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Level 7

7AACM217 Latin Lyric 1: Catullus

Credit value: 20 credits
Module convenor/tutor: Professor William Fitzgerald 
Assessment:1 x essay of 5,000 words (100%)
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour weekly seminars
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year

Pre-requisite: The ability to read Latin to an advanced level. Teaching includes notable proportion of reading in the original language.

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.

In this module we will be reading most of Catullus’ oeuvre, in Latin, with a special focus on the role of praise and blame. We will be paying particular attention to the different generic strains in the poems of Catullus, the role of Lesbia poems in the oeuvre as a whole and the way in which Catullus creates the illusion of a society and a world around the poems.

Besides examining the works in the literary and historical contexts in which it was written, we will also consider the afterlife of Catullus in modern reception in particular as it concerns modern notions of the lyric. Representative samples of a range of approaches to Catullus in the secondary literature will be read alongside the Latin texts.

Suggested introductory reading

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

  • A Companion to Catullus, ed. M. Skinner, presents an excellent collection of up to date essays on all aspects of Catullus.

  • J. Gaisser’s Oxford Readings in Classical Studies: Catullus is a collection of classics articles on Catullus.

  • D. Wray, Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood and W. Fitzgerald, Catullan Provocations: Lyric Poetry and the Drama of Position are recent studies of Catullus that each presents a particular view of what Catullus is about.

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