Department of Greek & Latin
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MA Literature Courses


(a) Courses taught in the original language


  • CLASGG10A Greek Drama 1: Sophocles: Oedipus and his children

Dr Peter Agocs, Dr Rosa Andújar (UCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: Mondays 11-1 (Term 1)
Description: This dedicated MA course will be devoted to Athenian tragedy of the fifth century BCE, focusing in particular on the theatre of Sophocles. It will be based on close reading of two tragedies in the original Greek: Sophocles’ Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus. Topics considered will include, style, interpretation, textual transmission, dramaturgy, intertextuality, staging, metre, and social, political and religious context. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 15 credit option.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House, Rm G09

  • CLASGG10B Greek Drama 2: Comedy, Genre and Intertextuality

Professor Chris Carey (UCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: Mondays 11-1 (Term 2)
Description: This dedicated MA course will be devoted to Athenian comedy of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE in its theatrical and literary context. It will be based on close reading of two classic comedies in the original Greek. Set texts will be Aristophanes’ Frogs and Menander’s Arbitration. Topics considered will include genre boundaries and their exploration and manipulation, style, interpretation, textual transmission, dramaturgy, staging, metre, and social, political and religious context. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 15 credit option.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House G09

Dr Nick Gonis (UCL)
+40 credits
Meets: Tuesday 2 - 4pm (Terms 1 and 2)
Description: This module aims to introduce participants to the study of Greek papyri, documentary as well as literary, and to offer training in editing them. Each class will focus on a small number of texts, one or two of which will be studied in detail on a photograph. The texts are chosen to illustrate the development of Greek cursive scripts and bookhands; to examine formal aspects of the transmission of Greek literature on papyrus; and to give an idea of the range of documentary types available as sources for the history of Egypt from the age of the Ptolemies to late antiquity.  A good knowledge of Greek is essential. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 30 credit option.
Assessment: Three written assignments:  (1) a 'take-home' exercise in identifying published papyri on the basis of electronic resources + translations in English of published documents (20%); (2) an edition of a papyrus (40%); (3) a project (essay) of 3,500 words max. or (exceptionally) another edition (40%).
Place:
UCL - Gordon House G09

Dr Vasiliki Zali (UCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: Thursdays 12-2 (term 1)
This dedicated MA module will explore the work of Herodotus, one of the founding fathers of Western historiography. It will be based on close reading (linguistic, literary, narratological, historical) of book 8 of the Histories, a book which features the celebrated battle of Salamis and the role of the Athenian general Themistocles in this decisive Greek victory. Topics considered will include: Herodotus’ use of sources; his reputation both as the ‘father of history’ and the ‘father of lies’; the role of the divine; construction of battle narratives; use of speech in the narrative; depiction of individuals; relationships between the Greek cities (esp. Athens and Sparta); polarity between Greeks and barbarians. Book 8 will be discussed in the wider context of the narrative of the Histories and links with other books will be drawn. Similarities and differences between Herodotus and other literature will also be explored. By the end of this module the students will be able to display an in-depth understanding of the significance of the Histories both as history and literature, of Herodotus’ thought-world and his contemporary world, of his narrative techniques and historiographical aims. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 15 credit option.
An essential read for this module is: Bowie, A. M. (2007) Herodotus. Histories Book VIII, Cambridge.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House, Rm G09

  • CLASGG02B Greek Historians 2: Xenophon

Dr Rosie Harman (UCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: Thursdays 11-1 (term 2)
This dedicated MA module will explore one of the most prolific and wide ranging of the Greek historians. It will be based on close reading (linguistic, literary, narratological, ethnographic, historical) of selections from Xenophon’s Anabasis in Greek. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 15 credit option.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House, Rm G09

Dr Stephen Colvin (UCL)
+40 credits
Meets: Term 1 Friday 11am - 1pm (Terms 1 and 2)
This course has two parallel aims: it introduces the language, script and history of the ancient Greek dialects: in order to do this effectively it also serves as basic introduction to Greek historical phonology and morphology. By extension, this will include an introduction to Indo-European studies. We shall study a range of epigraphic and literary texts: core topics will include the history of writing in the ancient Aegean and the graphic representation of Greek; the position of Mycenaean and Homeric Greek among the Greek dialects; and modern views on the interrelationships of the Greek dialects.  This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 30 credit option.
Assessment: 10 weekly problem sheets (30%), a project of 4000 words (35%), and a two-hour  exam in May (35%).
Place: UCL - 16 Taviton St. (= SSEES building WC1H 0BW), Rm 433 

Professor Giambattista D'Alessio (KCL)
*+40 credits
Meets: tbc
This module offers a close study of a six books of Homer, read in the light of both ancient and modern critical debate. Topics for special attention include the origins of Homeric poetry in oral epic, the Homeric poems as heroic poetry and their relation to the mythology and poetry of the Near East, hypotheses about the historical development of the poems, the origins and development of Homeric scholarship in antiquity, epic language and style, approaches to epic narrative technique, and the bearing of the poems on Greek concepts of history and religion.
Assessment: 2 x 3,500 word essay (33.33% each) and 1 x 3,500 word commentary (33.33%)
Place: KCL

Professor Edith Hall/team (KCL)
*+40 credits
Meets: tbc
This module will offer a comprehensive overview of Aeschylean theatre as performed in its original context(s), its relationship with earlier poetry (Homer, lyric) and its reception in ensuing literature and art, both in antiquity (drama, iconography) and in modernity. It will develop students’ critical understanding of theatre performance as an artistic practice and in relation to Athenian religious, political and legal institutions, as well as cultural currents. Based on cutting-edge research on Aeschylus, it will also explore the central controversies and strands in Aeschylean scholarship since the ‘performative turn’ following World War II. All extant Aeschylean tragedies will be read in entirety in English, and selected passages and fragments will be studied intensively in the original Greek.
Assessment: 2 x essay of 4,000 words (33.33% each) and 1 x commentary of 2,000 words (33.33%)
Place: KCL

Professor Giambattista D'Alessio (KCL)
*+40 credits
Meets: tbc
A study of selected Greek lyric poets of the seventh, sixth and fifth centuries in the original language. Topics considered may include dialect, style, metre, literary interpretation, circumstances and manner of performance, social, political and religious context, textual transmission. The first term will be devoted to a selection of solo and choral poets, the second to Pindar and Bakchylides.
Assessment: 2 x 4,000 word essays; 1 x 4,000 word commentary on text extract
Place: KCL

  • CLASGL09B Ovid

Dr Philippa Bather (UCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: Monday 2 - 4pm (term 2)
This module will examine the poetry of Ovid, with particular emphasis on the Metamorphoses. The poems will be placed in their social, historical and literary context. Topics that may be addressed include genre, narrative technique, style, allusion, humour, and the subsequent influence and reception of Ovid's poetry. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 15 credit option.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House, Rm G09

Dr Victoria Moul (KCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: Term 1 -- time tbc
This course offers students the opportunity to explore some of the key authors and genres of the Latin poetry written in Europe during the Renaissance, from the beginnings of neo-classical poetry in 14th and 15th century Italy, to around 1700. In this period, a vast amount of original Latin poetry, much of it of high literary quality, was produced across Europe in a range of genres, including those familiar from classical Latin literature (epic, elegy, drama, epigram) as well as several genres not typical of classical Latin verse (such as Latin Pindaric odes, various kinds of drama, Christian religious verse).
This understudied material offers many points of interest, especially for students interested in any of the following topics: the reception of classical Latin poetry in early modern literature; the links between Latin and vernacular literature in early modern Europe; the political possibilities of classical imitation; or the linguistic features of neo-classical Latin in the Renaissance. Due to the understudied nature of much of this material, a good deal of which remains unedited and untranslated, this topic is also an excellent opportunity for any graduate students who are interested in the challenges of editing and translating a text for themselves.
This part of the course provides an introduction to the study of Neo-Latin texts, by looking at transmission and approaches, and then focuses on the shorter poetic genres such as elegy, epigram and ode. Students should have a decent level of Latin and preferably a solid knowledge of classical Latin literature. Students will be expected to read about 200 lines of Latin per week, together with one article or book chapter.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL

Professor Gesine Manuwald (UCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: Wednesday 9 - 11am (term 2)
Prerequisite: Early Modern Latin Literature 1
This course offers students the opportunity to explore some of the key authors and genres of the Latin poetry written in Europe during the Renaissance, from the beginnings of neo-classical poetry in 14th and 15th century Italy, to around 1700. In this period, a vast amount of original Latin poetry, much of it of high literary quality, was produced across Europe in a range of genres, including those familiar from classical Latin literature (epic, elegy, drama, epigram) as well as several genres not typical of classical Latin verse (such as Latin Pindaric odes, various kinds of drama, Christian religious verse).
This understudied material offers many points of interest, especially for students interested in any of the following topics: the reception of classical Latin poetry in early modern literature; the links between Latin and vernacular literature in early modern Europe; the political possibilities of classical imitation; or the linguistic features of neo-classical Latin in the Renaissance. Due to the understudied nature of much of this material, a good deal of which remains unedited and untranslated, this topic is also an excellent opportunity for any graduate students who are interested in the challenges of editing and translating a text for themselves.
This part of the course provides further insights into editing and translating Neo-Latin literature and then moves on to introduce literary genres such as epic, didactic, drama and Christian poetry. Students should have a decent level of Latin and preferably a solid knowledge of classical Latin literature. Students will be expected to read about 200 lines of Latin per week, together with one article or book chapter.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL - Foster Court 235

Professor William Fitzgerald (KCL)
*+40 credits
Meets: tbc
This module will study the short lyric in Catullus and Horace, paying particular attention to genre and persona. A generous selection of Horace’s Odes and Epodes and of Catullus’ polymetrics and elegiac poetry will be read in the original Latin. The first aim of the module, then, is to acquire a grasp of these two crucial oeuvres and of the main issues raised by the secondary literature about them. Special attention will be paid to the role of these two poets in mediating between Greek lyric and the later European lyric tradition; the predecessors and the reception of Catullus and Horace will both be considered, but so will modern discussions of the lyric as a genre. We will compare the themes, personae and poetics of the two poets and the intertextual relations between them. Students will be expected to produce their own close reading and stylistic analysis of a poetic text and to use appropriately the information available in commentaries.
Assessment: 2 x essay of 4,000 words (33.33% each) and 1 x commentary of 2,000 words (33.33%)
Place: KCL

Course tutor: Professors Roland Mayer & Dominic Rathbone (KCL)
+*40 credits
Meets: tbc
Prerequisites: For language-testing assessment: Advanced or Intermediate Latin at BA level. For assessment without testing language: Beginners Latin at BA level.
Through a close reading of Tacitus, Annals 13-16, the course combines historical study of the reign of Nero with literary study of Tacitus. Tacitus' language and style are analysed in the context of their creation of a particular portrait of Nero. Tacitus' presentation of the key episodes and issues in Nero's reign is examined and compared with other accounts and evidence to assess the historicity of the Tacitean image of Nero.
Assessment is by 3 elements, each contributing equally to the total mark. Students will have to write two essays, each of around 4,000 words, chosen from a set list. There will also be a two-hour unseen test at the end of the course containing passages in Latin for translation and comment in the language-testing version, and passages with translation for comment in the non-language-testing version.
Place: KCL

Dr Daniel Hadas (KCL)
*+40 credits
Meets: Fridays 15.00-17.00
Prerequisites: good intermediate Latin is necessary to take this module.
The course is in two parts. The first term is exploratory: students will read selected texts from the whole medieval period - from late antiquity to the high Middle Ages - in a variety of genres (theology, poetry, history, law, etc.) In the second term the class will learn how to edit a medieval Latin text. The text chosen will be one which (i) has not been published, or critically edited, before; (ii) exists in at least one accessible MS(S) for first-hand collation (i.e. BL or Lambeth; other witnesses may be supplied in microfilm or located online); (iii) is of interest to the current takers of the course.
In the first part of the course students will be expected to prepare texts for each week and to write a short essay on a medieval Latin source or sources. In the second term each student will be given a section of the text to edit with critical apparatus, translation, and commentary on all aspects.
Assessment: In the first term, students will complete an essay (worth 25%). In the second term, they will be required to edit a section of text (worth 75%). Translation and commentary will show linguistic competence.
Place: Room 246, Second Floor, South Block, Senate House

Dr Alessandra Bucossi (KCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: tbc
This module is designed for students with a good knowledge of classical Greek, who want to learn how to approach and understand independently the primary sources of Classical and Medieval literature: Mediaeval manuscripts and critical editions. It offers a basic introduction to Greek Palaeography and Textual Criticism and focuses on the preservation of Greek literary heritage from the Renaissance to modern times. The course will start from the revival of Greek studies in Renaissance Italy and will follow the development of textual criticism from the first critical editions of the Bible to the contemporary attempts to apply phylogenetic methods. From manuscripts to online editions we will explore how texts are reconstructed and analysed by philologists, but also how and why philology (or textual criticism) has been one of the fundamental pillars of the development of intellectual freedom against ideological or religious mystifications and recently has even been described as ‘the most subversive of all disciplines’ (Luciano Canfora).
Assessment: 1 x 2-hour exam (30%); 1 x essay of 4,000 words (70%)
Place: KCL

Prof. Julia Crick (KCL)
*+20 credits
Meets: tbx
The aim of this module is to train students to read, date and describe Latin manuscripts from AD 1 - 1500 and to understand manuscript culture. It consists of a survey of the history of Latin handwriting from Cicero to the Renaissance. Students will also be taught how to describe a manuscript book and will be introduced to codicology. Basic Latin is a requirement of this module.
Assessment: one three-hour unseen written examination, and sample manuscript description.
Place: KCL

Dr Charalambos Dendrinos (RHUL)
*40 credits
Meets: Wednesdays 4pm - 6pm
The course concentrates on the minuscule script from the 9th-15th centuries. It aims to bring students up to a level where they would be able to transcribe texts from facsimiles of Greek manuscripts, and distinguish different styles. The material is adapted each time to the level of the class. In general the course covers simpler minuscule literary hands, nomina sacra, ligatures, abbreviations and symbols. The course involves 40-60 hours of teaching and coursework, mainly transcribing texts from facsimiles of manuscripts and commenting on the layout of the text and on the script, either in class or individually. This course may be taken by students who are starting to learn Greek.
Assessment: One three-hour examination in May
Place: RHUL (Egham campus): International Building, Second Floor, rm IN243

Dr Charalambos Dendrinos (RHUL)
*40 credits
Meets: Mondays 4-6pm
The aim of the course is to acquaint students with the main forms taken by Greek books and Greek handwriting from the Hellenistic period to the fifteenth century AD, and to give them the ability to read new samples from any point within this timespan with confidence. The first five weeks of the first term are devoted to developments between the third century BC and the eighth century AD, including the transition from roll to codex form; the rest of the first term and the second term consider developments from the emergence of minuscule as a book-hand to the production of the first fonts for printed Greek. The course develops a practical skill valuable both in itself, as training in scholarly habits of precise observation and accurate description, and as a tool for the production of critical editions of Greek texts. At the same time, it increases students' knowledge of an important aspect of the transmission of classical literature, and of the cultural history both of classical antiquity and of the Byzantine era.
Assessment:  Three written assignments of 3,500 words each
Meets: Bedford Square, RHUL annexe


(b) Courses taught in translation


Dr Fiachra Mac Góráin (UCL)
*20 credits
Meets: Wednesday 11am - 1pm (term 1)
This research-led MA course will focus on Dionysus, specifically on the Roman reception of a Greek god, in politics, literature, and religious history.  It will draw on a wide range of evidence: literary, historiographical, archaeological, and art-historical.  It will be of interest to students working on cultural relations between Greece and Rome, and on the relationship between myth, religion, and literature.  While a reading knowledge of the classical languages would be useful, it is not a prerequisite. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 15 credit option.
Assessment: One essay of 5,000 words max.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House, rm G-09

  • CLASGR12 Approaches to the Reception of the Classical World

Professor Chris Carey/Team (UCL)
*40 credits
Meets: Thursdays 2 - 4pm (Terms 1 and 2)
Description: This course will be taught by a combination of lectures, seminars and research visits to relevant institutions, such as the British Museum and the Warburg Institute, and the Petrie Museum. The core course is intended to provide training in research techniques and resources for postgraduate study in the reception of antiquity, and to introduce students to relevant ideas and methods involved in studying the reception of the classical world across a range of periods, societies, and media. It provides key illustrations of different responses to classical cultures in action, and demonstrates how later cultures have viewed and made use of the classical world from their own particular standpoint. This course can also be taken by Assessment: Two coursework essays of 5,000 words max each.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House, Rm G09

Clare Foster (Cambridge)
+40 credits
Meets: Wednesday 9 - 11am (Terms 1 and 2)
How does cinema reconstruct Roman history? What distinguishes cinematic histories of Rome from conventional scholarship? The option will introduce students to the relevant critical vocabulary of reception studies and film analysis, and engage with issues of sources, narrative, spectacle, contemporaneity, commodification, and spectatorship. Through study of a variety of Italian and American representations of ancient Rome, students will explore changes and developments in Rome's cinematic historiography from its beginnings to the Second World War. The module will then explore a variety of post-war Hollywood 'blockbusters' and the decline of the genre in the 1960s. It will conclude with examination of variations from and challenges to the classical Hollywood style of representing Rome, and with consideration of the disappearance of such reconstructions in the 1960s and their re-emergence in the 21st century. This course can also be taken by students at UCL on other MA programmes as a 30 credit option.
Assessment: Two essays of 5,000 words max each.
Place:
UCL - Gordon House, Rm G09

  • CL5013 Greek And Roman Biography

Dr Richard Hawley (RHUL)
Meets: Wednesdays 5-7pm
+40 credits
Greco-Roman biographies were written for a wide variety of aims, but the majority adopt recognisable patterns and motifs, many of which still underlie the genre of biography today. This course follows the different approaches to biography exhibited in a range of non-Christian texts from the archaic period to the third century AD. Topics covered include: the historical development of biography, ancient theories of character, poetic and prose autobiography, the reconstruction of the lives of the classical poets and grammarians, the moralising biography, and biography as an aid to the study of ancient philosophy. There are certain set texts to be studied in English translation from both cultures; however, students may also suggest the study of any biography which would cohere well with any other part of their MA study. 
Assessment: three essays of c. 3000 words each. Comments can be given on a draft of the first essay, and on plans of the other two.
Place: RHUL, Egham Campus, Classics Department.

  • CL5117 The Ancient Novel

Dr Nick Lowe (RHUL)
Meets: Mondays, 2-4pm
+40 credits
A course on Greek and Roman prose fiction, with texts studied in translation. Principal texts will be Chariton, Chareas and Callirhoe; Xenophon of Ephesus, Ephesiaca; Longus, Daphnis and Chloe; Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon; Heliodorus, Aethiopics; Petronius, Satyrica; Apuleius, Metamorphoses; Apollonius of Tyre. The second term then moves outwards to consider the wider generic field, including fragmentary and summary texts; related works in the corpora of Lucian and the writers of the Second Sophistic; the Alexander Romance; the novelisations of the Trojan War by “Dictys” and “Dares”; and the genre’s Byzantine and Renaissance Nachleben. Aspects to be studied include origins and antecedents; genre and audience(s); cultural and literary contexts; narrative form and technique; ecphrasis & excursus; irony, parody, satire, and subversion; love, sexuality, and the person; reflections and reinventions of history; ethnicity and cultural self-definition in the Hellenistic and Imperial oikoumene; religion and religiosity; intimations of Christianity; and literacy and literary form between roll and codex.
Assessment: 3 essays of approx. 3000-3500 words.
Place: Bedford Square, RHUL Annexe


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