Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Literature in Translation

Undergraduate Course: Roman Satire (CLTR10020)

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
SummarySatire is an entertaining, provocative, and powerful literary genre that the Romans claimed as their own invention. This course will focus (in translation) on the satirists of the late Republic and early Empire, including Lucilius, Horace, Persius, Seneca the Younger, and Juvenal; modern descendants will also feature. Alongside questions of genre and literary technique, attention will be given to historical and sociopolitical contexts: satiric themes include society, morality, class, politics, authority, freedom of speech, patronage, literature, food, sex, and obscenity.
Course description The satiric authors studied in this course will typically include Horace, Persius, Seneca and Juvenal. The teaching programme is broadly divided into two phases: the first will introduce the satirists in chronological order, examining in each case what and when they wrote, and looking at what the satirists themselves say about their genre; the second part of the course will focus on a number of themes common to each of the satirists. Within this structure, lectures and workshops will aim to understand satire as a genre and to practise certain critical methodologies of use in its study, with close analysis of selected texts and tutorial-style discussion of wider themes and contexts. The following eleven-week schedule (which may change according to the interests of the lecturer) will give an indication of the shape of the course in any given year:

Week 1: Introduction: what is satire?; approaches to satire ancient and modern
Week 2: Horace: text & context; programmatic satire
Week 3: Persius: text & context; programmatic satire
Week 4: Seneca: text & context; programmatic satire
Week 5: Juvenal: text & context; programmatic satire
Week 6: Workshops: using commentaries and writing critical analyses
Week 7: Satiric themes: patronage and food
Week 8: Satiric themes: gender and sexuality
Week 9: Satiric themes: town and country; philosophy
Week 10: Satiric themes: epic parody; class
Week 11: Conclusion and overview
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in Classical Literature 2: Greek and Roman Epic (CLTR08008), or equivalent experience at the discretion of the course organiser.
Additional Costs c. £25
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Classical Literature) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.

High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An ability to demonstrate, through written coursework assignments and class participation, command of the principal features of Roman Satire (specifically its authors and texts; origins and development; conventions and themes; generic identity; literary, philosophical and historical contexts);
  2. An ability to demonstrate, through written coursework assignments and class participation, skills in critical commentary on passages selected with a degree of unpredictability, showing awareness of how these relate these to the wider literary and historical framework;
  3. An ability to demonstrate, through written coursework assignments and class participation, understanding of the principal approaches to Roman Satire, and how these have developed over time (e.g., literary-critical, 'new historical', gendered, intertextual);
  4. An ability to demonstrate, through written coursework assignments and class participation, detailed knowledge of how Roman Satire reflects the contexts (especially literary, philosophical, social and political) in which it was produced;
  5. An ability to apply, in written coursework assignments and class participation, suitable specialist methodologies to reading Roman Satire, and to evolve coherent and well-researched written and oral interpretations of the text.
Reading List
Braund, S.H. (1996) The Roman Satirists and their Masks. Bristol.
Braund, S.H. (1996) Juvenal Satires Book I. Cambridge.
Braund, S.H. (1992) Roman Verse Satire (Greece and Rome 23). Oxford.
Coffey, M. (1976) Roman Satire. London, NY.
Dominik, W.J. and Wehrle, W.T. (edd.) (1999) Roman Verse Satire. Lucilius to Juvenal. Wauconda, IL.
Freudenburg, K. (2001) Satires of Rome: Threatening Poses from Lucilius to Juvenal. Cambridge.
Freudenburg, K. (ed.) (2005) The Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire. Cambridge.
Gowers, E. (1993) The Loaded Table. Representations of Food in Roman Literature. Oxford.
Gowers, E. (2012) Horace. Satires. Book 1. Cambridge.
Hutchinson, G.O. (1993) Latin Literature from Seneca to Juvenal: a Critical Study. Oxford.
Jones, F. (2007) Juvenal and the Satiric Genre. Duckworth.
Keane, C. (2006) Figuring Genre in Roman Satire. Oxford.
Morgan, Ll. (2005) 'Satire' in S.J. Harrison (ed.) A Companion to Latin Literature. Blackwell. 174-88.
Plaza, M. (2006) The function of humour in Roman verse satire: laughing and lying. Oxford.
Quintero, R. (2007) (ed.) A Companion to Satire Ancient and Modern. Blackwell: Malden & Oxford.
Richlin, A. (1992) The Garden of Priapus. NY, Oxford.
Rosen, R.M. (2007) Making Mockery: The Poetics of Ancient Satire. Oxford.
Rudd, N. (1986) Themes in Roman Satire. London.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Further to the ILOs identified above, students who complete the course successfully will have demonstrated a number of transferable skills, including:

- the ability to review critically and to consolidate knowledge and skills in a given area;
- the ability to identify, define and analyse complex concepts;
- written and verbal communication skills;
- the ability to digest large quantities of textual material;
- time-management skills.
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.
KeywordsRoman Satire
Course organiserDr Donncha O'Rourke
Tel: (0131 6)50 3771
Course secretaryMiss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information