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M.A. in Latin

classical studies

Available here, in addition to a statement of degree requirements, is the reading list for the degree and a supplementary reading list for historical background.

Requirements

The M.A. in Latin requires ten courses (30 credits) in Latin at the graduate level, completion of an independent reading list, demonstration of proficiency in a modern foreign language (usually French or German), and comprehensive written and oral examinations.

Course Work

Four courses a year are normally available to graduate students. A thesis or independent paper option is also available, for three or six credits, but requires departmental permission.

Modern Language

Proficiency is demonstrated by a one-hour translation test, in which the use of a dictionary is allowed. This test does not form part of the comprehensive exams. It may be taken at a student's earliest convenience, the sooner the better.

Comprehensive Exams

These include a two-hour exam in Latin poetry, a two-hour exam in Latin prose, and an oral exam.

Each written exam requires the translation of three passages and the composition of an essay about one of them; the essay asks a student to identify the passage in its literary context and the author in his historical context. Written exams are based on the reading list and on a student's course work. Use of a dictionary is not allowed.

The oral exam is open-ended, testing whether a student can keep a conversation going for an hour on the topic of Latin literature in its historical context. A supplementary reading list suggests books on political, social, and literary history.

Summary of Requirements

  • Thirty credits of coursework (may include three or six credit thesis)
  • Proficiency test in a modern foreign language
  • Two-hour written examination on Latin poetry
  • Two-hour written examination on Latin prose
  • One-hour oral examination

Reading List

The list contains options as well as requirements. Each student will be expected, before taking comprehensive exams, to submit an individualized list. For print purposes see Reading List in PDF format.

Comedy

  • In Latin, two plays from among:
    • Plautus, Aulularia, Miles Gloriosus, Mostellaria, and Pseudolus
    • Terence, Andria, Adelphoe, and Phormio
  • In English, three other plays

Cicero

  • Pro Caelio
  • Somnium Scipionis
  • David Stockton, Thirty-five Letters of Cicero

Catullus

  • Poems 1-16, 31-42, 44-46, 49-51, 58, 64, 70, 72-3, 75-6, 85, 96, 101

Lucretius

  • Selections from De rerum natura:
    • 1.1-101 (Introduction)
    • 1.921-50 (Poetry)
    • 2.1-61 (Philosophy)
    • 3.1-40 (Epicurus)
    • 3.1053-94 (Death)
    • 4.1058-1287 (Sex)
    • 6.1138-1286 (Plague)

Caesar

  • Gallic War 1

Sallust

  • Catiline or Jugurtha

Virgil

  • Eclogues 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10
  • Aeneid 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12
  • The whole Aeneid in English
  • The Iliad and Odyssey in English

Horace

  • Selected poems:
    • Odes 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.9, 1.15, 1.22, 1.24, 1.37
    • Odes 2.3, 2.13, 2.14, 2.16, 2.19
    • Odes 3.1, 3.5, 3.11, 3.13, 3.21, 3.30
    • Odes 4.7, 4.15
    • Epodes 16
    • Satires 2.6
    • Epistles 1.4, 1.20

Elegy

  • Selected poems:
    • Propertius 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.10, 1.20, 1.22, 2.1, 2.10, 2.15, 3.1,
      3.3, 4.1, 4.7, 4.8, 4.11
    • Tibullus 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.7, 1.8, 1.10, 2.1, 2.5
    • Ovid, Amores 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.9, 1.13, 2.6, 2.19, 3.2

Ovid

  • Selections from Metamorphoses
    • 1.452-567 (Apollo and Daphne)
    • 3.138-253 (Actaeon)
    • 3.339-510 (Echo and Narcissus)
    • 4.55-166 (Pyramus and Thisbe)
    • 6.1-145 (Arachne)
    • 8.153-235 (Daedalus and Icarus)
    • 10.243-97 (Pygmalion)
    • 10.298-502 (Myrrha)
    • 11.410-748 (Ceyx and Alcyone)

Livy

  • Histories 1 or 21

Petronius

  • Satyricon 26-78 (Trimalchio)

Pliny

  • Letters 6.16, 6.20, 10.96, 10.97

Tacitus

  • Annals 13-16

Apuleius

  • Metamorphoses 4.28-6.24 (Cupid and Psyche)

Supplementary Reading List

As general background for the study of classical literature a student should read several books on Roman history. Many are available. This list contains suggestions, but feel free to make substitutions.

  • Thomas Africa, The Immense Majesty
  • Geza Alfoldy, The Social History of Rome
  • D. R. Dudley, The Civilization of Rome
  • Michael Grant, History of Rome
  • C. G. Starr, The Roman Empire, 27 BC-AD 476
  • R. Syme, The Roman Revolution

For literary history, the standard reference work is now the Cambridge History of Classical Literature, (Vol. I = Greece, Vol. II = Rome). The articles on individual authors are, in general, state of the art and the bibliographies are ample (up-to-date to 1982). Copies are available in the reference section in O'Neill Library.

For shorter articles and bibliography (to c. 1996) on authors, genres, historical figures, mythology, etc., see the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd edition, available in the Classics Department office and in O'Neill Library.

Affordable in paperback and still useful for reference are H. J. Rose's Histories of Greek and Latin Literature; for mythological references the most convenient guide is Edward Tripp, The Meridian Handbook of Classical Mythology.


 

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