Latin Epic (CLAM012A)

30 credits

Lucan's epic poem The Civil War, written during the rule of Nero and describing the civil wars of the previous century, is a powerful condemnation of civil war and the ensuing disintegration of society. This module takes Lucan's nihilistic and hyper-violent poem as the starting point for an in-depth examination of the developing genre of Roman epic in the original language. Reading Lucan's poem thematically alongside the works of his epic predecessors (e.g. Ennius’ Annales, Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid's Metamorphoses) and Neronian contemporaries (e.g. Persius’ Satires, Seneca’s Thyestes and Petronius’ Satyricon) will enable us to explore the way texts draw on and rework literary traditions in order to reflect or resist dominant ideologies.