Text and Context: Roman Love Elegy (CLA1406)

StaffDr Sharon Marshall - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.50
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Students will learn how to analyse, evaluate and use texts and how to relate their style and content to the wider context of Love Elegy’s sophisticated poetic play, and its concern with politics and patronage. The module will also provide an introduction to modern literary theory and its application to classical texts.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Through an analysis of key texts, on completion of this module students will be able to describe and evaluate Latin Love Elegy.
  • 2. They will also have assimilated an understanding of a variety of critical approaches possible in the study of classical literature and current trends in criticism.
  • 3. They will be able to examine Latin Love elegy through close reading.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Students will be able to use, analyse and evaluate ancient texts and how they relate to other sources and their socio-historical context.
  • 5. They should also develop advanced academic and library skills as well as a critical ability in assessing published literature.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Students will demonstrate independent and group study skills in research and presentation of findings.
  • 7. They will also be able to select and organise relevant material and to present a strong argument in coherent oral and written form, and to discuss issues in a peer group.

Syllabus plan


Tropes and the elegiac mistress


Gallus and proto-elegy





Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching2211 x 2 hour lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities55 x 1 hour seminars
Guided independent study123Private study

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay402000 words1-7Mark and written comments
Exam 602 hours1-7Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-7August defer/defer period
ExamExam1-7August refer/defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Set texts:

Catullus, The Complete Poems (Oxford World’s Classics) trans. Guy Lee.

Ovid, The Erotic Poems (Penguin Classics), trans. Peter Green.

Propertius, The Poems (Oxford World’s Classics) trans. Guy Lee.

Selections from Gallus, Tibullus and Sulpicia will be provided.

Further reading:

Ancona, R. and E. Greene, eds. (2005) Gendered Dynamics in Latin Love Poetry. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hallett, J. P. (1984) ‘The Role of Women in Roman Elegy: Counter-Cultural Feminism’ in J.Peradotto and J. P Sullivan, eds. Women in the Ancient World: The Arethusa Papers.Albany: State of New York University Press. 241-264.

James, S. L. (2003) Learned Girls and Male Persuasion: Gender and Reading in Roman Love Elegy. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kennedy, D. F. (1993) The Arts of Love: Five Studies in the Discourse of Roman Love Elegy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Liveley, G. and Salzman-Mitchell, P., eds. (2008) Latin Elegy and Narratology: Fragments of Story. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press.

Lyne, R. O. A. M. (1988) The Latin Love Poets from Catullus to Horace. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sharrock, A. (1991) ‘Womanufacture’, The Journal of Roman Studies 81: 36-49.

Wkye, M. (2002) The Roman Mistress: Ancient and Modern Representations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Available as distance learning?


Last revision date


Key words search

Love Elegy, Propertius, Tibullus, OvidĀ