The following books represent a mixture of classic texts and current literature. Students with weakenesses in any area of the premodern world should also consult a good current textbook or see Dr. Szabo for more specific textbooks on particular chronological periods.
In addition to these seminal works of European premodern history, students in Ancient and Medieval fields are expected to have read widely within the primary canon. Students should familiarize themselves with the major works in translation (through course readers, full texts, or other scholarly editions) of classical and medieval authors, including, but not limited to the following essential authors and texts. Please note, these are suggested authors with whom the student should be familiar, not a separate reading list. A good sourcebook, such as Patrick Geary’s two volume medieval sourcebook (Toronto) will provide sufficient familiarity.
Ancient Greece and Rome: Aristophanes, Aristotle, Caesar, Cicero, Herodotus, Hesiod, Homer, Livy, Ovid, Plato, Plutarch, Tacitus, Thucydides, Virgil.
Late Antiquity / Early Middle Ages: New Testament, Paul, Jerome, Augustine, Eusebius,
Marcellinus, Gregory of Tours, Jordanes, Bede, Beowulf, various Germanic lit (as relevant to field).
Medieval: Abelard and Heloise (letters and Historia Calamitum), St. T. Aquinas, Boccaccio,
Chaucer, Dante, Langland, Song of Roland, Chretien de Troyes, various major legal
canons (both secular and sacred).
Listed according to chronoogy (Classical Greece to Late Middle Ages):
1. M. Herman Hansen, Polis: An Introduction to the Ancient Greek City-State, 2006.
2. J. Ober, Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens: rhetoric, ideology, and the power of the people, 1989.
3. V.D. Hanson, The Western Way of War: infantry battle in classical Greece, 2000.
4. M. Skinner, Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture, 2005.
5. Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Trans. Walter Blanco. Norton Critical Edition,1998.
6. H. Flower, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic, 2004.
7. G. Woolf, Becoming Roman, 2000.
8. K. Galinsky, Augustan Culture, 1998.
9. P. Zanker, Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, 1988.
10. E. Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third, 1976.
11. B. Ward Perkins, The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization. 2006.
12. P. Heather, The Fall fo the Roman Empire, 2007.
13. W. Goffart, Barbarian Tides: The Migration Age and the Later Roman Empire, 2009.
14. P. Brown, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity, 1982.
15. H. R. Drake, Constantine and the Bishops, 2002.
16. C. Rapp, Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity: The Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of
17. M. McCormick. Origins of the European Economy, 2002.
18. R. Barlett, R. The Making of Europe, 1994.
19. R. McKitterick, Charlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity, 2008.
20. J. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from
the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth century, 2005.
21. C. W. Bynum, Holy Feast, Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women,
22. L. K. Little and B. H. Rosenwein, eds. Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings, 1998.
23. R. I. Moore, Formation of a Persecuting Society: Authority and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-
24. M. Camille, Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art, 2004.
25. T. Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship and the Origins of European Government,
26. J. Riley-Smith, The Crusades, 2005.
27. T. Madden, The New Concise History of the Crusades, 2005.
28. S. Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted, 1996.
29. W.C. Jordan, The Great Famine, 1997.
30. M. T. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record: England, 1066-1307, 1993.
31. B. Hanawalt, The Ties that Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England, 1986.
32. B. Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State: 1050-1300, 1988.
33. D. Herlihy, The Black Death and the Transformation of the West, 1997.