CLCIV 480 - Studying Antiquity
Section: 001 Vergil's Aeneid
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
Open only to majors in Classical Civilization, Classical Archaeology, Classical Language and Literature, Ancient Greek, Latin, and Modern Greek.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Vergil's Aeneid is many things: a complex epic that engages the Greco-Roman literary tradition in novel and nuanced ways; a treasure house of mythological story-telling and historical reference that exploits the interplay of fact and fiction; and a trenchant reflection of (and on) the political, social, and cultural moment in which it was written. As such, the poem offers something of interest for every student of Classical Studies. This course will center on the array of interpretive issues that have arisen since the poem entered the public sphere upon the death of its author. Among the questions we'll be asking are these: What is the relationship between the poem's form and meaning? How does the poem engage and allude to its intertexts? What does the poem reveal about the world in which Vergil lived? Does the poem function as propaganda or is it anti-Augustus? What is its attitude toward imperialism? What meanings have accrued to the poem since antiquity, beginning with its appropriation by Christian moralizers and mystics? Why does the poem remain compelling today? In other words, to invoke T.S. Eliot, what makes the Aeneid a "classic"?

Course Requirements:

(1) Preparation for and contribution to seminar meetings; (2) a research project conducted in stages and culminating in a presentation and argumentative paper. Students are also required to take section 002 of CLCIV 480, which will support the work of the research project.

Intended Audience:

Majors or minors in any field in the Department of Classical Studies. Non-majors with significant background in Classical Studies are also welcome.

Class Format:

Discussion format in a weekly meeting of 2 hours. Students should also elect section 002 of CLCIV 480.

CLCIV 480 - Studying Antiquity
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
M 1:00PM - 3:00PM
002 (LEC)
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Please get a used copy of Frank Copley's translation of the Aeneid, 2nd ed. (ISBN-10: 0023253401, ISBN-13: 978-0023253409). Copies are available online at amazon,,, Further details on this choice of translations are given in a Canvas course announcement.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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