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CX114-15 Encounters with Latin Texts

Department
Classics & Ancient History
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Victoria Rimell
Credit value
15
Module duration
9 weeks
Assessment
Multiple
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module, taught in translation, introduces students to many different kinds of Latin texts written in a variety of genres and forms, including historiographical, epigraphic and rhetorical texts, and literary texts in poetry and prose, from the canonical to the marginal and ‘sub-literary’ (e.g. epigraphic and epigrammatic texts), categories whose definitions may have changed over time. As well as expanding awareness of the Latin texts classicists study across different sub-fields (for instance, philology, archaeology, ancient history), the module will explore critically the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of ancient texts in their cultural and political contexts, and allow students to test out these skills in their own responses to texts. What is it to read a Latin poem, for example, as a historian? What kinds of intellectual-emotional encounters might we potentially have with ancient texts? What can they do for us, as classicists? But also, what might they do to us, in terms of exposing us to different experiences and different ways of viewing the world that matter to us now? What do we know, and what can we never quite know, about ancient experiences of reading, listening to, or coming across a text, which might be studied in a library, performed in a theatre or recitation hall, or spotted on a wall or monument? The module presumes no previous knowledge and is designed to fire students’ minds and imaginations so that they might be better informed in choosing an individual path of study at honours level. Each weekly 2-hr lecture/seminar will introduce a series of texts, themes and approaches, and look at one case study in depth.

Module aims

The module aims to introduce students to many different kinds of Latin texts written in a variety of genres and forms, including historiographical, epigraphic and rhetorical texts, and literary texts in poetry and prose. It will allow students to develop knowledge of the Latin texts classicists study across different sub-fields (for instance, philology, archaeology, ancient history), and encourage them to explore critically the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of ancient texts in their cultural and political contexts. Students will also learn to put these skills into practice in their own responses to texts.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

This module, taught in translation, introduces students to many different kinds of Latin texts written in a variety of genres and forms, including historiographical, epigraphic and rhetorical texts, and literary texts in poetry and prose, from the canonical to the marginal and ‘sub-literary’ (e.g. epigraphic and epigrammatic texts), categories whose definitions may have changed over time. As well as expanding awareness of the Latin texts classicists study across different sub-fields (for instance, philology, archaeology, ancient history), the module will explore critically the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of ancient texts in their cultural and political contexts, and allow students to test out these skills in their own responses to texts. What is it to read a Latin poem, for example, as a historian? What kinds of intellectual-emotional encounters might we potentially have with ancient texts? What can they do for us, as classicists? But also, what might they do to us, in terms of exposing us to different experiences and different ways of viewing the world that matter to us now? What do we know, and what can we never quite know, about ancient experiences of reading, listening to, or coming across a text, which might be studied in a library, performed in a theatre or recitation hall, or spotted on a wall or monument? The module presumes no previous knowledge and is designed to fire students’ minds and imaginations so that they might be better informed in choosing an individual path of study at honours level. Each weekly 2-hr lecture/seminar will introduce a series of texts, themes and approaches, and look at one case study in depth.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the range of ancient written texts (in Latin) that classicists can study, including knowledge of important authors and literary genres;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of Latin texts of all kinds, in their artistic, cultural and political contexts;
  • engage critically with classical scholarship on ancient texts across different sub-fields in Classics (e.g. philology, archaeology, ancient history);
  • put their knowledge about interpretative approaches and strategies into practice in their own responses to classical texts;
  • to select and present material clearly, with coherent argumentation and appropriate referencing, both orally and in writing
Indicative reading list

Module companions:

  • G.B. Conte 1994. Latin Literature. A History. Trans. J.B. Solodow. Johns Hopkins Univ. press, Baltimore and London.
  • A. Cooley 2012. The Cambridge Manual of Latin Epigraphy. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.
  • E. Gunderson (ed.) 2009. The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Rhetoric. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.
  • P.R. Hardie (ed.) 2003. The Cambridge Companion to Ovid. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.
  • S. Harrison (ed.) 2005. A Companion to Latin Literature. Blackwell, London.
  • C. Kraus and A.J. Woodman 1997. Latin Historians. Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford.
  • J. Marincola (ed.) A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography. Blackwell, London.
  • C. Martindale (ed.) 1997. The Cambridge Companion to Virgil. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.
  • A. J. Woodman (ed.) 2009. The Cambridge Companion to Tacitus. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.
Interdisciplinary

The module is interdisciplinary within the interdisciplinary field of the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. It is designed to explore methodologies and approaches from various sub-fields, including ancient history, literary studies, ancient philosophy, epigraphy

Subject specific skills

By the end of the module, students:

  • will have gained knowledge and understanding of the range of ancient written texts (in Latin) that classicists can study, including knowledge of important authors and literary genres;
  • will have gained knowledge and understanding of the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of Latin texts of all kinds, in their artistic, cultural and political contexts;
  • will have developed an ability to engage critically with classical scholarship on ancient texts across different sub-fields in Classics (e.g. philology, archaeology, ancient history);
  • will be able to put their knowledge about interpretative approaches and strategies into practice in their own responses to classical texts;
  • will be able select and present material clearly, with coherent argumentation and appropriate referencing, both orally and in writing.
Transferable skills

Critical thinking
oral and written communication
information literacy
research skills

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 2 hours (11%)
Seminars 3 sessions of 1 hour (2%)
Private study 66 hours (42%)
Assessment 70 hours (45%)
Total 157 hours
Private study description

Students will need to prepare for each lecture and seminar during the term (around 2 hours per session), and will do a significant amount of reading and research for their assessment and final exam.

Costs

Category Description Funded by Cost to student
Books and learning materials

All books will be made available in University Library, and extracts of particular passages to study will be provided as an anthology. We recommend students purchase a selection of translations (e.g. Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid), at a cost of c. £20

Student $20.00

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group D
Weighting Study time
2,500-word essay 50% 30 hours

Essay to be submitted at beginning of term 3

Attendance log 10% 10 hours

% of recorded attendance, across both lectures & seminars

Online Examination 40% 30 hours

40% of mark: one-hour summer exam. Will consist of two close reading responses to texts studied [2 gobbets, choice of 6].

~Platforms - AEP


  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
Assessment group R
Weighting Study time
Module engagement 100%

Reflective Piece on engagement with the module

Feedback on assessment

tutorials and written feedback

Past exam papers for CX114

Courses

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-VV17 Undergraduate Ancient History and Classical Archaeology (Part-Time)
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q82P Undergraduate Classical Civilisation
  • Year 1 of UPHA-VQ52 Undergraduate Philosophy, Literature and Classics

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-VV16 Undergraduate Ancient History and Classical Archaeology
  • Year 1 of UCXA-VV18 Undergraduate Ancient History and Classical Archaeology with Study in Europe
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q820 Undergraduate Classical Civilisation
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q821 Undergraduate Classical Civilisation with Study in Europe

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q800 BA in Classics
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q802 Undergraduate Classics (Latin) with Study in Europe

This module is Core option list B for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-QQ37 Undergraduate Classics and English