CLAS 301B - The Literature of the Ancient Romans: Latin Literature in English Translation

Classics 301B provides an introductory survey of Latin literature through English translations. The works to be studied include some of the earliest extant ones of the republican period down to those of the mid-empire: our authors span a period of over 300 years. We will read from a variety of genres, including comedy and tragedy, epic and lyric poetry, didactic literature, satire, historiography, the novel, letters, and philosophy. Latin writers appropriated all these genres- with the exception of satire, which apparently is a Roman innovation (satura quidem tota nostra est, Quintilian 10.1.93)-from the Greeks. In doing so they creatively and self-reflexively (Latin literature is extremely "meta") adapted their Greek source texts with a view to their own audiences and artistic purposes. The study of this literature provides a dynamic point of entry into the rich and diverse cultural world of the ancient Romans-the Roman empire was an extraordinarily complex experiment in multiethnic and polylingual exchange that is only now being rivaled by globalist movements. Latin literature is also critical to appreciation of subsequent European literatures and cultures.

Grade Basis
Regular Grades
Course Attributes
Writing Emphasis