Below are links to books which I would recommend to people studying the OU Classical Studies modules; or in some cases they are books that have been recommended to me by students.

The links will take you to Amazon: other booksellers are available! However, if you click through to Amazon and then buy something (anything, actually!) within 24 hours, I get a small commission – and this comes out of Amazon’s pocket, not yours.

I keep hoping that eventually I’ll manage to cover the monthly fee for this website (currently £3 a month) – but so far I haven’t even gotten close! So if you do use Amazon, I’d be grateful if you’d click through from here.

If you’ve read any of these books and found them helpful for a particular module, do leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the page; and if you have further books to recommend to other students, let me know and I’ll update the page. And if you’d like to contribute a book review to the site, do contact me about it – I’m happy to accept reviews, and will link to them from this page.

Keep checking back: I’ll be adding lots of books over the summer.

The Very Short Introductions

These Very Short Introductions are a great place to start, if you’re new to a particular area or to Classics in general: they’re very well written and interesting (and short!), and introduce some thoughtful approaches to classical material. I haven’t quite read them all yet! But the Myth, Classical Mythology and Ancient Philosophy volumes are really useful for A330, and the Classics volume is particularly interesting as a general introduction.

Reference Books

This is a selection of the big classical reference books. Some of them are very pricey (I saved up for months to get my Oxford Latin Dictionary!), so it’s worth keeping an eye out for opportunities to get hold of them second hand. If you’re an OU student, make sure you check the OU Library before you buy, because the university has access to some online versions. The online books may not be quite as satisfying as having a large tome in your bookcase: but they’re often searchable, which is a wondrous thing!

 (This is a set text for A330, and a useful reference book for anyone interested in myth.)

 (This is my favourite myth reference book, because it contains a lot of references to primary sources.)

 (The ultimate reference book, full of great articles by leading scholars about all aspects of the ancient world.)

 (Smaller and cheaper than the OCD above, but an excellent reference work often listed as a set text for undergraduate modules.)

 (The ultimate Latin dictionary: a thing of beauty. But if you’re not planning to devote your life to Latin, you might want to go for something smaller, and cheaper!)


 (The ultimate Greek dictionary; definitely too big to carry around with you! There are lots of ‘abridged versions’ available; and the Perseus website allows you to use this dictionary to look things up online.)

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