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M.A.T. in Latin and Classical Humanities

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.


Applications for the M.A.T. degree should be addressed to the Lynch School of Education, which also sets the requirements for the degree. These requirements reflect, in turn, those set by the Massachusetts Department of Education for certifying teachers at the secondary level.

The number of credits required for the degree, some in Education, some in Classics, will vary according to the preparation of the candidate. This fact makes it difficult to spell out exactly what will be required of an individual candidate.

The commonest requirements are 34 credits, leading to Advanced Provisional Certification, and 47 credits, leading to Standard Certification. Those who opt for Provisional Certification will need to upgrade to Standard Certification within three years, but that does not affect their degree status.

The Classics Component

In either version of the program, the Classics component is normally 15 credits, plus completion of a reading list and a comprehensive examination. A caution should be observed, however, about the number of credits required under this heading. In order to be certified by the state, a candidate has to show a total of 36 credits in the subject area, counting both graduate and undergraduate courses. For that reason, an individual candidate may need more, or fewer, than 15 credits. An undergraduate transcript needs to be reviewed to clarify the number.

Comprehensive exams, in the Classics component, include a two-hour written exam in Latin language and literature and a one-hour oral exam.

The written exam requires the translation of three passages from Latin to English 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. The exam is based on the reading list. 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

  • Education (normally 19-32 credits)
    • Coursework
    • Practice Teaching
  • Classics (normally 15 credits)
    • Five courses in Latin at the graduate level
    • Two-hour written examination on Latin language and literature
    • One-hour oral examination

Reading List

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


  • In Latin, one play from among:
  • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, Mostellaria, and Pseudolus
  • Terence, Adelphoe and Phormio
  • In English, three other plays.

Cicero, choose one from among:

  • Pro Caelio
  • In Catilinam 1-4
  • David Stockton, Thirty-five Letters of Cicero


  • Poems 1-16, 31-42, 44-6, 49-51, 58, 68, 70, 72-3, 75-6, 85, 96, 101


  • Gallic War 1


  • Aeneid 2, 4, and 6; the whole Aeneid in English

Horace, selected poems

  • Odes 1.4, 1.5, 1.9, 1.15, 1.22, 1.37
  • Odes 2.13, 2.14, 2.19
  • Odes 3.5, 3.11, 3.13, 3.21, 3.30
  • Odes 4.7

Elegy, selected poems

  • Propertius 1.1
  • Tibullus 1.1
  • Ovid, Amores 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.9, 1.13

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)
  • 10.243-97 (Pygmalion)

Historians (select one)

  • Livy, Histories 21
  • Tacitus, Annals 15

Novel (select one)

  • Petronius, Satyricon 26-78 (Trimalchio)
  • Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.28-6.24 (Cupid and Psyche)

Greek Literature, in English

  • Homer, Odyssey
  • Sophocles, Oedipus the King and Antigone
  • Euripides, Medea and Bacchae
  • Aristphanes, Clouds

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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