CLSS-160 Introduction to Roman Literature
Spring for 2017-2018
This class is meant to introduce students of all backgrounds to the canon of Latin literature produced from the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD, i.e. from its very beginning to the imperial age, through the so-called ‘Classical’ period. Students will read the English translation of many of the texts produced in those five centuries, which span across multiple genres (comedy, epic, elegy, tragedy, didactic, novel etc.) and pose a plurality of intellectual questions. Recurring themes on which students will focus include gods and religion, politics and society, private relationships, the role of intellectuals in society, genres and readerships, and more. The more immediate goal is a specific understanding of the Roman world and the role of literature and artists in antiquity. However, the discussion of more general issues emerging from classical texts will provide a key to access a subtler reading of Western literature in any language and up to our days.
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