Examinations and Reading Lists

Language Exams - January 2024

Exam Date Time Room
GRK Sight Mon., Jan. 15, 2024 1PM-4PM LI220
LAT Sight Weds., Jan. 17, 2024 1PM-4PM LI220
Modern Language Fri., Jan. 19, 2024 1PM-3PM LI205


Reading Lists


  • Homer, Iliad 1, 9, 22
  • Homer, Odyssey 1, 9, 22
  • Hesiod, Theogony
  • Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite
  • Lyric Poetry: from the edition of Campbell
    • Archilochus: 1, 2, 5A, 6, 7, 60, 67a, 74, 79a, 88-94, App.
    • Theognis: 19-26, 183-92, 237-54, 1197-1202
    • Mimnermus: all
    • Ibycus: 286
    • Callinus
    • Tyrtaeus: 9
    • Alcman: 1
    • Stesichorus: 185, Appendix 2
    • Sappho: 1, 2, 16, 31, frs. 58-59 West (the New Sappho)
    • Alcaeus: 34A, 38A, 42
    • Solon: 3
    • Anacreon: 358, 360, 395
    • Bacchylides: 5
    • Simonides: 531, 543, 83D, 92D
  • Pindar, Olympian 1
  • Aeschylus, Eumenides
  • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus
  • Euripides, Medea
  • Aristophanes, Lysistrate
  • Menander, Dyscolus
  • Callimachus, Aitia-prologue
  • Theocritus, Idylls 1 and 11
  • Apollonius, Argonautica 3.1-575
  • Homer, Iliad 6, 18, 24
  • Homer, Odyssey 6, 19, 23
  • Hesiod, Works and Days
  • Pindar, Pythian 1 and 4
  • Aeschylus, Agamemnon and Choephoroi
  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • Euripides, Bacchae
  • Aristophanes, Frogs
  • Callimachus, Hymn to Apollo
  • Theocritus, Idylls 2 and 7
  • Apollonius, Argonautica 3.576-1407
  • Herondas, Mimiambi 6
  • Asclepiades, Epigrams (Sens’ edition)
  • Musaeus, Hero and Leander
  • Herodotus, 1.0-94 and 3.61-87
  • Thucydides, 1.1-23 and 3.35-85
  • Xenophon, Oeconomicus 7-15
  • Polybius, 6.3-18
  • Plato, Republic 1
  • Lysias, 12 (Ad Eratosthenem) and 2 (Epitaphios)
  • Demosthenes, Philippic 1
  • Plutarch, Alexander 1-23
  • Lucian, True History 1
  • Hippocrates: Airs, Waters, Places
  • Epigraphic Dossier
  • Attic inscriptions:
    • Chalkis decree (Meiggs-Lewis [=ML] 52; IG I3 40)
    • Brea decree (ML 49; IG I3 46)
    • Eleusinian first fruits decree (ML 73; IG I3 78)
    • Decelean phratry decrees, 396/5 BC and after (Rhodes-Osborne [=RO] 5; IG II2 1237; Syll.3 927)
    • Alliance between Athens and Chios, 384/3 BC (RO 20; IG II2 34; Syll.3 142)
    • Charter of the Second Athenian League, 378/7 BC (RO 22; IG II2 43; Syll.3 147)
    • Decree of the genos of the Salaminioi, 363/2 BC (RO 37; SEG 21.527)
    • Athens honours Spartocus et al., 347/6 BC (RO 64; IG II2212; Syll.3 206)
    • Ephebic oath and the oath of Plataea, mid-4th cent. BC (RO 88)
    • Cult of Amphiaraus at Oropus, 4th cent. BC (Syll.3 1004; IG VII 235; LSCG 69; Rhodes-Osborne 27)
  • Other inscriptions:
    • Burial laws from Iulis, Ceos, (IG XII.5 593 (Add. p. 332); LSCG 97), 5th cent. BC
    • Sacrificial calendar, month Batromios, Cos, 4th cent. BC (Syll.3 1025; Rhodes-Osborne 62A; LSCG 151)
    • Epidaurian iamata i-xviii (IG IV2.1 121; Syll.3 1168; Rhodes-Osborne 102), 4th cent. BC
    • Alexander’s letter to the Chians (Syll.3 283; Rhodes-Osborne 84)
    • Samos honors Boulagoras, 3rd cent. BC (SEG 1.366; Austin 132)
    • Amorgos honors Hegesippus and Antippapus, 3rd cent. BC (Syll.3 521; IG XII.7 386; Austin 105)
    • Oaths of loyalty at Itanos (Syll.3 526; Austin 108) and at Dreros (Syll.3 527; Austin 109), both 3rd cent. BC.
    • Introduction of Sarapis to Delos (Syll.3 663; IG XI.4 1299, lines 1-29; Austin 151), c. 200 BC
    • Letter of Eumenes II to Toriaion, 2nd cent. BC (SEG 47. 1745)
    • Letter of Augustus to Knidos, 6 BC (Syll.3 780; IG XII.3 174; RDGE 67; Sherk 103)
  • Herodotus, 2.1-98
  • Thucydides, 2.1-65
  • Xenophon, Agesilaus
  • [Xenophon], Old Oligarch
  • Polybius, 3.1-6 and 5.1-16
  • Plato, Phaedrus
  • Aristotle, Politics 1
  • Antiphon, 1
  • Isocrates, Euagoras
  • Dio Chrysostom, 7 (Euboicus)
  • Lucian, Alexander the False Prophet
  • Heliodorus, Aethiopica 1
  • Longus, Daphnis and Chloe 1
  • Late Antique Letters: Libanius Epp. 12, 35, 369, 493, 610, 678, 758, 760, 802, 811 (Teubner), Julian Epp. 96-98 (Budé), Synesius Epp. 5, 10, 15, 16, 81, 105, 124, 154 (Budé)
  • Catullus 1-16, 49-51, 64, 68, 76, 101
  • Horace, Satires 1.1, 4, 5, 10
  • Horace, Odes 1.1-9, 37
  • Horace, Odes 3.1-6, 30
  • Juvenal 1, 4
  • Lucan 1
  • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 3
  • Ovid, Ars 1
  • Ovid, Met. 8
  • Ovid, Fasti 4
  • Plautus, Pseudolus
  • Propertius 1
  • Seneca, Thyestes
  • Virgil, Eclogues 1, 4, 6, 10
  • Virgil, Georgics 4
  • Virgil, Aeneid 1, 2, 4, 6
  • Catullus, all
  • Ennius, Annales 1 frr. xxix, xlvii; 6 fr.ix; 8 fr.xii (Skutsch)
  • Horace, Satires 1
  • Horace, Odes 1 and 3
  • Horace, Ars Poetica
  • Juvenal 2, 3, 5
  • Lucretius, De rerum natura 1
  • Martial 1
  • Ovid, Tristia 1
  • Statius, Siluae 4
  • Terence, Eunuchus
  • Tibullus 1
  • Valerius Flaccus 1
  • Virgil, Eclogues all
  • Virgil, Aeneid 9, 12
  • Archaic Latin Prose (ed. Courtney)
  • Augustine, Confessions 1
  • Augustus, Res Gestae
  • Caesar, Bellum Civile 1.1-37
  • Cicero, Ad Atticum 16
  • Cicero, Philippic 2
  • Livy, Ab urbe condita pref. and Book 39.8-19
  • Petronius, Satyrica 26-78
  • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae 1
  • Sallust, Bellum Catilinae
  • Seneca, Epistulae Morales 1
  • Suetonius, Claudius
  • Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae 16.5.1-10.19
  • Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae 16.5.1-10.19
  • Apuleius, Metamorphoses 1
  • Apuleius, Pro se de magia 1-28
  • Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae pr; 19.1, 20.1
  • Cicero, Ad Familiares 9
  • Cicero, De re republica 6.12-33
  • Cicero, De officiis 1.1-60
  • Cicero, Pro Marcello
  • Cicero, De oratore 1.1-104
  • Fronto, Ad M. Caesarem 1.2-6
  • Livy, Ab urbe condita 5.1-23; 32-55
  • [Quintilian] Declamationes Maiores 3
  • Panegyrici Latini 12(9)
  • Passio Perpetuae
  • Seneca, Consolatio ad Helviam
  • Seneca Maior, Controversia 1.pr
  • Tacitus, Annales 4
  • Tacitus, Historiae 1
  • Tertullian, Apologeticum 1-9
  • Varro, DLL 5.1-13
  • Selections from Dessau’s Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae
    ◦ II. Imperial: 96-105; 231-36; 249-53; 320-25; 393-96; 442-47
    ◦ IV. The Senate: 1044-49; 1174-83
    ◦ V. Ordo equester: 1375-88
    ◦ VI. Familia Caesaris: 1660-70
    ◦ IX. Tituli militares: 2271-79
    ◦ XI. Tituli sacri: 3781-94; 4227-37
    ◦ XII. Ludi: 5100-08
    ◦ XIII. Opera publica: 5572-80
    ◦ XIV. Municipales 6291-96
    ◦ XVI. Opifices, artifices: 7682-7714
    ◦ XVII. Sepulchrales: 7847-61; 8186-91; 8271-86

Streams and Qualifying Exams


Ancient History Stream

2023-2024 Coordinators
Katherine Blouin & Ben Akrigg (F), Eph Lytle (S)
2023-2024 Methods Course and Proseminar Schedule

This exam typically takes place during the 3rd year of the PhD Program.

While normally the exam would be offered during the September and May examination period, in consultation with the ancient history coordinators, students can take the exam at another mutually agreed point throughout the academic year.

Alterations of the timeline can be provided in exceptional circumstances (e.g. if a student enrolled in stream after their first year). The date of the exam should normally be determined in conversation with the student’s supervisor(s) and the Ancient history stream coordinators in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. Normally, the dates should be set 8 weeks before the examination date on mutual agreement between the students and the ancient history stream coordinators.

Should the student fail the exam, they can retake it at the next possible opportunity. Normally, this exam should not be retaken more than twice.

This exam has 3 main aims:

  • To test students’ breadth of knowledge of historiographical and methodological issues pertaining to the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.
  • To assess their ability to mobilize the methodological and historiographical skills that have been taught to them in three contexts:
    • Their graduate seminars
    • The ancient history methods course
    • The proseminars
  • To test whether students can convey a coherent historical argument both in written and oral form.

This exam consists of 2 parts:

A take home written exam: Each student will be given a set of 8 to 10 questions. They are asked to answer one of these questions in writing within a period of 2 weeks (10 business days). Questions will be tailored to each student. Drawing upon skills learned across the three contexts, questions will be tailored to each student and formulated in a way that tests the student’s ability to position themselves coherently in an area that is outside of their particular area of specialization or interest. Their written paper should demonstrate the following:

  • That they can answer in a way that provides the reader with a substantiated historiographical or methodological argument.
  • That they can structure their answer in a coherent manner
  • They engage with relevant primary evidence and secondary scholarship. They can also draw from other publications, including the references listed in the History stream “Reading List”, although the list is meant to be taken as suggestive of relevant historical approaches, and does not comprise a checklist for the exam. The expected length of the written response should be about 6000 words (+bibliography).

An oral defense: The oral defense will normally take place within a week of the submission of the written exam. This defense will normally not exceed 120 minutes. The purpose of the defense is to enable student to discuss their written exam with the examiners in a conversational manner. Students will be invited to clarify or expand on certain parts of their written response. Normally, the examiners will be the ancient history coordinators of the current year. Students will be informed of their examiners before taking the first part of the examination. Normally, students will be communicated the result of the exam immediately after the oral component.

Students can prepare for the exam primarily by broadly reviewing the methodological and historiographical skills learned in their 2 first years in the program.

Please see the "Reading Lists" above for suggested readings.

Literature Stream

2023-2024 Coordinators
Michael Dewar & Kenneth Yu
2023-2024 Methods Course and Proseminar Schedule

The literary-specific qualifying exam will be offered twice a year, in October and April. Students should notify the Graduate Coordinator by September 30/March 30 whether they intend to write the exam that term.

Students have 3.5 days to complete the qualifying exam, which will typically be given over a weekend (e.g. pick up the exam at Thursday, 5pm – submit it by Monday 9am).

For their degree, students will need to pass the literary-specific qualifying exam in one language by the end of Year 2 (October examination), in the other by the end of Year 3 (October examination) with a grade of B+ or higher. Those entering the program before September 2019 may request to take the exam pass/fail. Normally students will first have passed the Reading List translation exam in that language, but students may also attempt the literary-specific qualifying exams beforehand.

The examinations committee will select passages from authors/genres familiar to the students from the Reading List or closely related to them. Students will NOT be tested specifically on reading list texts, but on their general ability to engage with ancient texts from a literary perspective. The exams will be given and evaluated by a team of two faculty members to be nominated by the Chair for any given year.

The qualifying exams specific to the literary stream consist of two open-book, take-home examinations (one in Greek, one in Latin literature). Students are asked to write a critical examination of a selected passage, which demonstrates their skills in literary analysis and their familiarity with crucial aspects of ancient literature. Students will be given a choice of ONE passage out of four (2 prose, 2 poetry). The discussion should not exceed 10 double-spaced pages.

There is a wide range of issues that students may choose to address in their discussion, including (but not limited to):

  • formal qualities: language, diction, meter etc.
  • genre
  • literary motifs and themes
  • salient intertextual and/or intratextual relationships
  • scholarly trends in the criticism of the passage, work, and/or author different theoretical or methodological avenues for interpretation
  • the relationship to other texts of the same era
  • the passage’s relation to its social, cultural or historical context reception of the passage, work, and/or author

A good discussion will first and foremost closely engage with the text at hand, offering a substantial and coherent analysis. It will also demonstrate knowledge of the larger work, oeuvre, genre, and/or literary history to which it belongs. Students should not attempt to cover all of the aspects mentioned above, but to focus on issues they consider to be most relevant for a better understanding of the passage; they are free to choose from which angle to approach the text, and are encouraged to draw connections between (or to synthesize) different approaches. The essay should offer a thoughtful and, ideally, original close reading of the passage. Students may wish to engage with scholarly debates on the passage or work, but please note that this is not supposed to be a research paper (i.e. no footnotes vel. sim.).

Preparations for the reading list translation exams and the stream-specific qualifying exams should go hand in hand and mutually enforce each other. Students are encouraged to read broadly about ancient literary and study a wide variety of genres and authors. It is advised that they read standard texts only partially represented on the reading list in their entirety, at least in translation.

A good way to learn more about specific genres, authors, literary eras etc. is to consult the articles in relevant Companions (published by Cambridge, Oxford or Blackwell) and to follow up on “further readings”. Students are also invited to ask faculty members for reading recommendations (both with regard to secondary literature and commentaries). Last but not least, Research Seminars will expose students to a variety of texts, methods and scholarly discourses and help them hone their skills in literary analysis.

Philosophy Stream

Coming soon!

Final Oral Examination

The Final Oral Examination (FOE) is the capstone experience of your doctoral studies.

  • General information about the FOE is outlined in the SGS Calendar.
  • Doctoral Examinations & Schedule information is available from the SGS website.