Classical Studies | Classical Epics
C311 | 1017 | Leach


C311:  Classical Epics meets TR in BH 344 from 2:30P-3:45P


What is it besides gods, heroes and hexameter verse that makes a poem
epic? The four texts we will read in this class have the common
element of being based upon journeys: Odysseus returns home from
Troy; Jason and his companions launch the ship Argo in search of the
Golden Fleece; Aeneas leaves Troy in search of a new Italian kingdom
and Oedipus' exiled son Polyneices gathers Argive companions to
attack his brother who is ruling in Thebes. From early Greece to
imperial Rome each poem represents and reflects a different culture
and society; in addition to discussing the texts themselves and their
relationships with each other, we will attempt to understand them in
relationship to these motivating contexts. Some readings in secondary
interpretive literature will be assigned. Attention will also be
given to representation of mythic characters in the visual arts.

Regular attendence and particpation in class discussion will be
expected. Written work will comprise four papers of 4-6 pages each
and a final examination.

Books:

Homer, Odyssey,
Apollonius of Rhodes, The Argonautika, Peter Green trans. Vergil,
Aeneid, Alan Mandelbaum trans. Statius, Thebaid, A.D. Melville trans.