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Reading List

Ancient History and Classical Archaeology / Classical Civilisation / Classical Civilisation with Philosophy

Some of you will have taken A levels or GCSEs in classical subjects, whereas others will be coming fresh to the subject. Whatever your background, you might like to spend some time over the summer vacation reading some of the following.

  • Beard, M., Henderson, J. A Very Short Introduction to Classics (Oxford University Press 2000)
  • Blanshard, A. Classical World: All that matters (John Murray Learning 2015)
  • Cartledge, P. The Greeks. A Portrait of Self and Others (Oxford University Press 2002)
  • Lane Fox, R. The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian (Penguin 2006)
  • Treggiari, S. Roman Social History (Routledge 2002)

These are not books that you need to buy - they won't be textbooks for the course; but are lively introductions to different aspects of the classical world.

We encourage everyone to learn Latin as their first ancient language. If you want to make a start - particularly if you haven't studied any language for some time, there's a good short introduction on how to go about learning Latin and a few basics at the Open University's Getting Started on Latin.
If you want to begin Greek instead, then please contact Clive Letchford ( for what you should do before arriving on campus and details of the course we follow. If you have a GCSE in Latin or Greek and think you should be on an intermediate language course, we will assess you on arrival, but you will probably want to contact Clive Letchford about getting up to speed again.