Virgil's Georgic Environment (CLA3046)

15 credits

In Virgil’s Georgics, ‘the best poem by the best poet’ (Dryden), the earth is a place of labour and nostalgia, of philosophical reflection and poetic fragmentation. This course reads through the ‘middle’ Virgilian poem from a number of different angles: in the context of ancient poetic tradition and politics, Virgil’s other poetry (Eclogues, Aeneid), and selected examples of its reception (e.g. in the Romantic period). We will read about e.g. Orpheus in the underworld, Octavian, beekeeping, and tree-grafting, and will use the text to think through concepts such as ecocriticism, geophilosophy, human-animal ethics, and the connections between place, mind, and memory.