Reading Lists for Qualifiying Exams

NOTE for present students: The requirements described here are new, and apply to students entering in fall 2023 and later. Present students are, strictly speaking, subject to the old requirements, but the spirit of the new requirements will be applied wherever possible, following this transition plan.

Students are expected to read extensively in Greek and Latin literature and to work actively at building vocabulary and becoming familiar with different styles in both verse and prose. By way of guiding students on this path, two lists for each language are posted on the department website. These lists are intended as the primary preparation for the Qualifications Examination, and passages on these exams will come from these lists. These are the “Short List” and the “Long List.” These lists are not intended to limit the student's reading to these authors and works, but rather to serve as a preliminary to more in-depth exploration of the texts most relevant to the student’s research interests as well as to broader life-long reading and teaching of Greek and Latin.

The Short List

The Short List is a list of 150 OCT pages that is determined by the faculty instructor of the most recent instantiation of Reading Greek/Latin in that language (GREK / LATN 6610). The list is a kind of “living list” in the sense that it serves as a kind of sample living canon that provides a representative but necessarily partial survey of key texts—a combination of several whole works or volumes and a number of particularly significant pages or passages. In each instantiation of Reading Greek/Latin, the faculty instructor will inherit the existing Short List but may change up to 50 pages (i.e., 33%) from the previous instantiation. It is expected that such changes will be made in response to the experiences of students and colleagues in previous semesters and/or in response to emerging areas of interest in the field or petitioning by the members of the next Reading Greek/Latin. The length of the list is intended to be challenging but still achievable within the one-semester Reading Greek/Latin with sufficient effort. It is thus a “prepared” list, since students can be reasonably expected to become very familiar with the readings—including both matters of language and other basic information concerning the readings to be tested on the Qualifications Exam (author, work, date, meter, dialect, genre, etc.).

Note: the new Short Lists are pending. The new Greek Short List will be posted in fall 2023, during the first instantiation of GREK 6610 Reading Greek. The new Latin Short List will be posted in fall 2024, during the first instantiation of LATN 6610 Reading Latin.

Transitional Latin Short List:

For the purpose of the spring 2024 Qualifications Examination, the present, "transitional" Latin Short List is this list of the main focus readings from the most recent Latin Survey from fall 2022:

  • Augustine, Confessions 8.25–30
  • Catullus, Carmina 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 24, 25, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44, 50, 56, 61, 63 81, 99, 100, 106
  • Cicero, De re publica book 1: 1–20, 25–71; book 2: 1–3; book 3: 42–48; book 4: 3–7; book 6 (Somnium Scipionis): all
  • Cicero, Letters: Shackleton Bailey green-and-yellow; also Letter 16, 1 = Commentary #120, Letter 16, 2 = Commentary #121, Letter 16, 3 = Commentary #122, Letter 16, 4 = Commentary #123, Letter 16, 5 = Commentary #124, Letter 16, 6 = Commentary #125, Letter 16, 7 = Commentary #126, Letter 16, 24 = Commentary #350, Letter 16, 26 = Commentary #351, Letter 16, 27 = Commentary #352, Letter 14, 4 = Commentary Letter #6, Letter 14, 3 = Commentary Letter #9, Letter 14, 7 = Commentary Letter #155, Letter 14, 16 = Commentary Letter #163, Letter 14, 11 = Commentary Letter #166, Letter 14, 15 = Commentary Letter #167, Letter 4, 5 Servius Ciceroni S. = Commentary Letter #248, Letter 4, 6 M. Cicero S.D. Ser. Sulpicio = Commentary Letter #249, Letter 5, 15 M. Cicero S.D. L. Lucceio Q.F = Commentary Letter #252
  • Ennius, Annales fragments
  • Horace, Sermones book 1: 1–5, 8, 10 
  • Livy, Ab urbe condita book 1: 1–21, 49–60; book 30: 1, 6, 7, 11–17, 20–22
  • Lucretius, De rerum natura book 1: 1–145, 398–482, 635–1117
  • Naevius, Bellum Punicum fragments
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses 1 (all)
  • Propertius book 1 (all)
  • Seneca, Thyestes (excluding the choral odes)
  • Tacitus, Annales 1.1–54
  • Terence, Prologues
  • Virgil, Aeneid book 8 (all); book 9: 176–526

The Long List

The Long List in each language consists of approximately thirty author names—not a list of specific titles of works as in the old Reading List. Students are expected to have made a systematic effort to become familiar with general information about each of these authors and to have read at the very least one representative passage or page by each and thereby to have become acquainted with the author’s style. Many of these authors will already be familiar from the student’s own prior reading and from the Short List. Students should take every opportunity to read more extensively in each of these authors, but this is not presupposed in the Qualifications Exam.

In the Qualifications Exam, students will be expected to show a familiarity with the basic stylistic peculiarities of each author (including dialect, meter, etc.) and will additionally be expected to apply excellent sight-reading strategy in gaining comprehension of an unfamiliar text.

A growing familiarity with the authors on the Long List will serve as valuable preparation for the Qualifications Examination but also as a resource in the “Generals” component of the Preliminary Examination.

Sight-reading strategy, and practice in sight-reading passages by authors from the Long List, will be a focus in Reading Greek/Latin (GREK / LATN 6610) and in Advanced Language and Composition (GREK / LATN 5801). Students should take every opportunity to practice sight-reading skills.

Present Long Lists:

  • Greek: Aeschylus, Alcaeus, Anacreon, Antiphon, Apollonius of Rhodes, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Bacchylides, Callimachus, Demosthenes, Euripides, Gorgias, Herodas, Herodotus, Hesiod, Hippocrates, Homer, Homeric Hymns, Isocrates, Longus, Lucian, Lysias, Menander, Pindar, Plato, Plutarch, Polybius, Sappho, Solon, Sophocles, Theocritus, Thucydides, Xenophon [32]

  • Latin: Apuleius, Accius, Augustine, Caesar, Cato, Catullus, Cicero, Ennius, Horace, Juvenal, Livy, Lucan, Lucilius, Lucretius, Martial, Naevius, Cornelius Nepos, Ovid, Pacuvius, Persius Petronius, Plautus, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Propertius, Quintilian, Sallust, Seneca the Elder, Seneca the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Terence, Tibullus, Vergil [34]