College of Arts and Sciences

Classical Studies

Special Author Examination

Students register for Special Author Preparation under C875.

When a student is ready to begin preparing for the Special Author Examination and has a particular author in mind, he/she would approach a faculty member in order to ask the faculty member to serve as the chair of the committee. When a faculty member has agreed to serve as chair, the student and the chair of the committee should consult about which faculty members would be most appropriate to serve as the other two members of the committee, and the student should approach them in order to ask them to serve on the committee as members.

In consultation with the committee chair the student will prepare a reading list that will include both scholarly literature and texts by the special author to be read in Greek and Latin. As a guide for his/her preparation for the exam the student uses the reading list in coordination with the format outlined below. While progressing through the reading list, the student should be preparing reviews of ten books, chosen to represent the range of scholarship and interpretation pertinent to the author, and a sampling of old and new approaches. These reviews are to be handed to the Committee Chair before the examination. They will count as a portion of the exam.

At the time of the examination the student must submit an extensive bibliography.

The three hour written exam is based only upon the works on the reading list and, to the extent that it is appropriate, upon the format for the exam outlined below.

The Examination will be of three hours duration and will include the following:

  1. Comprehension of the text.
  2. Discussion in detail of several topics listed below in numbers 1 through 3.

The enrollment of a student who fails this exam for the second time may be terminated.

1. General Background

  1. A general knowledge of the social, political, and economic history of the author's period.
  2. A general knowledge of the literary history of the period.

2. The Works (External)

  1. The manuscript tradition.
  2. The text: its present condition; critical editions; problematical passages.
  3. Translations.

3. The Works (Internal)

  1. Literary criticism.
  2. Language and style.