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

Undergraduate Course: Stoic Philosophy at Rome (CLTR10026)

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 philosophy of the Stoics had an immense impact on the intellectual life of Rome. This course aims to introduce students to a wide range of textual evidence for the cultural place and importance of Stoicism by closely reading a broad selection of both philosophical and literary texts.
Course description In the late Roman Republic and the first century of Imperial Rome, the Stoic philosophical school (founded by Zeno of Citium in c. 300 BCE) was a dominant intellectual movement of notable influence on contemporary literature, philosophical and otherwise. This course aims to trace both how Stoicism, as a systematic philosophy, is developed in this period and how this philosophical system influenced the literary culture of Rome. Approximately two-thirds of the course will focus on the primary evidence of philosophical texts. A selection of the dialogues of Cicero (e.g. Academica, De finibus, De natura deorum, De officiis and De fato), Seneca's letters and treatises (e.g. De beneficiis, De otio, and De brevitate vitae), Epictetus, and the fragments of lesser-known, but influential, Stoics (e.g. Musonius Rufus and Cornutus) will be studied. This will provide a thorough introduction to Stoic philosophical doctrine, practice, and its distinctive features in this period.

With this immersion into how Stoicism is adapted and developed, we will be in an excellent position to enquire into how this philosophy made its influence felt on the wider literary culture. Texts from the wide array of Stoic-influenced authors (e.g. Horace, Juvenal, Persius, and Lucan) will be considered and analysed for the influence of Stoic philosophical debate and what this impact means for Latin literary culture and practice. Ultimately, students should gain an understanding of not only an influential philosophical school but also of how this Greek philosophical system becomes embedded in the wider culture of Rome.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must have gained admission to a Classics or Philosophy Honours degree programme.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics (at least 1 of which should be in a literary topic) or Philosophy at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  18
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 4,500 word essay (60%)
Exam: 2 hour paper (40%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, a sound understanding of Stoicism and its history in the Roman period;
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Demonstrate an ability to make informed contributions to class discussion;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Algra, K., and J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld and M. Schofield (eds.), 1999, The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Annas, J., and R. Wolfe, 2011, Cicero: On Moral Ends, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Boys-Stones, G.R., 2017, L. Annaeus Cornutus: Greek Theology, Fragments and Testimonia, Atlanta: SBL Press.

Braund, S. and J. Osgood (eds.), 2012, A Companion to Persius and Juvenal. Blackwell companions to the ancient world, Malden, MA; Oxford; Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Brittain, C., 2006, Cicero: On Academic Scepticism, Indianapolis: Hackett.

Ierodiakonou, K., 2001, Topics in Stoic Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Inwood, B., 2003, The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Inwood, B., 2007, Seneca: Selected Philosophical Letters translated with introduction and commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Long, A. A. and Sedley, D. N., 1987, The Hellenistic Philosophers 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Long, A. A., 2002, Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic guide to life, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ramelli, I., 2008, Stoici romani minori, Milan: Bompiani.

Sellars, J., (2016), The Routledge Companion to the Stoic Tradition, London: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Benjamin Harriman
Tel: (0131 6)51 5198
Course secretaryMiss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
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