CLT Author Bank

Discover the Authors Used on Our Exams

Standardized testing isn’t just about results. At Classic Learning Test, we believe standardized testing provides an invaluable opportunity to engage students with the texts and authors that have shaped history and culture.

No more meaningless reading passages stripped of beauty, rich vocabulary, virtue, and intellectual rigor. CLT exams recognize the men and women who have contributed to the richness of philosophy and thought that we have inherited. Two-thirds of CLT reading and writing passages are drawn from the list of authors below.

Want to learn more about these authors? Read the CLT Journal which features short essays engaging with influential ideas and thinkers. Or, join our Journey Through the Author Bank seminar series, hosted live via Zoom every week.

Authors (By Time Period)

Ancients

The Epic of Gilgamesh, 18th c. BC?

Homer, 9th c. BC?

Hesiod, 8th c. BC?

Æsop, 621-565 BC

Confucius, 551-479 BC

Æschylus, 525-455 BC

Sophocles, 496-406 BC

Herodotus, 484-425 BC

Thucydides, 460-400 BC

Hippocrates, 460-370 BC

Plato, 428-347 BC

Aristotle, 382-322 BC

Euclid, 4th-3rd c. BC

Archimedes, 287-212 BC

Terence, 195-159 BC

Cicero, 106-43 BC

Julius Cæsar, 100-44 BC

Lucretius, 99-55 BC

Virgil, 70-19 BC

Livy, 59 BCAD 17

Ovid, 43 BCAD 17

Seneca the Younger, 4 BCAD 55

Josephus, 37-100

Plutarch, 46-120

Epictetus, 55-135

Tacitus, 56-120

Tertullian, 160-220

Origen, 184-253

St. Athanasius, 297-373

St. Gregory of Nyssa, 335-395

St. Jerome, 342-420

St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430

 

Medievals

Boethius, 477-524

St. Benedict, 480-547

Procopius, 500-570

St. Gregory the Great, 540-604

St. Bede the Venerable, 673-735

Beowulf, 9th c.?

The Thousand and One Nights, 10th c.

Avicenna, 980-1037

St. Anselm of Canterbury, 1034-1109

Peter Abælard, 1079-1142

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1153

Hugh of St. Victor, 1096-1141

St. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179

Héloïse d’Argenteuil, 1100-1164

Averroës, 1126-1198

Moses Maimonides, 1138-1204

Marie de France, 1160-1215

The Nibelungenlied, c. 1200

Magna Carta, 1215

St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274

The Saga of Erik the Red, 13th c.

Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321

Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313-1375

John Wycliffe, 1328-1384

Geoffrey Chaucer, 1343-1400

Julian of Norwich, 1343-1420

St. Catherine of Siena, 1347-1380

Christine de Pizan, 1364-1430

The Pearl Poet, 14th c.

St. Thomas à Kempis, 1380-1471

Thomas Malory, 1415-1471

Early Moderns

Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536

Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527

Nicolaus Copernicus, 1473-1543

St. Thomas More, 1478-1535

Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Bartolomé de las Casas, 1484-1566

John Calvin, 1509-1564

St. Teresa of Ávila, 1515-1582

Michel de Montaigne, 1533-1592

Francis Bacon, 1561-1626

William Shakespeare, 1564-1616

Galileo Galilei, 1564-1642

John Donne, 1572-1631

Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679

René Descartes, 1598-1650

John Milton, 1608-1674

Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662

Margaret Cavendish, 1623-1673

Robert Boyle, 1627-1691

John Bunyan, 1628-1688

John Locke, 1632-1704

Isaac Newton, 1642-1727

Gottfried Leibniz, 1646-1716

Charles Montesquieu, 1689-1755

Voltaire, 1694-1778

Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758

Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790

David Hume, 1711-1776

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778

Adam Smith, 1723-1790

Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804

Edward Gibbon, 1737-1794

Antoine Lavoisier, 1743-1794

Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826

Olaudah Equiano, 1745-1797

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832

James Madison, 1751-1836

Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797

Georg W. F. Hegel, 1770-1831

Late Moderns

Jane Austen, 1775-1817

Jakob & Wilhelm Grimm, 1785-1863 & 1786-1859

Mary Shelley, 1797-1851

Sojourner Truth, 1797-1883

St. John Henry Newman, 1801-1890

Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-1859

Hans Christian Andersen, 1805-1875

John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873

Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849

Charles Darwin, 1809-1882

Charles Dickens, 1812-1870

Søren Kierkegaard, 1813-1855

Charlotte Brontë, 1816-1855

Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

Karl Marx, 1818-1883

Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895

George Eliot, 1819-1880

Herman Melville, 1819-1891

Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906

Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821-1881

Gregor Mendel, 1822-1884

Louis Pasteur, 1822-1895

Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910

Mark Twain, 1835-1910

Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900

Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900

Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939

Anna Julia Cooper, 1858-1964

Late Moderns, Cont.

Anton Chekov, 1860-1904

Alfred North Whitehead, 1861-1947

Ida B. Wells, 1862-1931

W. E. B. Du Bois, 1868-1963

Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948

Willa Cather, 1873-1947

G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936

Albert Einstein, 1879-1936

Virginia Woolf, 1882-1941

John Maynard Keynes, 1882-1946

Franz Kafka, 1883-1924

Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1889-1951

Zora Neale Hurston, 1891-1960

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1892-1973

Dorothy Sayers, 1893-1957

F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940

C. S. Lewis, 1898-1963

Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961

Jorge Luis Borges, 1899-1986

Friedrich Hayek, 1899-1992

Langston Hughes, 1901-1967

John Steinbeck, 1902-1968

George Orwell, 1903-1950

Hannah Arendt, 1906-1975

Albert Camus, 1913-1960

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008

Flannery O’Connor, 1925-1964

Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968

Toni Morrison, 1931-2019

“Tyrannical power should not be the aim either of individuals or states, if they would be happy, but virtue.”

Plato

Plato

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