sammagnus2016
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I'm currently doing Classics at A Level and have always been interested in Greek and Roman history, so I'm wondering if there are any recommended things to read that aren't necessarily course based material.

I've asked my teacher and he told me there was no end to the wider reading I could be doing, but I don't know where to start, and don't want to spend money on something that might not be worthwhile, so I was wondering if anyone had anything the could recommend. Thanks
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Amefish
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(Original post by sammagnus2016)
I'm currently doing Classics at A Level and have always been interested in Greek and Roman history, so I'm wondering if there are any recommended things to read that aren't necessarily course based material.

I've asked my teacher and he told me there was no end to the wider reading I could be doing, but I don't know where to start, and don't want to spend money on something that might not be worthwhile, so I was wondering if anyone had anything the could recommend. Thanks
Hi! I don't really know much about classics - in fact, I had to google the specification to see what it was actually about! Looks like a really good course. I'd recommend looking up the specification to see what comes up and basically, you can type in keywords into Amazon and some books suggestions will likely come up for anything you're particularly interested in. Here's the OCR specification, if that's the exam board you're doing. Let me know if you need any other help
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jkls92
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For personal curiosity and interest and regardless of whether they'll help you or not with your exam?

Basically any classical book is a valuable and recommended masterpiece and foundation of our literature and culture. The only problem is that it's hard to fully appreciate those books if you don't know much about the author and the historical context. If you tell me more about what interests you specifically (philosophy, poetry, epic, society, politics, war, history, myth, literature, love, sexuality etc.) I'll be glad to help. You can also google "best ancient classics".

(Original post by sammagnus2016)
I'm currently doing Classics at A Level and have always been interested in Greek and Roman history, so I'm wondering if there are any recommended things to read that aren't necessarily course based material.

I've asked my teacher and he told me there was no end to the wider reading I could be doing, but I don't know where to start, and don't want to spend money on something that might not be worthwhile, so I was wondering if anyone had anything the could recommend. Thanks
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sammagnus2016
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
For personal curiosity and interest and regardless of whether they'll help you or not with your exam?

Basically any classical book is a valuable and recommended masterpiece and foundation of our literature and culture. The only problem is that it's hard to fully appreciate those books if you don't know much about the author and the historical context. If you tell me more about what interests you specifically (philosophy, poetry, epic, society, politics, war, history, myth, literature, love, sexuality etc.) I'll be glad to help. You can also google "best ancient classics".

For personal interest. I've read the usual suspects as in the Odyssey, Iliad and Aeneid, as well as a few of Aristophanes' plays, but I'd like to read more. History, politics and philosophy would probably be the main areas, but I'm open to anything at all.

Thanks for offering your help!
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jkls92
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(Original post by sammagnus2016)
For personal interest. I've read the usual suspects as in the Odyssey, Iliad and Aeneid, as well as a few of Aristophanes' plays, but I'd like to read more. History, politics and philosophy would probably be the main areas, but I'm open to anything at all.

Thanks for offering your help!
The poems were a harsh start, you were right to downplay it with some comedy. Did you read the clouds? Also nice are Menander and
Terence.

I suggest you try, first of all, something more accessibl, in order to witness how classics can still be very modern: try the de brevitate vitae. If you like it there's more on that line, like the epistulae ad lucilium and de tranquillitate animi. And that's philosophy. Cicero wrote some books on philosophy which are interesting because of his eclectic approach. Then Epicurus letters on happiness, plato's letters like the seventh (also about politics), symposium, apology. If you happen to like stoicism, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus are very good too.

For politics, politeia by plato and De republica (watch out for the somnium scipionis part, simply sublime) by Cicero are great. Many of cicero's works are on politics, those are all good. Great oratory too, but be careful, he was a lawyer and "pragmatic idealist", so some of his speeches l didn't represent what he really thought but were pronounced to achieve his political objective to support the republic (which in some cases meant attacking Pompey, in other defending him against caesar's populares). In Catilinam and philippics were very meaningful, as well as the original one by Demosthenes of course!

Politics mixed with historiography, de coniuratione catilinae by Sallust. Plutarch is my favourite proper historian. Once you start developing some knowledge about the field, pick the parallel life of characters that interest you (my favourite for example is Cato the younger). Suetonius is solid fun too.

For poetry, de rerum natura.

On literature, the unknown on the sublime.


Let me know if you need further guidance and want to explore something/someone more specifically.
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sammagnus2016
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
The poems were a harsh start, you were right to downplay it with some comedy. Did you read the clouds? Also nice are Menander and
Terence.

I suggest you try, first of all, something more accessibl, in order to witness how classics can still be very modern: try the de brevitate vitae. If you like it there's more on that line, like the epistulae ad lucilium and de tranquillitate animi. And that's philosophy. Cicero wrote some books on philosophy which are interesting because of his eclectic approach. Then Epicurus letters on happiness, plato's letters like the seventh (also about politics), symposium, apology. If you happen to like stoicism, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus are very good too.

For politics, politeia by plato and De republica (watch out for the somnium scipionis part, simply sublime) by Cicero are great. Many of cicero's works are on politics, those are all good. Great oratory too, but be careful, he was a lawyer and "pragmatic idealist", so some of his speeches l didn't represent what he really thought but were pronounced to achieve his political objective to support the republic (which in some cases meant attacking Pompey, in other defending him against caesar's populares). In Catilinam and philippics were very meaningful, as well as the original one by Demosthenes of course!

Politics mixed with historiography, de coniuratione catilinae by Sallust. Plutarch is my favourite proper historian. Once you start developing some knowledge about the field, pick the parallel life of characters that interest you (my favourite for example is Cato the younger). Suetonius is solid fun too.

For poetry, de rerum natura.

On literature, the unknown on the sublime.


Let me know if you need further guidance and want to explore something/someone more specifically.
Thanks, I read those first because they're necessary for the course, so they weren't too hard going as my teacher's really great at going over stuff with us. I haven't read the clouds, but it's in the book with the others so I intend to.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I really appreciate you being so helpful!
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jkls92
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(Original post by sammagnus2016)
Thanks, I read those first because they're necessary for the course, so they weren't too hard going as my teacher's really great at going over stuff with us. I haven't read the clouds, but it's in the book with the others so I intend to.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I really appreciate you being so helpful!
It's nothing, hope you enjoy them!
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danceramy98
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(Original post by sammagnus2016)
For personal interest. I've read the usual suspects as in the Odyssey, Iliad and Aeneid, as well as a few of Aristophanes' plays, but I'd like to read more. History, politics and philosophy would probably be the main areas, but I'm open to anything at all.

Thanks for offering your help!
If you look at the King's College London classical studies program, each module has recommended reading! Lots of topics to pick from!
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sammagnus2016
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(Original post by danceramy98)
If you look at the King's College London classical studies program, each module has recommended reading! Lots of topics to pick from!
Thanks!
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fuzz13
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If you're more into History, politics and philosophy, then reading some of Herodotus' histories would be good, I imagine. Plato's Symposium or the Republic for philosophy. The Peloponnesian War is very heavy but good if you need/want to have an understanding of it. I'm not too sure on what to read in terms of politics though...
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