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Level 6

6AACLT10 Latin Texts X (Verse): Various Texts

Module convenor and assigned text change from year-to-year, please see below for annual information

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutor: Various, changes from year-to-year, see below
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%) (For Study Abroad students attending for only one semester, 1 x 2-hour test paper in December.)
Prerequisites: A pass in 4AACLA03 Latin Language 3 or a level 5 Latin text module.

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand, there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

This is a Level 6 Latin text module, focusing on verse. The text prescription will vary from time to time, and will be announced before module choices have to be made for the next academic session. Specimen prescriptions, from previous years, can be found below. The examination will test knowledge of the context, content and themes of the set text(s), as well as translation ability.

For the specific text assigned for a particular year, please see below:

2019-20, De Bello Civili Book II

Module convenor/tutor: Professor William Fitzgerald

We will be reading the second book of Lucan’s exciting epic on the civil war between Pompey and Caesar, which presents all three leading figures—Cato, Caesar and Pompey—in speech and action. Lucan’s epic is an over-the–top response to an over-the-top event and a masterpiece of post-Augustan literature which takes sharp issue with Vergil’s Aeneid.

Set text

Lucan, De Bello Civili Book II, ed. Elaine Fantham (Cambridge 1992) 


2017-18, Statius, Achilleid

Module convenor / tutor: Dr Danielle Frisby  & Dr Emily Pillinger

Stand with Thetis and, through the sparkling hexameters of Statius, admire the beauty of the youthful Achilles. Watch him as he is ‘transformed’ into a girl (sort of!) by cross dressing, and follow his escapades on Skyros until his discovery by Odysseus and the beginning of his journey to Troy. This unfinished epic, which boldly projected its scope to cover the entirety of Achilles’ life, is a masterpiece of subtle comment on the epic genre as well as cultural reflections on coming of age in literature and Flavian Rome. The course should be of particular interest to those with a wish to study further the dynamics of gender, heroism and youth in Roman culture and epic. 


Set text

O. A. W. Dilke. ed. (2005) first ed.1954. Statius Achilleid, Bristol Phoenix Press, Liverpool

Suggested Introductory Reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.


  • Dominik, William J., Newlands, Carole E., Gervais Kyle edd. 2015. Brill's Companion to Statius, Leiden.
  • Fantham, Elaine 1999. ‘Chironis exemplum: On teachers and surrogate fathers in Achilleid and Silvae’. Hermathena 167: 59–70.
  • Feeney, Denis. 2004. ‘Tenui … latens discrimine: Spotting the differences in Statius’ Achilleid’. Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi di testi classici 52:85–105.
  • Heslin, P. J. 2005. The transvestite Achilles: Gender and genre in Statius’ Achilleid. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Hinds, Stephen E. 2000. ‘Essential epic: Genre and gender from Macer to Statius’. In Matrices of genre. Edited by Mary Depew and Dirk Obbink, 221–244. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.
  • Sanna, Lorenzo, 2008. ‘Dust, Water and Sweat: The Statian puer between Charm and Weakness, Play and War’, in: The Poetry of Statius, edd. Johannes J. L. Smolenaars, Harm-Jan van Dam u. Ruurd R. Nauta, Leiden: 195-214.

2015-16, Virgil, Aeneid IX: the saddest book

Module convenor/tutor: Dr Martin Dinter and Ms Jennifer Hilder

Aeneid IX – often dubbed the Aeneid's saddest book – in the absence of the epic's main hero Aeneas develops important themes and topics. On the one hand this book allows for character development of Turnus and Ascanius. On the other we re-encounter Nisus and Euryalus who meet their tragic end and exemplify once more the failure of youth in the Aeneid. In addition we find ethnographic and gender specific discourse. While featuring many further voices Aeneid IX thus showcases what is at stake in Virgil's epic.

Set text

You will need a copy of Hardie, P. (1994) Virgil: Aeneid IX (Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics), Cambridge. In addition you will need a Latin dictionary and a guide to Latin grammar and syntax, such as Kennedy’s Revised Latin Primer, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar, or the Oxford Latin Grammar. 

Suggested Introductory Reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

  • Anderson, W.S. (1987) “Virgil’s Second Iliad”, TAPA 88: 17-30.
  • Feeney, D.C. (1991) The Gods in Epic, Oxford.
  • Fowler, D.P. (2000) "Epic in the Middle of the Wood: Mise en Abyme in the Nisus and 
  • Euryalus Episode" in Sharrock and Morales (2000) Intratextuality. Cambridge. 89-114.
  • Hardie (1994) Virgil: Aeneid IX . Cambridge, features a useful introduction.
  • Horsfall, N.M. (1971) "Numanus Remulus: ethnography and propaganda in Aen. 9.598ff." Latomus 30:1108-16.
  • Lyne, R.O.A.M. (1987) Further Voices in Virgil's Aeneid. Oxford. Pp. 193-206 (Ascanius and the Aeneid).
  • Pavlock, B. (1985) "Epic and Tragedy in Virgil's Nisus and Euryalus Episode" Transactions of the American Philological Association (TAPA) 115:207-24.
  • Saylor, C. (1990) "Group versus individual in Virgil Aeneid IX" Latomus 49:88-94

2013-14, Juvenal, Satires 1-5

Module convenor/tutor: Professor Roland Mayer

Verse satire is a peculiarly Roman literary form. Its core function is the criticism of faulty moral attitudes and behaviour—it asserts traditional values and the norm. Juvenal is regarded by some as the epitome of the Roman satirical attitude and voice: it is clear from the five poems of the first book of satires that he’s racist and homophobic. (What’s not to like?) Or is that merely a pose, a means of enticing the reader into a depraved engagement with the seamier side of life in Rome? Take this course and find out what you think he’s up to.

Students are expected to attend all classes. They should come well prepared, having read the text in advance; they should undertake written exercises as prescribed. They should expect to spend 8 hours a week in private study.

Set texts:

  • Braund, S. M. (ed.), Juvenal, Satires, Book 1, Cambridge 1996
  • Courtney, E. (ed.), A commentary on the Satires of Juvenal, London 1980 (nb: does not contain the Latin text)
  • Duff, J. D. (ed.), Juvenal, Satires, Cambridge 1970
  • Coffey, M., Roman Satire, Bristol 1989 (nb: this is the 2nd edition)  
  • Freudenburg, K. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire, Cambridge 2005 
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