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

Undergraduate Course: Latin Poets From North of the Po (LATI10050)

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
SummaryIt is a striking fact of literary history that many of Classical Rome's most important poets were not in fact from Rome: they were from the Transpadane, a supposedly "peripheral" and not-altogether-Roman region of Ancient Italy. Participants in Latin poets from north of the Po will study the literature and culture of this late republican region, paying particular attention to its two most famous sons, Catullus and Virgil. We will read the former's Elegiac Libellus and the latter's Eclogues, contextualising both poetry-books within their Italian contexts and thinking especially about questions of identity, voice, perspective, and place.
Course description The Latin texts studied in this course will include substantial portions of Catullus (some of the polymetrics, all of the elegiac poems) and Virgil (some of the Georgics, all of the Eclogues); a selection of fragmentary poetry and historiography (Cornelius Nepos, Helvius Cinna, Furius Bibaculus); and epigraphic material from the Transpadane. In addition to the relevant modern bibliography on Catullus, Virgil, and late republican Northern Italy, participants in this course will become familiar with scholarship on cultural identity and ethnicity in the ancient Mediterranean.

We will proceed roughly chronologically, with the construction of the Via Postumia in 148 BCE and the publication of the Eclogues in 38-ish BCE as our two temporal boundaries and Catullus and Virgil as our central foci. The intertwined themes of cultural identity and geographical place will thread the course together, but we will also attend to questions of gender, genre, aesthetics, ethics, and politics as they emerge and according to our interests. By the course's end, participants will have improved their ability to read and interpret Latin poetry, especially in light of fragmentary evidence and modern theory and historiography.
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 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 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
3,500 word essay (50%)

2 hour final exam (50%)
Feedback Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. accurately translate Catullus' elegiac poetry, Virgil's Eclogues, and other relevant Transpadane Latin texts;
  2. thoughtfully analyse Catullus' elegiac poetry, Virgil's Eclogues, and other relevant Transpadane Latin texts;
  3. confidently discuss the literary and cultural history of the Transpadane, between roughly 148 and 38 BCE, and the Anglophone scholarship on this history;
  4. reflect critically on ancient and modern theories of cultural identity and ethnicity, especially as they relate to Ancient Italy;
  5. plan and execute a substantial written argument about the literature and/or the culture of the late republican Transpadane, which utilises relevant ancient evidence and modern scholarship.
Reading List
Ando, C. 2002. "Vergil's Italy: Ethnography and Politics in First-Century Rome." In D. S. Levene & D. P. Nelis, eds. Clio and the Poets: Augustan Poetry and the Traditions of Ancient Historiography: 123-42. Leiden.

Clausen, W. 1994. Virgil: Eclogues. Oxford.

Dench, E. 2005. Romulus' Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian. Oxford.

Haeussler, R. A. 2020. Becoming Roman? Diverging Identities and Experiences in Ancient Northwest Italy. Walnut Creek, CA.

Herring, E. and Lomas, K. eds. 2009. Gender Identities in Italy in the First Millennium BC. Oxford.

Hollis, A. S. 2007. Fragments of Roman Poetry, c. 60 BC- AD 20. Oxford.

Jenkyns, R. 1998. Virgil's Experience: Nature and History, Times, Names, and Places. Oxford.

Padilla Peralta, D. 2020. "Epistemicide: The Roman Case." Classica 33.2: 151-86.

Skinner, M. 2003. Catullus in Verona: A Reading of the Elegiac Libellus, Poems 65-116. Columbus, OH.

Thomson, D. F. S. 1997. Catullus: Edited with a Textual and Interpretative Commentary. Toronto.

Williams, J. H. C. 2001. Beyond the Rubicon. Romans and Gauls in Republican Italy. Oxford.

Wiseman, T. P. 2022. Catullan Questions Revisited. Cambridge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - 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
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jesse Hill
Course secretaryMiss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
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