What is the course about?
This is a Literature course which focuses on the development of the genre of epic in the Latin world, especially after Augustus.
What will we cover?
We will study the main Latin epic writers of the empire, after Virgil (a few sessions may be devoted to the Eneid at the beginning of the course). We will work on the works of the following empirical authors: Lucanus, Valerius Flaccus, Statius and Silius Italicus.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
We will focus on the understanding of the developing of the epic genre along the empire, the influence of previous models, the importance of historical developments that affected the composition of the texts, the connexions that were established with other genres, such as historiography. However, the course is intended to give an insight on these texts as literature.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Texts will be read in translation, so no previous knowledge of Latin is required. The course will presuppose some knowledge of epic and its development before the empire. Therefore, it is especially recommended for those having already coursed “Latin epic” in the first term.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Lessons will be divided in two parts: first, an explanation of different aspects that are relevant for the contextualization and understanding of the text background. Later, discussion will follow on the text read for that week. Students will be asked to read a selection of the works for homework every week. Occasionally, other readings may be sub ministered.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There is not a set textbook for this module. A selection of the texts to be studied will be provided in the first day of lesson. A selection of the main modern editions and online translation of the texts will also be provided for students.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
There is no specific follow-up to this course, although students are encouraged to explore other roots of Latin epic, in particular the Greek Homeric poems of the Iliad and the Odyssey. You can also explore other Classical languages and civilisations classes.