Undergraduate Course: The Latin Argonautica (LATI10037)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The story of the Argonautica is central to Latin literature, a complex symbol of the progression and transgression of mankind. As the first ship, the Argo broke boundaries between the ages of gold and iron and between lands and peoples, symbolising both the fall of man and the rise of civilisation. This course will examine the various interpretations of the myth, how its use evolved in Latin literature and in particular its relevance to imperial epic. Themes to be discussed include the Argonautica as symbol of epic daring and breaking boundaries, the fall and restoration of the golden age, the interpretations of the golden fleece, the Argo as ship of state. The breaking of boundaries also applied to the story itself and the course will also look at the generic significance of the myth, the tensions between overlapping themes (the daring of the Argonauts, the love story of Jason and Medea) in heroic epic and tragic/elegiac poetry.
The aims of the course are to develop linguistic ability through a close reading of a wide variety of texts, to gain an understanding of the nature of Latin imperial poetry and how Latin poets used myths to examine critically the nature of empire, to employ modern literary critical tools (in particular intertextuality) in approaching these texts and to become familiar with contemporary scholarship and critical debates in this field.
Week 1: From Greece to Rome
Week 2: The Hellenistic Argonautica (Catullus 64)
Week 3: Epic and tragedy: Jason and Medea
Week 4: Breaking boundaries: from gold to iron
Week 5: The Argonautica and empire (Vergil, Aeneid)
Week 6: Poetic audacia: from Vergil to Valerius Flaccus
Week 7: In praise of empire I: Valerius Flaccus Argonautica
Week 8: The Argo and the Giants: Valerius Flaccus Argonautica
Week 9: Pushing the boundaries: Valerius Flaccus Argonautica
Week 10: In praise of empire II: Claudian, De bello Getico
Week 11: Late antiquity
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|| Students MUST have passed:
Latin 2A (LATI08011) AND
Latin 2B (LATI08012)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Latin) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses but Elementary or Intermediate Latin courses will not count. Students beyond Intermediate level but with less Latin than the prerequisite should consider taking Latin 2A and/or 2B.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 11,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One essay of 3,000 words - 40%;
Degree Examination (2 hours) - 60%.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||2:00|
| By the end of the course, students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes in coursework, an exam, and class discussion:
- improved linguistic ability through intensive reading of Latin texts;
- familiarity with a range of classical texts, including reassessment of 'canonic' texts and introduction to less well-known works, from the late Republic to late antiquity;
- an understanding of how late Latin authors read their predecessors;
- an understanding of the techniques of classical intertextuality and allusion;
- an understanding of contemporary scholarship on this topic and knowledge of secondary material;
- the ability to compile a basic bibliography on the various authors/themes covered in the course;
- the ability to conduct a sustained individual inquiry into a particular aspect of the course topic (in the coursework essay).
Boyle, A.J. (1993) Roman Epic. London.
- (1990) (ed.) The Imperial Muse. Ramus Essays on Roman Literature of the Empire, vol. 2: Flavian Epicist to Claudian, Bendigo.
Boyle, A.J. and Dominik, W.J. (eds) (2003) Flavian Rome: Culture, Image, Text. Leiden.
Braund, D. (1993) 'Writing a Roman Argonautica: the historical dynamic', Hermathena 154: 11-17.
Clare, R. (1996) 'Catullus and the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius: allusion and exemplarity', PCPhS 42:60:88.
- (2002)The Path of the Argo. Cambridge.
DeBrohun, J.B. (2007) 'Catullan intertextuality: Apollonius and the allusive plot of Catullus 64', in M. Herskowitz, D. (1998) Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica: Abbreviated Voyages in Silver Latin Epic. Oxford.
Skinner (ed.) A Companion to Catullus. Blackwell, 293-313.
Hunter, R. (1993) The Argonautica of Apollonius: Literary Studies. Cambridge.
Lovejoy, A.O. and Boas, G. (1935) Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity. Baltimore.
Nelis, D. (2001) Vergil's Aeneid and the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius. Leeds.
J.K. Newman (2011) 'The golden fleece, imperial dream', in (ed.) T.D. Papanghelis and A. Rengakos, (2011) Brill's Companion to Apollonius Rhodius 413-4.
Stover, T. (2012) Epic and Empire in Vespasianic Rome. Oxford.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||In addition to the ILOs listed above that contain already some transferable skills (such as the capacity to compare cognate yet complex materials), students who successfully complete the course will also gain:
- the ability to read classical texts closely and in the context of earlier texts;
- an enhancement of critical skills in reading and debate through engagement with alternative approaches and ideas;
- the ability to identify, define and analyse complex concepts;
- the ability to process large quantities of textual material;
- an improvement of skills in conducting research and writing essays;
- verbal communication skills, esp. through class discussion and oral presentations/contributions;
- time management skills.
||In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3582 in order for approval to be obtained.
|Keywords||Latin Argonautica / Classical Literature / Intertextuality
|Course organiser||Dr Catherine Ware
|Course secretary||Mrs Toni Wigglesworth
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 12 January 2015 4:14 am