Graduate Reading Lists

Graduate Reading List for the Ph.D. in Classics, AoC Ancient Philosophy, and/or Ancient Science

The following list of Ancient Greek and Roman authors is intended to help students prepare for the Preliminary Doctoral Examination and the following Comprehensive Ph.D. Examinations:

  • Greek and Latin Literature
  • Greek and Roman History
  • Special Topic: Classical Philosophy or Ancient Science


Some of the authors listed will also be read in the required course ‘Ancient Greek and Latin Seminar’. Given that students enter the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree in hand, it is likely that they will already have read several of the authors listed upon entering the program. Each student, in consultation with their advisor, will choose from the authors listed below and design an individual reading list that is tailored to their plan of study, taking into account exam preparation and previous reading experience.


Latin Authors

Students should read at least 500 OCT pages, selected from the works listed below, in consultation with their advisor.

Apuleius Metamorphoses (Cupid and Psyche)
Augustine Confessions 1.6-20; 8.6-12
Boethius De Consolatione Philosophiae
Caesar Gallic War 1-4, Civil War 1
Catullus  1-51, 64, 76, 101

In Catilinam 1, Phillipic 2, De Re Publica (fragments as in Zetzel), De Officiis 1, De Oratore 1, LaeliusTusculans 1, Select Letters (Shackleton Bailey’s Select Letters), De Finibus 1-3 & 5, Academica 1

Horace Odes 1, 3; Epodes 1, 6; Satires 1.1, 6, 9; 2.2, 6; Letters 1.4, 6; 2.1
Juvenal 1, 3, 6, 10
Livy 1, 21
Lucan 1
Lucretius 1-3
Martial 1
Ovid Metamorphoses 1, 4; Fasti 1
Petronius  Cena Trimalchionis 26-72
Plautus AmphitruoMiles
Pliny the Younger Select Letters
Propertius 1
Seneca De IraDe Beneficiis I-II; De Tranquillitate Animi; Letters 51, 56, 79, 84, 86, 88, 114, 122
Tacitus Annales 1-4; Historiae 1, 5
Vergil AeneidBucolicsGeorgics 4


Ancient Greek Authors

Students should read at least 500 OCT pages, selected from the works listed below, in consultation with their advisor.

Aeschylus Oresteia (Agamemnon, Eumenides)
Apollonius Conic Sections
Archimedes The Method of Mechanical TheoremsOn the Sphere and Cylinder
Aristophanes CloudsFrogs
Aristotle Categories 1-5, De InterpretationeTopics 1, Posterior Analytics (select passages), Metaphysics (select passages), Physics (select passages), De AnimaGeneration of Animals 1, 2; Generation and Corruption 2, Meteorology 1, 4; De Caelo 1, 2; Nicomachean Ethics (select passages)
Demosthenes Philippics 1
Diogenes Laertius 7, 10
Epicurus Letters to Herodotus & Menoeceus
Euclid Elements 1, 4; OpticsPhaenomena
Euripides MedeaHippolytusBacchae
Galen On the Natural Faculties 1, On the Uses of the Parts 1, On the Sects for Beginners
Herodotus 1, 6, 7, 8
Hesiod Theogony 1-239
Homer Iliad, Odyssey
Lyric Poetry Most texts in D. Campell (Greek Lyric Poetry, 2nd ed.; skip Callinus, Phocylides, Demodocus, Pratinas, Timocreon, Praxilla, Carmina Popularioa, Scolia), newly found poems of Archilochus, Sappho, Simonides
Lysias Against Eratosthenes
Menander Dyskolos
Plato ApologyCritoEuthyphro, MenoProtagoras (select passages), ParmenidesRepublic (select passages), GorgiasTimaeus (select passages), PhaedoTheaetetus (select passages), LachesSophist (select passages), PhilebusLaws 10
Plotinus Enneads 1.4, 4.8, 5.1
Plutarch Lives (Pericles and Cicero)
Presocratics B fragments Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno, Empedocles, Democritus, Anaxagoras
Ptolemy Syntaxis 1, 10; Optics 5; Harmonics 1
Sextus Empiricus  Outlines of Pyrrhonism 1
Sophocles AjaxAntigoneOedipus Rex
Theophrastus De Causis Plantarum 1
Thucydides 1-2.70, 5.84-7
Xenophon Memorabilia 1, Hellenica 1