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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Literature in Translation

Undergraduate Course: Literature and Society in the Age of Trajan (CLTR10012)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course offers an introduction to the study of the literature and society in the Age of Trajan. The course aims to promote knowledge of the characteristic aspects of an important period in Latin (and to a lesser extent Greek) literature.
Course description In this course, literature will be viewed as a social phenomenon, for which Pliny's letters and Greek writings of the second sophistic will be particularly important, and in its historical context. Attention will be given to the details of where and how literature was distributed, and why Roman aristocrats and Greek intellectuals alike found writing a means both of self-advancement and of coping with their own inferiority and belatedness. We shall also see how both groups filter their views of the recent and distant past through present experience. The highlight of the course will be a complete reading of Tacitus' Annals.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Classical Literature 2: Greek and Roman Epic (CLTR08008)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs One text (12 on Amazon).
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they have acquired a thorough knowledge of the content of the works read
  2. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they have acquired an understanding of the political and societal conditions which underlie these works;
  3. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, an appreciation of the literary qualities of genres which are often read as documentary, such as histories and letters;
  4. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they have acquired skills in close reading of ancient texts.
Reading List
Bartsch, S. (1994), Actors in the Audience: Theatricality and Doublespeak from Nero to Hadrian (Cambridge)
Bennett, J. (1997), Trajan (London).
Bennett, J. (2001), Trajan Optimus Princeps (Bloomington)
Dalby, A. (2000), Empire of Pleasures. Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World (London)
Golden, M. and Toohey, P. edd. (1997), Inventing Ancient Culture: Historicism, Periodization and the Ancient World (London)
Harrison, S.J. (2005), A Companion to Latin Literature (Oxford)
Harrison, S.J. (2000), Apuleius: a Latin Sophist (Oxford)
Hoffman, H. ed. (1999), Latin Fiction: the Latin Novel in Context (London)
Holzberg, N. (1995), The Ancient Novel: an Introduction (London)
Swain, S. ed. (1999), Oxford Readings in the Greek Novel (Oxford)
O. Taplin ed. (2000), Literature in the Greek and Roman Worlds: a New Perspective (Oxford)
Tatum, J. ed. (1994), The Search for the Ancient Novel (Baltimore)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3580 in order for approval to be obtained.
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 hour(s) 30 minutes per week for 3 week(s). In addition to the main class sessions - three separate Seminar meetings of 1.5 hours each.
KeywordsLiterature and Society / Trajan
Course organiserDr Gavin Kelly
Tel: (0131 6)50 3581
Course secretaryMrs Toni Wigglesworth
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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