Syllabus

Week 1 (9/9-9/15): Enter Nero (Seneca, Apocolocyntosis)

Primary reading in Latin:

Apocolocyntosis, Ch. 1.1-3: Quid actum . . . habeam (The narrator’s hilarious self-introduction), Apocolocyntosis 4.1: haec ait  . . .  capillo (Apollo’s laudes Neronis), Apocolocyntosis 10.1-4: tunc divus . . . non fit (speech of Augustus) [Roth Commentary]

Primary reading in translation:

Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis

Secondary source reading: C. Whitton, “Seneca, Apocolocyntosis”, in E. Buckley and M. Dinter, ed., A Companion to the Neronian Age. (Malden, MA, 2013), 150–169.

Week 2 (9/16-9/22): Encomium and Invective (Seneca, De Clementia)

Primary reading in Latin:

De Clementia 1.1.1-9: Scribere . . . gaudeat (Mirror for the prince) [ Braund Commentary; Ker Commentary 1.1.1-6; NB: Translate as much of these selections as possible, but do read all of 1.1.1-1.1.9 in translation]

Primary reading in translation:

(re-read) Sen. Apoc., esp. 4.1

Sen. De Clementia 1.1.1-9 [Braund Translation; Stewart Translation]

Laus Pisonis [Duff Translation]

Lucan, Bellum Civile 1.33-66 [Kline Translation]

Secondary source reading: re-read Whitton pp. 161-165 [C. Whitton, “Seneca, Apocolocyntosis”, in E. Buckley and M. Dinter, ed., A Companion to the Neronian Age. (Malden, MA, 2013), 150–169.]

Week 3 (9/23-9/29): Stoicism (Seneca, De Clementia)

Primary reading in Latin:

Excerpts from De Clementia 1.8.1; 1.10.1-4: 1.8.1-7 (grave putas . . . succedunt); 1.10.1-4 (ignovit . . . praestare) [Braund Commentary 1.8; Braund Commentary 1.10; NB: Translate as much of these selections as possible, but do read all of 1.8.1-1.10.4 in translation]

Primary reading in translation:

De Clementia 1.8.1-1.10.4 [Braund TranslationStewart Translation]

Persius, Satires: 1, 3, 5

Week 4 (9/30-10/6): Intertextuality (Seneca, Thyestes)

Primary reading in Latin:

Thyestes 204-335 (Act Two: Atreus devises his revenge against his brother Thyestes, against the protests of his advisor; he will begin by recalling him from exile.)

Primary reading in translation:

Thyestes 1-204; Petronius, Satyrica 111-112: The Widow of Ephesus. Also, The Widow of Ephesus (Latin w/commentary)

Secondary source reading: Rimell, “How to Eat Virgil”, in V. Rimell, Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction (Cambridge, 2002), 123–139

Week 5 (10/7-10/13): Family Ties (Seneca, Thyestes)

Primary reading in Latin:

Thysestes 336-403 (Second Choral Ode: At last the royal household of Argos has found peace; those who desire power should know that the true king is one who is free from fear and desire.)

Thyestes: 546-622 (Third Choral Ode: Who would believe it? Atreus has welcomed his brother back in peace, and all is calm.)

Primary reading in translation:

Thyestes 404-545; [Seneca], Octavia 435-645; Lucan, Bellum Civile 10.53-193 [Kline translation]

Week 6 (10/14-10/20): Spectacle and Violence (Seneca, Thyestes)

Primary reading in Latin:

Thyestes 623-788 (Act Four: A Messenger describes to the Chorus-leader how Atreus took Thyestes’ sons aside, butchered them, cooked them, and fed them to their father)

Primary Reading in Translation:

Thyestes, 799-883; Seneca Epistulae Morales 7; Calpurnius Siculus, Eclogue VII; Lucan Bellum Civile 8.560-711, 9.1004-1108.

 Week 7 (10/21-10/27): Looking Backward (Seneca, Thyestes)

Primary reading in Latin:

Thyestes: 884–1051 (Act Five: Atreus exults in his revenge, while Thyestes feels dread; then Atreus takes pleasure in revealing to Thyestes what has happened to his sons)

Primary Reading in Translation:

Thyestes: 1052-1112

Secondary source reading: Elsner, Jas, “Constructing Decadence: the represntation of Nero as imperial Builder,” in Jas Elsner and Jamie Masters ed. Reflections of Nero: culture, history and representation. (Chapel Hill, 1994), 112-127. 

Week 8 (10/28-11/3): To Be or Not to Be: Death and Suicide in Neronian Literature (Petronius, Satyrica)

Primary reading in Latin:

Satyrica, chs. 26-29 = Lawall pp. 19-39 (“Preliminaries and Hors d’oeuvres”; First encounter with Trimalchio; arrival at Trimalchio’s house and entrance into triclinium)

Primary reading in translation: Tacitus, Annales 15.60-65, 16.18-19

Week 9 (11/4-11/10): Social Strata/Patronage (Petronius, Satyrica)

Primary reading in Latin:

Satyrica ch. 71 (only), Lawall pp. 153-161, “Trimalchio’s Tomb and Funeral” (part); Trimalchio’s plans for his tomb and will. diffusus hac . . . et tu)

Roman Names Handout

Primary Reading in Translation:

Satyrica, chs. 30-33(“Preliminaries and Hors d’oeuvres” cont’d.); 34-36 (Continuation of banquet; conversations of the freedmen; information about Trimalchio’s wife Fortunata)

Material evidence: tomb of Aulus Umbricius Scaurus

Week 10 (11/11-11/17): Performance of (Neg)otium (Petronius, Satyrica)

Primary reading in Latin:

Satyrica, chs. 47-49, = Lawall pp. 111–125 (“A Joke on the Guests”: Trimalchio returns and discusses his bodily functions; he questions Agamemnon about rhetoric; yells at the cook that the pig has not been cooked … and hatches a surprise as the cook is ordered to “gut” the pig. nec adhuc . . . effusa sunt)

Primary Reading in Translation:

Satyrica chs. 50-52 (Continuation of banquet; story about “unbreakable glass”); Seneca Epistulae Morales 122; Wikipedia entry on otium

Secondary source reading: Bergmann, “Portraits of an Emperor—Nero, the Sun, and Roman Otium”, in E. Buckley and M. Dinter, ed., A Companion to the Neronian Age. (Malden, MA, 2013), 332–362. [NB: read especially 355-358)

 

 

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