The Canonization of Perpetua
Not very long ago, the concepts of 'canon' and 'canonization' were much discussed, and even hotly contested, in literary and academic circles. The fact that these controversies have died down somewhat in the last few years might give the impression that we now live in a post-canonical age. But of course canons of various kinds, even if they occasion less debate and are defined and defended with less fervour, continue to govern the ways in which academic research and education proceed. One particular kind of canon is the reading list published by most if not all PhD programmes. The meaning of such lists is not always entirely clear, but one can probably assume that they are efforts to define what is essential, if not sufficient, for every prospective classicist to read as part of his or her basic training in the discipline.