Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Epic & Epyllion - Syllabus

Primary Set Texts in English for all students (essential reading)

  • Catullus 63, 64, 65, 66, 68
  • Virgil Aeneid (we will focus on Book 9)
  • Virgil Georgics 4
  • Ovid Metamorphoses (we will look at selected passages from Book 8 in the lectures)
  • [Virgil] Culex
  • Statius Thebaid (we will focus on book 5)

Recommended translations:

  • The Poems of Catullus, edited with an introduction, translation and brief notes by Guy Lee (Oxford World's Classics 1991)
  • Virgil Georgics, a new translation by Peter Fallon, with an introduction and notes by E. Fantham (Georgic 4 only) (Oxford World’s Classics 2006)
  • Virgil The Aeneid, translated by David West (Penguin Classics 2003)
  • A translation of the pseudo-Virgilian Culex will be circulated in class
  • Ovid Metamorphoses, a new verse translation by David Raeburn (Penguin 2004)

Those students studying the module in translation might also look at the Latin of the texts we are studying. The relevant texts (with facing translations) are all published by the Loeb Classical Library.

 Set texts in Latin For Q800 and Classics and English students

Catullus 64 with Goodwin’s 1995 Warminster Edition and commentary on 61-68

Virgil Georgics 4.333-566, with Thomas’ 1988 Green and Yellow text and commentary on Georgics 3 and 4

Virgil Aeneid 9.176-445 (Nisus and Euryalus), with Hardie’s 1994 Green and Yellow text and commentary

These Latin texts are to be read in addition to the primary set texts in English above. The primary set texts in English subsume the Latin prescriptions ­– they should be read for comprehension of how the prescribed part in Latin fits into the whole text to which it belongs.

  • Homer Iliad
  • Homer Odyssey
  • Virgil Aeneid
  • Apollonius of Rhodes Argonautica (Titled by the publisher Jason and the Golden Fleece, translated with an introduction and explanatory notes by R. Hunter (Oxford World’s Classics 1995))
  • Callimachus Aetia, Hecale
  • Theocritus, Idylls
  • ps-Virgil, Ciris
  • Ovid, Fasti  
  • Statius, Achilleid
  • Claudian, De raptu Proserpinae


  • Pope, The Rape of the Lock
  • Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis; The Rape of Lucrece
  • Gongora Polyphemus and Galatea