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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Latin

Undergraduate Course: Seneca the Younger (LATI10049)

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
SummarySeneca the Younger was one of the most dazzling personalities that ancient Rome has brought forth: a political advisor to Emperor Nero who plotted to have him murdered, a multi-millionaire who railed against the immorality of Rome, and, above all, a brilliant writer who produced a large and fascinating oeuvre. In this course, we will study Seneca's prose works and familiarise ourselves with his Stoic worldview and unique style as well as with the political and historical context of his works.
Course description We will study excerpts of Seneca's Apocolocyntosis, an acerbic satire mocking the Emperor Claudius, several of his philosophical dialogues (Consolatio ad matrem Helviam, De Vita Beata, De Clementia, De Ira), his scientific work Naturales Quaestiones and his most famous work, the Epistulae Morales. The texts will be read in translation but selected passages will be read in Latin. The wide range of texts will provide insight into Seneca's more overtly political as well as philosophical work, allowing us to understand how political and historical factors have shaped his worldview and to trace the development of his brand of Stoicism. Seminars will aim to stimulate critical debate beyond the texts and to engage the students with broader questions about ethics, politics, gender and nature. Students will further develop their close reading skills as well as their ability to understand abstract concepts and to process complex information.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Latin 2A (LATI08011) OR Latin 2a Ex-Beginners (LATI08013)) AND ( Latin 2B (LATI08012) OR Latin 2Hb (LATI10031))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics, History or Archaeology 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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
3,500 word essay (60%)

Two-hour exam (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. Show familiarity with the set text(s), and their literary and historical context.
  2. Understand particular problems associated with the set text(s) and of the modern debate on the text(s), and to take an independent and well-argued stance on such issues.
  3. Understand the challenges of reading texts composed in the context of one language and culture through the medium of another language in a different cultural context.
  4. Conduct a sustained individual enquiry into a particular aspect of the topic.
Reading List
- Bartsch, Shadi / Schiesaro, Alessandro (eds.). 2015. The Cambridge Companion to Seneca. Cambridge: CUP.
- Braund, Susanna. 2008. Seneca: De Clementia. Oxford: OUP.
- Damschen, Gregor / Heil, Andreas (eds.). 2014. Brill's Companion to Seneca: Philosopher and Dramatist. Leiden: Brill.
- Eden, P.T. 2008. Seneca: Apocolocyntosis. Cambridge: CUP.
- Edwards, Catharine. 1997. Self-Scrutiny and Self-Transformation in Seneca's Letters. Greece & Rome 44, 23-38.
- Fitch, John G. (ed.). 2008. Seneca: Oxford Readings in Classical Studies. Oxford: OUP.
- Griffin, Miriam. 1976. Seneca: A Philosopher in Politics. Oxford: OUP.
- Ker, James. 2009. The Deaths of Seneca. Oxford: OUP.
- Volk, Katharina / Williams, Gareth D. (eds.). 2006. Seeing Seneca Whole: Perspectives on Philosophy, Poetry and Politics. Cambridge: CUP.
- Wilcox, Amanda. 2012. The Gift of Correspondence in Classical Rome: Friendship in Cicero's Ad Familiares and Seneca's Epistulae Morales. Wisconsin: Wisconsin University Press.
- Wildberger, Jula / Colish, Martha (eds.). 2014. Seneca Philosophus. Berlin: De Gruyter.
- Williams, Gareth D. 2012. The Cosmic Viewpoint: A Study of Seneca's Natural Questions. Oxford: OUP.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Thorough understanding of Seneca's work in its historical context and Stoic philosophy
- Close reading and critical evaluation of demanding texts
- Ability to express an informed opinion and to communicate effectively with audiences of peers and experienced scholars
- Capacity to produce tight, well-evidenced and clearly expressed arguments in written form
- Ability to evaluate and synthesize scholarly debates
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Janja Soldo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3873
Course secretaryMiss Marketa Vejskalova
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