What is the course about?
Born in Hadrian’s time, Lucian of Samosata wrote satire, often in dialogue. Bitingly funny, always perceptive, his work survived intact because he was a savage critic of pagan gods and practice, and thus thought open to Christian thinking. We follow Lucian’s life through his works, noting his originality included the first imaginary moon-landing.
What will we cover?
The course introduces the Roman Empire of the mid-2nd century as background to Lucian’s life. The dialogues, selected extracts of which are introduced and discussed, allow us to meet a riveting range of characters, rich men and poor, philosophers and fools, sceptics and ardent believers, with an eye to punch lines and more. Having roamed widely across the Empire, from Gaul to Mesopotamia, Lucian is a great guide to his time.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Explain the ways in which the Roman Empire of the mid to late 2nd century was a great time to be alive why it was not
- discuss the motivation and methods of satirists then and now
- identify reasons for the popularity of the ‘new god’ Glycon.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no particular skills are required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching is by means of illustrated talks, with plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions. Notes for each session are provided, with suggestions for reflection and research, coupled with recommended reading.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A notebook or equivalent might be helpful.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any other Classical Civilisation or language class.