edictum de pretiis maximis Diocletiani (S. Lauffer ed., 1971)

 

In Part II of the examination three texts drawn from the second part of the reading list above will be set: these texts will be either whole documents or portions of longer documents that will be recognizable to a historian who has read the documents with care. You will be asked to write a commentary on TWO of these three documents, and you may take up to two hours to complete the examination. The commentary should include the following:

  1. identification of the document and the category of documents to which it belongs (treaty, civic decree, etc.);

  2. date

  3. place of origin;

  4. discussion of the historical context: what are the circumstances that caused it to be produced? what person or group of persons produced it? is it an isolated phenomenon or part of a larger group of related documents?

  5. discussion of the historical significance: what consequences did it have? what does it tell us that we would otherwise not know? how does it modify, corroborate, or contradict what we know from other sources?

You should be prepared to refer to relevant secondary literature as appropriate, especially with reference to points 4 and 5 above.

back to top