Before identifying the best examples of Latin literature, a couple of qualifications need to be made. First, only about 10 percent of what the ancient Romans wrote survives, and almost 10 percent of that was written by Cicero. It would be like future generations only having a tenth of what had been written in English, and a tenth being from a cranky, often pompous know-it-all (which is not an entirely unfair description of Cicero). So, in reading through the summaries below, bear in mind that only a fraction of the work written by the various individuals survives. Nonetheless, some of those fragments constituted the bulk of what educated people studied for the better part of 1,800 years. Today, many of these authors are no longer read except in upper-level college courses.