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FIF 186 Ancient Rome in the Modern World

Course Description

Look at Latin literature and Roman culture and its influence on the literature, film and theatre of our times. We will examine how Roman culture has affected our world, with special reference to literature that has influenced movies and plays.  Specific Roman texts and plays with a direct parallel in the modern world will be considered. After reading and analyzing the original Roman texts (in translation), we will watch or read the modern interpretations of similar themes and compare, contrast, and discuss.

Course Details

Course Outline:

Week 1: Introduction to Roman culture, literature and theatre and its influence on Western literature: Shakespeare; Dante; Milton; Brecht etc.

Week 2: Plautus: Pseudolus, Miles Gloriosa and Mostellaria

Week 3: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Up Pompeii!

Week 4: Roman history and culture: Republic – Plutarch, Appian & Spartacus. Emperors – Julio-Claudians 1: Suetonius, Tacitus and Augustus; Suetonius, Tacitus, Seneca and Claudius.

Week 5:  Spartacus, Rome, I, Claudius

Week 6:  Roman history and culture: Emperors – Julio-Claudians 2: Suetonius, Tacitus and; Suetonius, Tacitus and Nero

Week 7: Caligula, Quo Vadis

Week 8: Roman history and culture: Later Empire – 5th century

Week 9: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Last Legion, King Arthur

Week 10: Conclusions.

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