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Summer Vacation Reading List

There are two main things you should do during the summer vacation in preparation for this module in the autumn:

1. Learn something about the period of Roman history immediately preceding the era of Augustus (from c.60-30 BC). Find out about the civil wars between Pompey and Julius Caesar, why Caesar was assassinated, and how Octavian/Augustus finally in 31 BC emerged as victor after more civil wars. Try to familiarise yourself with some important names and events. There are lots of introductory books you could use for this.
Start to think what it meant to Augustus to be 'son of the deified Julius'.

Suggested reading:

  • Le Glay, M., Voisin, J.-L., Le Bohec A History of Rome (Blackwell, 2nd or 3rd edns: 2001, 2005) ch.6 'Crisis of the Republic'
  • Yavetz, Z. Julius Caesar and his Public Image (London 1983)
  • Suetonius Life of Deified Julius (trans. R. Graves, Penguin Classics)
  • Shakespeare Julius Caesar

2. Read some of the main primary texts from the Augustan era:

  • Virgil Aeneid books 1, 4, 6, 8
  • Ovid Metamorphoses books 1, 15; Art of Love book 1

These are available in good translations in the Oxford World Classics or Penguin Classics series.

Start to think about what these texts tell us about cultural, political, and social changes at Rome.

Classics/ English-Latin students taking this module as a Latin-text option MUST make headway in reading the set texts over the summer vacation.