Reading List

Students majoring in Classics should consult these lists early and often: we will use them in choosing texts for the "adjunct" reading courses but students are responsible for filling in their own gaps. Senior reading exams will cover these texts.

Classics Department Reading List

Latin Reading list

In English, Latin reading in parentheses:

Catullus (all in English, in Latin 100 lines)

Caesar: Gallic War (in Latin 5 OCT pages)

Cicero: Catiline I and II, Pro Caelio (in Latin 5 OCT pages)

Horace (all)

Livy: book I, XXI, XXII (in Latin 5 OCT pages from book I)

Lucretius: books I-III

Ovid: Ars Amatoria I, Metamorphoses (all in English, one book from any work in Latin)

Petronius: Cena

Plautus: 1 play

Propertius: books I, IV

Sallust: Catiline

Suetonius: Augustus

Tacitus: books I-III

Virgil: Aeneid (all in English, in Latin one book)

Greek Reading List

The following list should be read in English. The number of lines to be read in Greek are in parentheses after each selection. Please note that for some selections we have indicated a helpful text from which to read.

Epic Tradition

Homer: Iliad and Odyssey (The equivalent of one book of each - about 500 lines)

Hesiod: Theogony, and Works and Days (50 lines)

Homeric Hymns: Demeter, Apollo, Hermes (50-100 lines)

Lyric and Other Poetry (50 lines - come to us for help in choosing if you need to)

Among the poets we recommend are Sappho, Alcaeus, Alcman, Stesichorus, Simonides, Archilochus, and Solon.

Here, your best bet is to read through the collection in Diane Rayor's Sappho's Lyre (Berkeley, 1991)


Xenophon-Anabasis, Cyropaedia or Hellenica; or Polybius-Histories (called "The Rise of the Roman Empire" in the Penguin edition), especially books 1 and 6.

Herodotus, Books 1-4, 7 (Minimum 5 pages, including first and last paragraphs of the Histories).

Thucydides: Book 1 (Prologue, Paras. 22-24) and one speech from Books 1 or 2.

For the English, use Paul Woodruff, Justice, Power and Human Nature (Hackett, 1993). We also recommend The Landmark Thucydides, which has Thucydides complete with maps and notes in a beautiful edition (Touchstone, 1996).

Drama (100 lines of each author)

Aeschylus: Oresteia, Prometheus Bound

Sophocles: Oedipus Cycle, Elektra, Philoctetes or Ajax

Euripides: Medea, Electra, Bacchae, Alcestis

Aristophanes: Acharnians, Birds, Lysistrata, Clouds, Frogs

New Testament

About 100 lines of one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John)


Presocratics: Heraclitus, Parmenides, and all other fragments (selected fragments of Heraclitus, and Parmenides and Anaximander, major fragments)

Plato: Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Euthyphro, Symposium, Republic, Bks. 1-4 (5 pages in Greek, preferably from one or two dialogues - about 400 lines)

Aristotle: Poetics, De Anima, Ethics, Politics, Metaphysics Lambda (Book 12) (Classics/Philosophy majors will want to read some of this in Greek)


Lysias: On the Olive Trunk; On the Murder of Eratosthenes

Demosthenes: On the Crown

Selected Secondary Texts Worthy of Perusal

General/history: Pomeroy et. al., Ancient Greece: A Social, Political and Cultural History (Oxford)

Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford)

Art and Archaeology:

Biers, W. The Archaeology of Greece

Boardman, J. Greek Art

Neer, Greek Art and Archaeology(Thames and Hudson)

Ramage and Ramage, Roman Art(Pearson)

Zanker, Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (Michigan)

Homeric Tradition

The Cambridge Companion to Homer

Greek Religion and Drama

Burkert, W., Greek Religion

Dodds, E.R., The Greeks and The Irrational

Harrison, J., Themis

Vernant, J-P and Detienne, M., Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece


Annas, J., Voices of Ancient Philosophy

Kirk, Raven, J.E. and Schofield, M. The Presocratic Philosophers

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