AP/HUMA 3107 6.00
Roman Republican Literature
This course surveys the literature and culture of the Roman Republic, 509 - 31 BCE. Beginning with the material and cultural record of pre-historical Rome in the 7th to 3rd centuries, this course examines the song and performance culture of Early Rome. The course then considers the fusion of Greek and Italian elements that laid the foundation for the development of the distinctly Roman literature that emerged in the 2nd century BCE, amidst the establishment of Rome as a hegemonic power throughout the Mediterranean world.
The course then traces the growth and dramatic changes in Roman literature that correspond to the decades of civil war and turbulent politics that bring the Republic to an end (130 - 30 BCE). Major topics of analysis will be the relationship of literature to politics, militarism in literature, memory in literature, myths of Roman origin, song and performance culture, Roman translation of Greek literature, cultural responses to empire, Romanitas (Roman-ness) as expressed in literature, gender and class distinctions in literature and performance.Ancient literature to be analyzed includes: comedy and tragedy; epic poetry; Roman philosophical writing; erotic and lyric poetry, historiography; biography; political and forensic rhetoric; and satire. We will also review major scholarly approaches to the study of Roman literature. Major authors include Plautus, Terence, Cato the Elder, Ennius, Lucretius, Catullus, Sallust, Livy and Cicero.