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essays

The assessed essays must 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. The Second essay may be a topic of your own choice, to be discussed by week 9 of the Autumn Term with the module convenor. Please note that students taking the module as a Latin text option are expected to produce at least one essay that engages with the texts in the original.

Assessed essays for Term 1 (autumn 2018): to be handed in by 12 noon on Thursday 6th December 2018

Write an essay of approximately 2500 words on ONE of the following topics:

  1. There is no such thing as Punica fides ('Punic untrustworthiness'). Discuss.
  2. "Womanish enemies may be both weak and beyond male control at the same time: when womanishness is juxtaposed with the cruelty supposedly typical of barbarians, the mixture is potent." (Dench 1995). Discuss.
  3. To Greek and/or Roman eyes, Egypt is a land of ill-defined boundaries. Discuss. [You can choose to focus on Greek texts, on Roman texts, or on both - please adapt the title to reflect your choice]
  4. To what extent do the Roman texts you have read show Africa as a locus for Rome's own displacement?
  5. "[Athenian tragedies] gave the Athenian spectator the controlled pleasure afforded by an enjoyment of the deviant when it is acted out, reflected upon, and tamed." (Nicole Loraux 1987). Discuss with reference to Aeschylus' Suppliants and/or Euripides' Helen.



NB Please note that it is part of the exercise to build your own personalised bibliography as you engage with research for your essay. You are expected to include at least one primary text (from the syllabus) and at least five items of secondary literature (books, articles, book chapters). The bibliography for the course, with access to e-resources, can be found on Talis Aspire. Do feel free to contact the module's convenor for further bibliographical suggestions.

Assessed essays for Term 2 (Spring 2019): to be handed in by 12 noon on Tuesday 5th March 2019

Write an essay of approximately 2500 words on ONE of the following topics:

  1. How important is the Egyptian frame in order to read and appreciate Hellenistic literature?
  2. To what extent does Apuleius' Metamorphoses reflect the fact that it was composed in a peripheral context?
  3. To what extent is Toni Morrison's Beloved a Greek tragedy?
  4. How do Ralph Ellison and/or Derek Walcott bring out Homer's potential to speak of issues of identity formation? [You can choose to focus on Ralph Ellison, on Derek Walcott, or on both - please adapt the title to reflect your choice]

Titles Agreed with individual students:

  • Write a practical criticism on Aen. 4.296-330, paying attention to its literary context and to any points of interest or difficulty. [NB1 the option is only available for students taking the module as a Latin texts option; NB2 please make sure you use at least five items of secondary literature]
  • Did the Egyptian location matter for the development of a mathematical literature in the Hellenistic age?
  • Write a practical criticism on Toni Morrison's Beloved pp.294-7 [from 'as Denver's outside life improved, her home life deteriorated' up to 'and Beloved helped her out']. Pay attention to the passage's literary context and to any points of interest or difficulty and comment on Morrison's engagement with Greco-Roman literature.

NB Please note that it is part of the exercise to build your own personalised bibliography as you engage with research for your essay. You are expected to include at least one primary text (from the syllabus) and at least five items of secondary literature (books, articles, book chapters). The bibliography for the course, with access to e-resources, can be found on Talis Aspire. Do feel free to contact the module's convenor for further bibliographical suggestions.