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CLAS232 Love and War in Graeco-Roman Literature

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A survey of major authors of Greece and Rome from Homer to Juvenal, featuring narratives of love and war.

Two of the most important issues that preoccupied Greek and Roman societies were love and war. The war in which the Greeks sacked and destroyed Troy stemmed from Paris' love affair with Helen, which was followed by Odysseus' long journey home to his faithful wife Penelope. The bitter rivalry between Rome and Carthage was shaped by the curse of a dying Dido, whose love Aeneas spurned.

This paper approaches classical literature through the recurring and connected themes of love, romanticism and eroticism and war, violence and conflict. These themes are explored by examining relevant works of Greek authors (Homer and Aristophanes) and Roman authors (Plautus, Catullus, Vergil, Petronius, Ovid, Juvenal). In examining these works, the paper encourages students to analyse events and debates that cast a shadow over much of the ancient world and that are relevant to discussions about the modern world.

Paper title Love and War in Graeco-Roman Literature
Paper code CLAS232
Subject Classical Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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(18 CLAS, GREK or LATN points) or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Professor Jon Hall
Paper Structure
The paper covers the themes of love and war in the following classical authors and works:
  • Homer's Odyssey
  • Aristophanes' Lysistrata
  • Plautus' The Swaggering Soldier
  • Catullus
  • Vergil's Aeneid
  • Ovid's Amores and Ars Amatoria
  • Petronius' Satyricon
  • Juvenal's Satires
Teaching Arrangements
24 lectures, 6 tutorials
Homer, Odyssey (trans. Shewring) (Oxford Classics)
Course Reader
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate skills in literary and cultural criticism needed to appreciate the authors and works studied
  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the significance of selected themes
  • Demonstrate research and writing skills through written and oral analyses of the texts studied

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Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system