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Useful Readings for the Non-Specialist

The secondary literature that has grown up around Virgil's works and ideas is vast. Basic Virgil Paperbacks represents one person's atempt to pick out the books that will be most useful for the non-specialist. The selection is, admittedly, a personal one, although it has been guided by certain criteria:

  1. Each book had to be useful to be useful as well as accessible to that large but frequently neglected class of serious students who did not, for whatever reason, elect to pursue a career in classics. Some of these (the commentaries, for instance) require a knowledge of Latin. Others (such as the collections of critical essays) do not.
  2. Each book should serve as a suitable introduction to one or more of Virgil's works.
  3. Each book had to be in print.
  4. Each book had to be available in paperback.
These last two requirements were important, but they also meant that a number of books that otherwise qualified (including a few of my personal favorites) had to be excluded. I hope, in any case, that living scholars whose works do not appear on these pages will not feel slighted.
- David Wilson-Okamura

P. S. For more online Virgil resources, including an email discussion group, visit

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