The following list of authors and works is intended as a guide for preparation for the comprehensive exams in Greek and Latin literature. Students may make substitutions to accommodate their own interests and previous reading, but the list provides an indication of the range of literature that all philologists should have worked through before taking the comprehensive exams. All substitutions must be approved in advance by the selected examiners.
The purpose of the comprehensive exams in Greek and Latin literature is to determine whether you control sufficient detail and breadth to be granted, upon satisfactory completion of a dissertation, a PhD in Philology. You will be asked to demonstrate knowledge such as other persons holding the PhD in Philology typically have, and you will be asked to synthesize and explain important literary and cultural concepts. For more information, you should consult the graduate advisor in Philology and Ancient History.
You will do some of the readings in the context of courses, but you are expected to complete the remainder of the readings independently starting from the very beginning of your graduate career. The summers, in particular, provide crucial blocks of time when you are expected to be working through the reading list either on your own or by forming a reading group.
Your preparation for the comprehensive exams should also include reading general handbooks on Greek and Latin literature, such as the Cambridge History of Classical Literature (2 vols.) and G.B. Conte, Latin Literature (1994). You should also acquaint yourself with secondary literature for each of the authors and works you read in consultation with faculty and your examiners. Throughout your readings, you should practice explicating these texts within their historical/cultural contexts and comparing them to other works written in the same or related literary genres.
It is expected that the readings will be prepared from the standard OCT or Teubner texts as available and that you use suitable commentaries as needed. Please consult with your professors if you have questions about selecting an edition or commentary.
I. Greek Readings in the original.
A. Archaic Period
Homer: Iliad 1, 3, 6, 9, 16-24; Odyssey 1, 5-12, 21-23; Hymns, one of the following: 2-5
Hesiod: Works and Days 1-382; Theogony 1-885
Lyric poetry: Selections in Campbell, 1982 plus Stesichorus Fr. 222b Davies
Presocratics: Selections in Kirk, Raven, Schofield for Anaximander, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles
Aeschylus: Oresteia and one other play
Pindar: Ol. 1, 2; Pyth. 1, 2, 4 and five other odes
B. Classical Period
Antiphon: First Tetralogy and DK 87, B44
Sophocles: Ajax, Oedipus Tyrannus, Antigone and two other plays
Euripides: Medea, Hippolytus, Bacchae and two other plays
Herodotus: Book 1 and one other book
Aristophanes: Acharnians, Clouds, Frogs and one other play
Thucydides: Book 1.1-23; 7; and one other book
Plato: Apology; Republic 6,7,10; Two additional major dialogues
Lysias: 12, and one other speech
Isocrates: Panathenaicus 175-end
Demosthenes: De Corona 168-end; Two additional speeches, one private and one public
Aristotle: Poetics; Nicomachean Ethics I or Politics I
C. Hellenistic Period
Theocritus: 1-7, 15, 22
Apollonius: Argonautica 3
Callimachus: Aetia Fr. 1; One hymn
Lucian: One dialogue, e.g. 26, 27, 28, 29 in OCT vol. 2
Plutarch: One life
II. Additional Greek Works to be read either in translation or in the original
Homer: all. Homeric Hymns: all. Hesiod: Works and Days, Theogony (entire). Aeschylus: all. Sophocles: all. Herodotus: all. Euripides: all. Thucydides: all. Aristophanes: all.
Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Democritus: selections in Kirk, Raven, Schofield. Antiphon: Tetralogies. Isaeus: 2, 5. Xenophon: Hellenica 1-2, Memorabilia. Andocides: De mysteriis. Isocrates: Panathenaicus (entire), On the Peace, On the Sophists. Plato: Republic (entire). Demosthenes: Olynthiacs, Philippics. Aristotle: Physics 1. Menander: Epitrepontes, Samia. Theophrastus: Characters. Plutarch: Rise and Fall of Athens (Penguin = 9 Greek lives) and Life of Lycurgus.
III. Latin Readings
A. Early Latin
Ennius: Skutsch, Annales; Jocelyn, Tragedies. (Accius, Pacuvius etc. from Warmington.)
Plautus: Amphitruo, Captivi, one other play
Terence: All prologues and at least one play
B. Republican Latin
Lucretius: De rerum natura I, III
Catullus: Carmina omnia
Caesar: Bellum civile I and one other book of the Commentarii
Cicero: Orationes: in Catilinam 1; pro Caelio; Philippic 2; and one
other speech; Epistulae: selection of D. R. Shackleton Bailey; Rhetorica: de Oratore 1, Brutus or Orator; Philosophica: one short treatise or one book of a longer treatise
Sallust: Catiline or Jugurtha; Historiae
Horace: Sermones I.1, 4, 9, 10; and at least three others; Carmina; Epistulae I, Ars poetica
Livy: Ab urbe condita I, XXI, and at least one other book
Ovid: Amores I; Metamorphoses 1, 8, 15; Heroides: at least two letters; one further work (e.g. Tristia 1, Fasti 1, Ars Amatoria)
Propertius: Books I; III.1,3; IV, at least three poems
Tibullus: Book I
Vergil: Bucolics, Georgics, Aeneid
C. Silver Latin
Lucan: Pharsalia I or VII
Petronius: 26-78, "Cena Trimalchionis"; and 85-87, 111-112, "Milesian Tales"
Seneca: at least one tragedy and 30-40 Teubner pages of prose
Pliny, Younger: Epistulae, at least 10
Suetonius: Two Vitae Caesarum
Tacitus: Annales I-VI; Historiae; one shorter work
Apuleius: Metamorphoses: one book
Juvenal: Satirae 1, 3, 4, 7, 10