CLCIV 464 - The Ancient Epic
Section: 001
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Epic was the most ambitious, grand, culturally prized form of literature in antiquity. This course will look at ancient epics individually and at epic as a genre. The central questions will be why epic was once so important, but is no longer possible-and why, when we can no longer imagine writing epics, we still read them and can be deeply moved by them. (The instructor uses the Iliad as a guide to life; she realizes that this is odd, but hopes students will come to see how this could happen). The focus will be on the most canonical classical epics: Iliad, Odyssey, Apollonius' Argonautica, Vergil's Aeneid, and Lucan's Pharsalia. We will consider performance, characterization, narrative method, ideology, and relation to the tradition. Each student will also choose a selection from another ancient or modern epic to read for comparison. For one paper, students will read secondary literature, but otherwise the emphasis will be on the poems themselves. The writing component will try to develop the ability to write in various formats and with varying amounts of opportunity for revision, since so much real-world writing is done under pressure. So besides two relatively short formal papers that will be revised and resubmitted, there will be in-class writing and short assignments meant to be done quickly.

CLCIV 464 - The Ancient Epic
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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