And . . . done.

Yesterday I finished the Reading List Exams for U of T’s MA in Classics.  This was the conclusion of four days of intensity and spilling forth from my brain excessive amounts of information, some of which I wasn’t even sure was there until the pen hit the paper.  The Reading List looks like this.  My week looked like this:

Tuesday, 9:00 AM: Greek Verse translation exam.  Translate 2 out of 4 from Set A and likewise from Set B.  Passages taken from the Reading List, of course.  Did the passages from the Iliad, Hesiod’s Theogony, Tyrtaeus 9, Callimachus’ Hymn to Athena.

Wednesday, 9:00 AM: Greek Verse commentary exam.  Theoretically write something clever about 3 out 5 passages from sets A and B.  Only Emilia looks at it and says, “Hey, Set B only has four passages!”  Set A was similar.  Wrote the exam under much stress, wondering what would happen in these unforeseen circumstances.  Furthermore, would they discipline a prof who acts in such bad faith yet who is also published and publishing?  Commented on passages from Euripides’ Bacchae, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, and Homer’s Odyssey, book 6 from Set A, and Mimnermus, Sappho 31, and the parabasis of Aristophanes’ Acharnians.

Thursday, 9:00 AM:  Latin Prose translation exam.  Same format as Greek.  Translated passages from Livy, Ab Urbe Condita Book 21, Suetonius Life of the Divine Julius, Cicero, and from a letter of Pliny the Younger.

Friday, 9:00 AM:  Latin Prose commentary exam.  Same format that Greek was supposed to be, not what Greek was. Thankfully.  Commented on passages from Cornelius Nepos’ Life of Atticus, Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae, Livy Book 1, a letter of Cicero to Atticus, Seneca Letter 47, and Cicero’s speech Pro Archia.

And now, I’m done the Reading List!


3 thoughts on “And . . . done.

  1. A bit late, but many congratulations on finishing. What a task they set for you!

    Be careful what you do with your learning now, though. I’m reading through a history of the WWII Battle of Crete and the resistance to German and Italian occupation–turns out British Intelligence and the Special Operation Executive recruited classicists and archaeologists to organize the resistance and lead secret operations there throughout the war. John Pendlebury–who pulled together a patchwork coalition of fighters, was killed in the war, and became something of a Cretan legend— was head of archaelogy at Knossos before the war. So never let anyone tell you classics aren’t glamourous, and never let ’em recruit you.

    I’m really impressed by the bond classicists share through those common texts, the shorthand that you can speak to one another, so this passage about an exchange between and British intelligence officer and a kidnapped German general really struck me:

    “The Kreipe party had to strike back inland away from…commotions, so they took the general to a sheepfold above Yerakari. It was here, looking across at dawn breaking on Mount Ida, that General Kreipe recited the first two lines of Horace’s ninth ode, Ad Thaliarchum. [Paddy] Leigh Fermor completed the remaining five stanzas, thus creating a bond between captive and captor outside the war.”


  2. Thanks for the congratulations, both of you. I certainly feel certifiable, and I shall endeavor never to be recruited!

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