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Epic & Epyllion - Essays

NOTE: These particular essays will not be set as exam questions in the examination paper. Overlap should be avoided between your pre-submitted essays and the questions you answer in the exam.

ASSESSED ESSAY 1

Deadline: 12 noon Monday 10 November 2014 (Term 1, week 7)

Write an essay of approximately 2,500 words on ONE of the following subjects and hand it in to the departmental office (Room 224) by the deadline. Make sure your essay is only identified by your university number from you library card, and that a cover sheet is attached. Ensure that your pages are numbered and that you state a word-count. See the links on the right-hand side of the page for further advice about writing and presenting essays.

Use the module bibliography for guidance in your reading: the lecturer can provide specific advice if needed.

1. An ‘epyllion’ is really nothing more than a short epic. Discuss with reference to specific ancient texts.
Allen, W. (1940) ‘The Epyllion’, Transactions of the American Philological Association 71, 1-26.
Crump M.M. (1931) The Epyllion from Theocritus to Ovid (Oxford; reprinted Bristol Classical Press)
Vessey D. (1970) 'Thoughts on the Epyllion', Classical Journal 66, 38-43
Entry in Oxford Classical Dictionary, Third or Fourth edition [=OCD 3, OCD 4]
K.J. Gutzwiller, ‘Epyllion’ in Roland Greene, Stephen Cushman, Clare Cavanagh (et al.) eds. Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Princeton, 2012), 454.
[http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MJVlZjIe5o8C&q=epic#v=snippet&q=epyllion&f=false]
Accessed 30th September 2014. There is a very large bibliography at the end of the article
•Consider readings for questions 2-4, 8 below

2. How does Apollonius differ from Homer?
Richard Hunter, Apollonius: Jason and the Golden Fleece (Oxford: OUP, 2009)
––– 1993 The Argonautica of Apollonius. Literary Studies (Cambridge: CUP)
Hutchinson, Gregory (2006) ‘Hellenistic epic and Homeric form’ in Epic Interactions ed. M.J. Clarke, B.G.F. Currie and R.O.A.M. Lyne (Oxford: OUP), 105-30
Knight, Virginia (1995) The renewal of epic : responses to Homer in the Argonautica (New York: Brill)
Rutherford, Richard, Classical Literature (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), 30-4

3. What is the role of the gods in Apollonius’ Argonautica?
Richard Hunter, Apollonius: Jason and the Golden Fleece (Oxford: OUP, 2009)
Feeney D. (1991) The Gods in Epic (Oxford OUP, 1991), 57-98
• Hunter, Knight cited in 2 above.

4. ‘In the Argonautica we possess what was historically one of the most important poems written in third century Alexandria as well as one of the finest failures in the whole of Greek literature?’ How far can this assessment of Apollonius’ epic be justified?
Bulloch, A.W. (1985) ‘Hellenistic Poetry’, in P. Easterling and B. Knox eds. The Cambridge History of Classical Literature: Greek Literature, (Cambridge: CUP )
Cameron A. (1995) Callimachus and his Critics (Princeton)
Toohey, Peter (1992) Reading Epic (London: Routledge,) 68-89

5. How important is Alexandrian poetry for a full understanding of Catullus’ achievement?
Clare, R.J. (1996) ‘Catullus 64 and the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius: Allusion and Exemplarity’, PCPS 42: 60-88
Clausen, Wendell (1970) ‘Catullus and Callimachus’ HSCP 1970, 85-94 [online JSTOR}
De Brohun, Jeri Blair ‘Catullan Intertextuality: Apollonius and the Allusive Plot of Catullus 64’; Knox, Peter, ‘Catullus and Callimachus’; W.R. Johnson, ‘Neoteric Poetics’; all in Marilyn Skinner ed. Catullus (Chichester: Blackwell, 2011) [online in library]
Hunter, Richard (2006) The Shadow of Callimachus. Studies in the Reception of Hellenistic Poetry at Rome. (Cambridge: CUP).
Konstan, David (1993) ‘Neoteric epic: Catullus 64’ in Roman Epic ed A.J. Boyle (London Routledge, 1993) 59-78

6. How much do Catullus’ long poems have in common with each other?
• Reading for Questions 7-9 below. C.J. Fordyce ed. Catullus (Oxford); J. Godwin ed. Catullus Poems 61-8 (Warminster: Aris & Phillips 1995)

7. Write a critical appreciation of Catullus 65 and 66, OR Catullus 68, OR Argonautica Book 3.
Catullus 65-6 Fordyce; Godwin [above]; Clausen, Wendell (1970) ‘Catullus and Callimachus’ HSCP 1970, 85-94 [online JSTOR}; Knox, Peter, ‘Catullus and Callimachus’; W.R. Johnson, ‘Neoteric Poetics’; in Marilyn Skinner ed. Catullus (Chichester: Blackwell, 2011) [online in library]
Catullus 68: Feeney, D. C. (1992). Theodorakopoulos, Elena ‘Love and Death, and the Gifts of Venus and the Muses’ in in Marilyn Skinner ed. Catullus (Chichester: Blackwell, 2011) [online in library]; ‘Shall I compare thee…? Catullus 68 and the limits of analogy’ In A.J. Woodman, & J. Powell (Eds.), Author and Audience in Latin Literature (Cambridge: CUP), 33-44; Fordyce; Godwin [above]
Argonautica Book 3: Hunter, Richard Apollonius: Argonautica III (Cambridge: CUP, 1989) •reading for Apollonius given above.

8. In what ways could Catullus 64 be properly called an epic?
Clare, R.J. (1996) ‘Catullus 64 and the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius: Allusion and Exemplarity’, PCPS 42: 60-88
Fordyce/Godwin cited above •Reading for
Jenkyns, Richard (1982) ‘Catullus 64 and the idea of a masterpiece’, in Three Classical Poets (London: Duckworth)
Konstan, David (1993) ‘Neoteric epic: Catullus 64’ in Roman Epic ed A.J. Boyle (London Routledge, ) 59-78
Toohey, Peter Reading Epic (London: Routledge, 1992), 108-11
• Further reading below


9. How far does the originality and interest of Catullus 64 depend on the structure of the poem?
Bramble, John ‘Structure and Ambiguity in Catullus 64’ PCPS 16: 22-41
De Brohun, Jeri Blair ‘Catullan Intertextuality: Apollonius and the Allusive Plot of Catullus 64’ in Marilyn Skinner ed. Catullus (Chichester: Blackwell, 2011) [online in library]
Laird, Andrew (1993) ‘Art and Text in Catullus 64’ Journal of Roman Studies 83, 18-30 [JSTOR/ https://warwick.academia.edu/AndrewLaird]
Putnam M. (1961) ‘The Art of Catullus 64’ Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (65) 165-25 [[JSTOR]


ASSESSED ESSAY 2

Deadline: Wednesday 18 February 2015 (Term 2, week 7)

Write an essay of approximately 2,500 words on ONE of the following subjects and hand it in to the departmental office (Room 224) by the deadline. Make sure your essay is only identified by your university number from you library card, and that a cover sheet is attached. Ensure that your pages are numbered and that you state a word-count. See the links on the right-hand side of the page for further advice about writing and presenting essays.

Consult the individual bibilographies handed out at lectures and the module bibliography for guidance in your reading.

1. How important was Apollonius of Rhodes’ influence on Roman literature?

2. In what respects can Virgil be considered a 'neoteric' poet?

3. How does the Aristaeus episode at the end of Georgics 4 relate to the themes of Virgil's poetry as a whole?

4. What features do Georgic 4.315-558 and Catullus 64 have in common? [Latinists only]

5. In what ways can Ovid’s Metamorphoses be viewed as a didactic poem?

6. What kind of epic is Ovid's Metamorphoses?

7. What are main influences on the Culex and/or the Ciris?

8. What are the merits and interest of the Culex and the Ciris, leaving aside their attribution to Virgil?

9. Write a critical appreciation of Eclogue 6 OR the Culex OR the Ciris OR Statius' Achilleid OR Claudian's On the Rape of Proserpina.

10. In what respects does knowledge of the culture and literature of Hellenistic Alexandria deepen understanding of the later development epic and epyllion?