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Unit information: Epic in 2018/19

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Unit name Epic
Unit code CLAS22361
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lampe
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit will examine a selection of epic poems from ancient Greece and Rome - all studied in translation - to trace the development of the genre from the oral tradition of Homer through the literary composition of later Greek and Latin poets. Authors and texts studied in this unit may include Homer, Hesiod, Apollonius of Rhodes, Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, and Statius. Themes studied in this unit may include genre, gender, myth, the gods, destiny, mortality, narrative technique, oral and literary culture, or paradigms of heroism. We will also reflect on the cultural and political contexts of these works, including differences between Greek and Roman epics.

Unit aims:

  • To introduce students to a range of specific authors and texts.
  • To introduce students to the cultural contexts of ancient epic and its postclassical reception.
  • To introduce students to the principal critical approaches to studying epic as a genre.
  • To give students an opportunity to develop their skills in detailed analysis of literary texts.
  • To give students an opportunity to develop their skills in oral communication.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should:

  • have gained knowledge about the cultural contexts of ancient epic and its postclassical reception;
  • developed an understanding of the principal critical approaches to studying epic as a genre;
  • be able to analyse a range of key texts in translation;
  • developed their skills in written communication (through essay work and examinations)
  • In addition, second year students will be expected to have developed analytical skills appropriate for level I/5, as demonstrated in their formal assessments.

Teaching details

2 hours of lectures and one hour seminar discussion weekly

Assessment Details

1 x essay of c. 2,500 words (50%) and 1 x 90 minute exam (50%). Both elements will assess ILOs 1-3; the coursework essay in particular will offer students the opportunity to demonstrate ILOs 3 and 4

Reading and References

Homer, Odyssey

Hesiod, Theogony

Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica

Virgil, Aeneid

(Your unit tutor will indicate which translations are preferred.)

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