The Reading List

The Honors College reading list is composed of a number of great works from the history of Western civilization and is decided on by consensus of the Honors College faculty. In addition to the study of the written word, Honors College students study a number of great works of music and visual art.

  • Walking to Piraeus: The Ancient Greek World

    The IliadThe Odyssey, by Homer

    Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, & The Eumenides, by Aeschylus

    Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, & Antigone, by Sophocles

    The Bacchae, by Euripides

    The Clouds, by Aristophanes

    The Histories, by Herodotus

    History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides

    MenoPhaedrusSymposiumRepublicTimaeus, & Phaedo, by Plato

    PhysicsPoetics, & Nicomachean Ethics, by Aristotle

    The Book of Proverbs & the Gospel of Mark

  • All Roads Lead to Rome: The Ancient Roman & Early Christian Worlds

    Odes, by Horace

    Speeches against Lucius Sergius Catilina & In Defence of the Poet Aulus Licinius Archias, by Cicero

    Aeneid, by Virgil

    Metamorphoses, by Ovid

    I Clement, the Epistles of Ignatius, the Epistle of Polycarp, the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Epistle of Barnabas, & the Didache, by the Apostolic Fathers

    Lives, by Plutarch

    The Almagest, by Ptolemy

    The Handbook, by Epictetus

    The History of the Church, by Eusebius

    On the Incarnation, by Athanasius

    Five Theological Orations & Two Letters to Cledonius, by Gregory of Nazianzus

    Confessions, by Augustine

    The City of God against the Pagans, by Augustine

    The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius

    The Rule of St. Benedict, by Benedict

    Three Treatises on the Divine Images, by John of Damascus

    The Psalms, the Gospel of Luke, & the Acts of the Apostles

  • Faith, Reason, & Romance: The Medieval & Renaissance Worlds

    The Qur’an, translated by Abdel Haleem

    The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, by Bede


    Arthurian Romances, by Chretien de Troyes

    Decisive Treatise, by Averroes

    Summa Theologiae, by Thomas Aquinas

    The Divine Comedy, by Dante

    The Triads, by Gregory Palamas

    The Canzoniere, by Petrarch

    The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

    Revelations of Divine Love, by Julian of Norwich

    On Painting, by Leon Battista Alberti

    The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

    The Education of a Christian Prince, by Desiderius Erasmus

    On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, by Nicolas Copernicus

    The Freedom of a Christian, by Martin Luther

    Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin

    The Book of Isaiah & the Gospel of John

  • Enlightenment & Modernity: 1600–1800

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, & The Tempest, by William Shakespeare

    Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes

    Poetry by John Donne

    Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican, by Galileo Galilei

    Meditations on First Philosophy, by Rene Descartes

    Pensées, by Blaise Pascal

    Paradise Lost, by John Milton

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding & Two Treatises on Government, by John Locke

    An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope

    Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, by Isaac Newton

    The Spirit of the Laws, by Charles Montesquieu

    Sermons of Jonathan Edwards

    An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, by David Hume

    The Social Contract, by Jean Jacques Rousseau

    The Federalist, by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, & John Jay

    Rights of ManCommon Sense, by Thomas Paine

    Sermons of John Wesley

    Reflections on the Revolution in France, by Edmund Burke

    The Book of Ecclesiastes & the Epistle to the Romans

  • The Last Two Hundred Years: 1800 to the Present

    Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, by Immanuel Kant

    Lyrical Ballads, by Samuel Coleridge & William Wordsworth

    Introduction to the Philosophy of History, by Georg Hegel

    Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen

    Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville

    Fear & Trembling, by Soren Kierkegaard

    The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass & “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?,” by Frederick Douglass

    In Memoriam, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    The Lincoln-Douglas Debates by Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas

    On Liberty, by John Stuart Mill

    On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin

    Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

    Beyond Good & Evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche

    WastelandFour Quartets, by T. S. Eliot

    The Crisis of European Sciences & Transcendental Phenomenology, by Edmund Husserl

    Civilization & Its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud

    The Gathering Storm, by Winston Churchill

    Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis

    The Gulag Archipelago and speeches by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Strength to Love, by Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Short stories by Flannery O’Connor

    Dogmatics in Outline, by Karl Barth

    The Book of Esther & the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon

  • Honors Laboratory

    Relativity: The Special & the General Theory, by Albert Einstein

    Physics & Philosophy, by Werner Heisenberg

    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed., by Thomas Kuhn

  • The Story of Scripture: The Biblical Narrative from Genesis to Revelation

    The Book of Genesis

    The Silmarillion, by J. R. R. Tolkien

    East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

    The Book of Exodus

    The Life of Moses, by Gregory of Nyssa

    The Book of Numbers

    The Book of Joshua

    The Book of Judges

    Samson Agonistes, by John Milton

    The Books of I & II Samuel

    The Books of I & II Kings

    The Book of Ezra

    The Book of Nehemiah

    The Books of I & II Maccabees

    The Book of Job

    Theodicy, by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

    The Man Who Was Thursday, by G. K. Chesterton

    The Gospel of Matthew

    Cento vergilianus de laudibus Christi, by Proba

    The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare

    The Acts of the Apostles

    The Epistle to the Ephesians

    The Epistle to the Hebrews

    Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

    The Book of Revelation

    The Last Battle, by C. S. Lewis


    The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick

    The Gospel according to St. Matthew, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini

    Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky

© 2018 The Honors College