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CLAS 320 Greek and Roman Epic

Faculty: Kelly
Content: In this course, we will examine six epic poems (in translation) from Classical antiquity: Homer’s "Iliad" and "Odyssey," Apollonius’ "Argonautica," Virgil’s "Aeneid," Lucan’s "Civil War," and Statius’ "Thebaid." In studying these texts, we will focus on the traditional themes of the epic genre, including the nature of heroism, the relationship between mortals and gods, issues of peace and war, and the conflict of individual and communal goals. We will also see how ancient authors adapted epic conventions to suit their own artistic goals. Additionally, how these epics reflected the values and history of contemporary Greco-Roman civilization will be explored. Since these works were formative in the Western literary tradition, we’ll also look at their influence in antiquity and beyond.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.