Department of Classics: Summer 2023 Reading Suggestions to prepare for First Year

row of books

Offer Holders, while we anticipate your arrival to begin your studies at King’s for BA Classics & the Ancient World, BA Ancient History, or BA Classical Studies with English / and Comparative Literature, we suggest that you read, or maybe buy, two or three of the following books in preparation for your first-year courses.

You may find some items in your school, public library, or your local bookshop may be able to order a copy within a few days. We provide the round price for the paperback edition if the book is currently in print, but if you search for the titles in your browser, you can order online (including second-hand copies and E-books) which is often cheaper.  

Ancient Greek and Latin language 

  • For either language at Beginners or Intermediate level you need both books; it is essential to have the second edition. Beginners Greek covers sections 1-8; Beginners Latin covers sections 1-4a; the Intermediate courses start from the next section. Try online for cheaper prices.
  • JACT – Reading Greek. Text and Vocabulary  (2007, 2nd edition; Cambridge University Press).    £26
  • JACT – Reading Greek. Grammar and Exercises (2007, 2nd edition; Cambridge University Press).    £27
  • P.V. Jones and K.C. Sidwell – Reading Latin. Text and Vocabulary  (2016, 2nd edition; Cambridge University Press).   £21
  • P.V. Jones and K.C. Sidwell – Reading Latin. Grammar and Exercises [P.V. Jones and K.C. Sidwell]  (2016, 2nd edition; Cambridge University Press).(Grammar and Exercises).   £25 

Ancient World and the Modern 

  • Helen Morales - Antigone Rising. The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths (2020; Headline Publishing). £13 
  • Robert Garland – Surviving Greek Tragedy (2011; Bloomsbury). £27 
  • Denise E. McCoskey – Race: Antiquity and Its Legacy (2019; Bloomsbury). £14 
  • Brooke Holmes – Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy (2012; Bloomsbury). £14 

Ancient Greek and Latin literature and thought 

  • Alison Sharrock and Rhiannon Ashley – Fifty Key Classical Authors (2002; Routledge). £20 
  • Tim Whitmarsh – Ancient Greek Literature (2004; Wiley). £20 
  • Susanna M. Braund – Understanding Latin Literature (2017; Routledge). £34 
  • Julia Annas – Ancient Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction (2000; Oxford University Press). £9 
  • David N. Sedley (ed.) – The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Philosophy (2003; Cambridge University Press). £28 


  • Sarah Pomeroy and others – A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture (2019; Oxford University Press). £43 [older editions online below £10] 
  • Jeremy McInerney – Greece in the Ancient World (2018; Thames & Hudson). £35 
  • Howard H. Scullard – From the Gracchi to Nero (1982, repr. 2017; Routledge). £15 
  • Guy de la Bédoyère – Roman Britain. A New History (2013; Thames and Hudson).  £17 
  • Peter Brown – The World of Late Antiquity (1971, repr. 2005; Thames & Hudson).   £13 
  • Roderick Beaton – The Greeks. A Global History (2021; Faber). £11 

Art and Archaeology 

  • Lucilla Burn – The British Museum Book of Greek and Roman Art (1991; British Museum) [second-hand copies online under £10] 
  • Susan Woodford – Greek and Roman Art (2020; Thames & Hudson). £11 

Check out this article to find some free resources such as podcasts and videos, available online, which may help you get ready for studying Classics at King’s. 

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