This list is intended to help you prepare for the Latin PhD preliminary examination. That exam is a test of your competence in Latin and your familiarity with the field of Latin literature, rather than a test on this list. Read as much as you can in preparation, in the knowledge that acquaintance with all of these texts constitutes preparation for a career in Classics.

MA students planning to continue to a PhD are strongly encouraged to take a PhD-level exam, even while registered in the MA program. An MA student who takes the PhD exam and passes it at the PhD level (85% or higher) will, as a result, be qualified for their MA (pending satisfactory fulfillment of the other MA requirements) and be considered to have passed the Latin PhD preliminary exam, if they continue into the PhD program at this institution. A pass mark of 95% or higher on the PhD-level exam results in a pass with distinction. An MA student who passes a PhD-level exam at the MA level (75% - 84%) may earn their MA on that basis, pending satisfactory fulfillment of the other MA requirements, but would be required to re-take the Latin PhD preliminary exam if admitted to the PhD program.

The exam will consist of two sections: A. Translation; B. Passage analysis:

A. The translation section will consist of two out of three passages of poetry and two out of three passages of prose to be translated, all to be drawn from the reading list. Each poetry passage will be ca. 20-25 lines in length, and the prose passages of a length corresponding to that.

B. The analysis section will require exam-takers to discuss one out of two passages of prose and one out of two passages of poetry, all to be drawn from the reading list.

Instructions as they appear on the exam paper are given below.

Substitutions to the present list: students may propose substitutions of equivalent difficulty and length pertaining to up to two prose and two verse authors; these substitutions would need to be approved by the graduate director in consultation with the graduate committee.

Copies of all texts and commentaries recommended are available in Norlin and in the Classics library in Eaton Humanities (HUMN 345); please alert the Chair of the Library Committee if you find any missing from either library. Those wishing to build their own Classics libraries (e.g. those planning to pursue a PhD) may wish to consider purchasing personal copies of the texts and commentaries recommended as an investment for the future.

As you read the texts, we recommend reading the introductions to the commentaries listed below, especially those in the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series. We also recommend supplementing your reading of the Latin text by background reading in one of the standard literary histories, e.g. G.B. Conte’s Latin Literature: A History, transl. J.B. Solodow, rev. D. Fowler and Glenn Most, Baltimore & Laton (John Hopkins) or the Cambridge History of Classical Literature, Vol. 2. You will find both of these in HUMN 350. No Classics library books should leave their respective rooms! Further advice on secondary reading on individual authors is available from faculty.

Instructions as they appear on the exam:

Ia. Translation: Prose. Translate two of the following passages into accurate and idiomatic English. 

Ib. Translation: Poetry. Translate two of the following passages into accurate and idiomatic English. 

II.  Select one of the following two passages of poetry in (a) and one of the two passages of prose in (b), and write an analytical essay on each.  If you can, identify the author, work, and location of the passage within the work; the author’s date, historical milieu, and the context of the passage or work within the author's career; speakers and others referred to directly or indirectly; and places, events, or other important points of reference.  Comment on significant themes as well as formal features such as meter or rhythm, dialect, and genre; if possible identify the performance venue, occasion, or intended readership. Paraphrase is not necessary and should not be used for its own sake, but you may use it to support interpretation of the text.


Metamorphoses 4.28–6.24 (Kenney: CGCL 1990)


Confessions 1(Clark: Cambridge Imperial Library 2005; O’Donnell: Oxford


Moselle (Green: Oxford 1991)


Civil Wars   1  (Carter: Aris and Phillips 1991; Kramer / Hofmann: Berlin 1881 [German])
Gallic Wars 5 (Holmes: Oxford 1914; Kelsey: Boston 1897, repr.  2007; Kramer / Dittenberger: Berlin 1881 [German])


all (Fordyce: Oxford 1961, where available; Kroll: ed. 5 Stuttgart 1959 [German]; Quinn: London 1973 where Fordyce is not available)


In Catilinam 1-4 (Dyck: CGLC 2008)
Pro Caelio (Austin: Oxford 1960, with many reprints; Dyck: CGLC 2013; Keitel and Crawford: Focus 2009 is also available)
Philippics 2 (Ramsey: CGLC 2003; Denniston: Oxford 1926, repr. BCP 1991, 2011)
De Oratore 1.1–23 (Kumaniecki’s Teubner: Leipzig 1969; Wilkins 1892)
Select Letters (Shackleton Bailey: CGLC 1980)
Somnium Scipionis (Zetzel: CGLC 1995 = De Re Publica, Book 6)


Annals (Skutsch: Oxford 1985; for now, use Warmington’s Loeb translation for guidance)
Fragments of the Tragedies: Medea Exul (Jocelyn: Cambridge 1967)



1(Mayer: CGLC 2012; Nisbet & Hubbard: Oxford 1970)
2 (Nisbet & Hubbard: Oxford 1978)
3 (Nisbet & Rudd: Oxford 2004)
4 and Carmen Saeculare (Thomas: CGLC 2011)
Epodes (Watson: Oxford 2003; Mankin: CGLC 1995)
Epistles 1 (Mayer: CGLC 1994)
Ars Poetica (Rudd: CGLC 1989; Brink: Cambridge 1971)
Satires 1. 1, 4–6, 8–10 (Gowers: CGLC 2012)


Epistula 52 to Nepotian (Cain: Brill, 2013);
Epistula 108 to Eustochium (Cain: Oxford, 2013)


Satires 1-5 (Braund: CGLC 1996; you may also find Courtney: London 1980 useful; reissued in paperback in 2013, by California Classical Studies)


Book 1 (Gould & Whiteley: London 1952, repr. BCP 1987; Ogilvie: Oxford 1965)
Book 21 (Weissenborn-Müller: Berlin 1965 [German])
(See Kraus: CGLC 1995 for a good introduction to Livy.)

Livius Andronicus

Odusia (Warmington: Loeb 1936 with reprints; Flores: Naples 2011 [Italian])


Bellum Civile, Book 1, (Roche: Oxford 2009), 7 (Lanzarone: Florence 2016)
(See Fantham: CGLC 1992 for a good introduction to Lucan.)


Book 1 (Leonard & Smith: Wisconsin 1970)
Book 3.1–30, 417-1094 (Kenney: CGLC 1971)
Book 5.772–1457 (Gale: Oxford 2009)


Select Epigrams (Watson and Watson: CGLC 2003)


Bellum Punicum (Barchiesi: Padua 1962 [Italian]; Flores: Naples 2011 [Italian])
Tarentilla (Warmington: Loeb 1936, with reprints)


Ars Amatoria 1 (Hollis: Oxford 1977)
Amores 1 (McKeown: Liverpool 1987; Barsby: Oxford 1973 = BCP 1979)
Metamorphoses (Galasso: Torino 2000 on all books)
1 (Lee: BCP 1953, repr. 1992; Anderson: Oklahoma 1997; Barchiesi: Rome 2005- [Italian] so far for Met. 1-9)
8 (Hollis: Oxford 1970; Barchiesi as above)
14 (Myers: CGLC 2009)

Heroides (Knox: CGLC 1996)
Fasti 4 (Fantham: CGLC 1998)


Satyricon 26-78: the Cena Trimalchionis (Smith and/or Schmeling)


Amphitruo (Christenson: CGLC 2000)
Pseudolus (Wilcock: BCP 1987)
Menaechmi (Gratwick: CGLC 1993)
(Please note that for Plautine metre one of the most helpful starting-guides is to be found in the introduction to Christenson’s commentary to the Amphitruo.)

Pliny the Younger

Epistles (Sherwin-White: Oxford 1966)
2 (all) (Whitton: CGLC 2013)
6.16, 20
10.96, 97


Book 1 (Camps: Cambridge 1961; Fedeli: Florence 1980 [Italian])
Book 3. 1–3 (Camps: Cambridge 1966; Fedeli: Bari 1985 [Italian])
Book 4 (Hutchinson: CGLC 2006)


Psychomachia (Burton: Bryn Mawr 1989)


Institutio Oratoria, 10.1 (Peterson: Oxford 1903)


Bellum Catilinae (Ramsey: APA 1984; ed. 2, 2007)

Histories, Preface & Book 1 (La Penna & Funari: De Gruyter 2015). Further speeches and letters: speech of Cotta (Book 2), letter of Pompey (Book 2), speech of Macer (Book 3), letter of Mithridates (Book 4); use Reynolds’ 1991 OCT for text. For advice and support on Hist1-5, use Ramsey: Loeb 2015 and McGushin: Oxford 1992.


Thyestes (Tarrant: APA 1985)
Epistles 47; 51; 55; 56; 86; 99; 114 (use Reynolds’ OCT; Summers: London 1920, repr. 1965 for advice)
Apocolocyntosis (Eden: CGLC 1984)

Statius (Hill: Leiden 1983)

Thebaid 9 (Dewar: Oxford 1991)
Achilleid (McNelis: OUP forthcoming)
Siluae 2.7 (Newlands: CGLC 2011)


Augustus (Wardle: Oxford 2014)


Agricola (Kraus & Woodman: CGLC 2014)
Histories 1 (Damon: CGLC 2003)
Dialogus (Mayer: CGLC 2001)
Annals 1 (Goodyear: Cambridge 1972); 4 (Woodman and Martin: CGLC 1989); Furneaux: Oxford, ed. 2, 1896 for both.


Adelphoe (Martin: CGLC 1976);
Eunuch (Barsby: CGLC 1999)


Book 1 (Maltby: Cambridge 2002; Flower Smith: New York 1913, repr. Darmstadt 1964, 1985)
Book 3.13-18 (Sulpicia)


Eclogues (Clausen: Oxford 1994 and/or Coleman: CGLC 1977)
Georgics (Thomas: CGLC 1988 and/or Mynors: Oxford 1990) 

1 (Austin: Oxford 1971)
2 (Austin: Oxford 1964; Horsfall: Brill 2008)
3 (Williams: Oxford 1963, repr. BCP 1990; Horsfall: Brill 2006)
4 (Austin: Oxford 1963)
5 (Williams: Oxford 1960, repr. BCP 1981)
6 (Austin: Oxford 1977; Norden, ed. 3 Leipzig 1927, with many reprints [German])
7 (Horsfall: Brill 2000) 
8 (Williams: London 1973, repr. BCP 1996 – this edition covers Aen. 7-12, Fordyce: Oxford 1977, repr. BCP 1993 on Aen. 7-8)
9 (Hardie: CGLC 1995)
10 (Harrison: Oxford 1997)
11 (Horsfall: Brill 2011)
12 (Tarrant: CGLC 2012)