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The Vulnerable Body in Roman Thought and Literature

This module will investigate how the vulnerable body is represented and debated in Roman literature and thought. Over the course of the year, you will be developing skills in the close reading of literary texts and in the critical analysis of classical scholarship, but you'll also be encouraged to explore how critical thinking in other fields about corporeality, embodiment and precarity might inform and inspire new approaches to classical texts. As we delve into some of the most rambunctious, sharp and shocking works that survive in Latin from the first century BC to the first century AD, we will be exploring how form, content and poetics relate to broader questions about identity, politics and ethics in early imperial Rome. A wide range of texts and genres will be considered, but individual lectures and seminars will be devoted to single authors and texts, and you will be able to narrow your focus in the termly essays. Everyone should read the full list of core texts in English as soon as possible. In preparation for this course, it would also be useful to read over the summer the relevant chapters of G.B.Conte’s Latin Literature: A History (1994, Johns Hopkins), on the authors Phaedrus, Horace, Ovid, Persius, Seneca the Younger, and Statius.

Q800 students may take this module as a Latin language option.

This module is available in 2018/19.

Module convenor: Professor Victoria Rimell

For further details, see tabs above. Download  Module booklet (term 1)  Module booklet (term 2)