For information about Web accessibility, please contact the Webmaster at

Haverford College
header image

Academic Program: Majors' Reading List


About the Majors' Reading List

The Majors' Reading List consists of a group of central Greek and Latin texts selected by the faculty, to be read in English (if not in the original) by the beginning of the senior year.  Many of these texts will have been assigned in different classes, while others will complement class readings. By reading, considering, and discussing the texts on the list, bi-college Classics students—whatever the focus of their particular major—will emerge with a stronger common basis for discussion and with a better sense of the range and depth of the classical heritage. 

The Reading List is a pilot program for majors, beginning with the class of 2012.

Reading the List and Translation Recommendations

All the texts may be read in English; many will be read in connection with a class. Students may read the texts on their own, or in informal reading groups with their classmates, or in groups sponsored by the Hurford Humanities Center (➙).

For most works we will recommend a particular translation or translations (click on any title with for suggestions and LC #), but if students would like to read a different version, they can consult with any faculty member if the translation is a reasonable alternative.  For some genres, we have compiled a collection of shorter texts that are available on Blackboard.

reading_groupThe Hurford Humanites Center sponsors small Reading Groups devoted to shared close readings of texts without the pressure of pedagogical oversight. Some reading groups might take a single work of relative complexity as their subject; others, a more diverse array of smaller texts. Proposed by students or faculty, groups may consist of a mix of both, as well as College staff (usually three to eight members, total). The Center provides up to $300 for texts and refreshments.

Click on the for suggested translations

Greek Texts

Show Translations | Hide Translations

Latin Texts

Show Translations | Hide Translations

Recommended Synoptic Text

Beard and Henderson, Classics: A Very Short Introduction

Recommended Historical Surveys

Pomeroy, A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture
Potter, Ancient Rome: A New History