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1. Did the Greeks and Romans have a concept of fiction? What kinds of ancient works might now be classed as fictional and on what bases?

2. In what ways might Virgil’s Aeneid be considered a precursor to modern realistic fiction or the novel? [Discuss with particular reference to Aeneid 9, although you may accommodate other parts of the poem if you wish.]

3. To what extent does ancient prose fiction derive from earlier genres of classical literature? [You should illustrate your answer with sustained specific discussion to at least two works in Reardon’s collection e.g. Daphnis and Chloe, History of Apollonius King of Tyre.]

4. For what reasons should Daphnis and Chloe be taken seriously, (i) as a work in its own right and (ii) for its place in the history of the ancient and/or modern novel?


1. How do the satirical and philosophical aspects of Lucian’s True Histories contribute to its quality as fiction?

2. What does Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis have in common with the Satyricon?

3. What are the major literary sources and models for the Satyricon? How far does the Satyricon depend on those sources and models for its plot and conception?

4. What is the significance of the story of Psyche for The Golden Ass as a whole?

5. To what extent can Roman prose fiction be distinguished from Greek prose fiction?

6. What do the works of the Greek and Roman novelists themselves say about, or show us about, the nature of fiction?

Your essay should make detailed reference to the text/s under discussion (and any other/s which you consider to be relevant & helpful in answering the question).

NOTE: Overlap should be avoided between your pre-submitted essays and the questions you answer in the exam.

The assessed essays should be word-processed and properly printed out, have proper bibliographic references, and be clearly and accurately expressed (correct spelling, good grammar, and well-structured sentences). The number of words used, as close as possible to 2500 words (including footnotes, not including bibliography), should be given on the cover sheet.

Submission deadlines must be heeded: the University has regulated that essays will attract a penalty of 5% for each day they are late. If you foresee difficulties in meeting the deadline, it is imperative that you contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr Stanley Ireland.

You may not submit essays by email, but should hand them in to the departmental office, with a cover sheet filled in, before 12 noon on or before the date posted.


Plagiarism, defined as ‘the attempt to pass off someone else’s work as one’s own’ is a variety of cheating or fraud. It is taken very seriously by the University and students who are caught can suffer penalties which are extremely detrimental to their career.

To avoid any confusion however you should take special care with two things:
• Cite with appropriate references the sources you are using
• Use inverted commas for actual quotations

Extensions to Essay Deadlines

Applications for an extension of the essay-deadline are only allowed in exceptional circumstances – well-documented medical reasons etc. Any such application should be made to the Head of Department (Prof. Alison Cooley) or Director of Undergraduate Studies well before the deadline. Problems with e.g. printers, getting hold of books, bunching-up of essay-deadlines etc. are rarely considered acceptable excuses. When an extension is granted, students must ensure that the module tutor is informed and that the extension (with date limit) is recorded by the secretaries in the ledger in the Office. Only in exceptional circumstances will an extension be allowed beyond two weeks.


Essays should be returned to students within three working weeks or at the beginning of the following term. The marked copy of an assessed essay is retained by the Office. Copies of cover sheets and other comments can be made available to students once marks have been finalized and recorded. Essays will be handed back individually, when there will be a chance to discuss them. Students are encouraged to attend feedback tutorials.