History Reading List

Reading List for PhD candidates in Ancient History

Students may make substitutions of authors or works under the same conditions as students taking the degree in Classical Philology.

Greek Literature

  • 1 Gospel or Acts

  • Aeschylus: Persians

  • Appian: 1 book

  • Aristophanes: Acharnians or Knights

  • Aristotle: Constitution of the Athenians

  • Cassius Dio: 53

  • Demosthenes: Philippics 1

  • Herodotus: 1 book

  • Homer: Iliad 1 book; Odyssey 1 book

  • Isocrates: Philip

  • Maccabees 2

  • Plato: Symposium or Apology

  • Plutarch: Pericles or Antony

  • Polybius: 1 book

  • Ps-Xenophon: Constitution of the Athenians

  • Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus

  • Thucydides: 1, 2.34–65, 3.35–85, 5.26, 84–116, 6.8–23, 7.84–87, 8.1

  • Fragmentary historians: 1 substantial fragmentary historian (e.g., Hellanicus, Nicolaus of Damascus) 

  • 2 substantial inscriptions (e.g., Anti-Tyranny Law from Athens, Rosetta Stone)

  • 1 documentary papyrus (e.g., from the Zenon archive)

Latin Literature

  • Augustine: 1 book from City of God or Confessions

  • Augustus: Res Gestae (bilingual)

  • Caesar: 1 book of Bellum Gallicum or Bellum Civile

  • Cicero: Pro MiloneDe republica Books 1 and 6; letters, as in D.R. Shackleton Bailey's Selected Letters

  • Ennius: fragments of Annales as in Skutsch's edition

  • Horace: Odes 3.1–6 (Roman Odes)

  • Juvenal: 1 satire

  • Livy: 1 book

  • Lucan: 1

  • Pliny the Younger: letters, as in A. N. Sherwin-White's Fifty Letters of Pliny

  • Sallust: Jugurtha or Catiline

  • Scriptores Historiae Augustae: Hadrian

  • [Seneca]: Octavia

  • Suetonius: Julius Caesar or Augustus

  • Tacitus: Any 2 of Histories 1, Annals 4, and either Agricola or Germania

  • Virgil: Aeneid  1 book

  • Fragmentary historians: Cato in T. J. Cornell et al., The Fragments of the Roman Historians

  • 2 substantial inscriptions (e.g. Piso text, Lex Coloniae Genitivae Iuliae/Ursonensis)

  • 1 documentary papyrus or similar (e.g., from the Vindolanda tablets)