Honors | Vergil, Dante, Milton (CMLT)
C200 | 11537 | Jeffrey Johnson


MWF 11:15am-12:05pm

This is your chance to journey through three unforgettable epic
poems. They dominate the landscape of Western literature like few
others. Vergilís Aeneid tells the harrowing story of the founding of
the Roman Empire. In The Divine Comedy, Dante travels through the
lowest pit of hell to the outer reaches of the cosmos to glimpse the
face of his God. John Miltonís Paradise Lost brings to life the
rebellion of Lucifer and the Fall of Adam and Eve. Each poet put
everything he knew about life and literature into his masterpiece.
Centuries later, artists, designers, songwriters, historians,
politicians, theologians, and film makers continue to find
inspiration in these rich narratives.

We will read each epic in its entirety, accompanied by selections of
modern scholarship to help situate each poem in its historical
context. We will examine each poetís biography and his own time
period to see how they shaped his development as a literary artist.
In particular, we will focus on how Dante transformed the work of
Vergil and how Milton in turn transformed the work of Vergil and
Dante together.

Students interested in literature, history (ancient Rome, medieval
Italy, and Renaissance England), politics and art, philosophy,
mythology, theology, ethics, and psychology are welcome. There are
no prerequisites for this course; however, it is recommended that
you have completed at least one literature course or one course in
pre-modern European history. This course is reserved for students in
the Hutton Honors College; however, students interested in this
course who are not in the Hutton Honors College are encouraged to
contact the instructor, Jeff Johnson (jwjohnso@indiana.edu), for
permission to enroll. Workload will include two shorter essays, one
comparative essay, and a report on modern scholarship, in addition
to brief writing assignments. For further information, contact the
instructor at the preceding address.