The Age of Cicero (CLA3008)
|Staff||Dr William Short - Convenor|
|Pre-requisites||The successful completion of at least 90 credits at Level 2, 30 credits of which must be in Classics & Ancient History|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;|
The module aims to:
- introduce you to the extensive and diverse writings of Cicero himself and some of his contemporaries (e.g., Catullus and Lucretius) as historical and literary documents
- consider themes of Roman culture, such as friendship, patronage, politics, rhetoric, education, and family, in the works of contemporary authors
- cover a wide range of literary evidence to allow you to develop a sophisticated understanding of its conventions, historical context and limitations
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the history and culture of the late Roman Republic
- 2. Demonstrate a good knowledge of the history and variety of scholarship on the literature of the Late Roman Republic
- 3. Analyse the works of Cicero, Catullus and Lucretius critically, showing how they relate to their socio-historical context
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the issues involved in using ancient texts as historical source material
- 5. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of core Roman ideologies
- 6. Demonstrate understanding of the influence of modern conceptions on the interpretation of the ancient world, with awareness of one's own assumptions and values
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including the use of a wide range of library and online resources
- 8. Demonstrate the ability to construct coherent and cogent arguments based on your knowledge and understanding, and to present these clearly and effectively
- 9. Contribute confidently and constructively to discussion in a peer group
Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:
- Term 1: The public life of M. Tullius Cicero as a window on the Late Roman Republic. Cicero's speeches and letters.
- Term 2: Contemporary attitudes towards (e.g.) politics, family, education, friendship, love, sex, marriage, invective, death, religion as evinced in writings of Cicero, Catullus and Lucretius.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching||44||1 x 2 hour seminar per week|
|Guided Independent Study||256||Independent study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Participation in seminar discussion||Weekly||1-9||Feedback from lecturer and peers|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay 1||35||3000 words||1-8||Mark and written comments|
|Essay 2||35||3000 words||1-8||Mark and written comments|
|Thematic presentation (term 1)||15||10 minute individual presentation||1-8||Mark and written comments|
|Thematic presentation (term 2)||15||10 minute individual presentation||1-8||Mark and written comments|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Presentation||Recorded presentation with transcript (1000 words)||1-8||Referral/Deferral period|
Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.
Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
- Catullus. Poems. Trans. G. Lee. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford, 2009. (Any reprint of the paperback since 1991 is fine.)
- Cicero. Defence Speeches. Trans. D. H. Berry. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford, 2009. (Berry's new translations are a vast improvement over those by M. Grant for Penguin Classics.)
- Cicero. Political Speeches. Trans. D. H. Berry. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford, 2009.
- Cicero. Selected Letters. Trans. & ed. D. R. Shackleton Bailey. Penguin Classics. London, 1986.
- Lucretius. On the Nature of the Universe. Trans. R. Melville. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford, 2009.
- Wiseman, T. P. Catullus and his World: A Reappraisal. Cambridge, 1986.
Some further reading:
- Baraz, Y. A Written Republic. Princeton. 2012.
- Crawford, M. H. The Roman Republic. 2nd ed. 1993.
- Ferguson, J. Catullus. Greece & Rome. New Surveys in the Classics, no. 20.Oxford, 1988.
- Flower, H.I. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic. Cambridge, 2004.
- Gaisser, J. H. Catullus. Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World. Oxford, 2009.
- Gaisser, J. H. (ed.). Catullus. Oxford Readings in Classical Studies. Oxford, 2007.
- Gilespie, H. and P. Hardie, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius. Cambridge, 2007. [Online resource!]
- Lintott, A. Cicero as Evidence. Oxford, 2008.
- Rawson,E. Cicero: A Portrait. Bristol, 1983.
- Rawson, E. Intellectual Life in the Late Roman Republic. London, 1985.
- Rosenstein, N. and Morstein-Marx, R. A Companion to the Roman Republic. Oxford, 2006. [Very useful.]
- Shackleton Bailey, D. R. Cicero. London, 1971.
- Steel, C. E. W. Cicero, Rhetoric, and Empire. Oxford, 2001.
- Steel, C. E. W. Reading Cicero: Genre and Performance in Late Republican Rome. London, 2005.
- Taylor, L. R. Party Politics in the Age of Caesar. Berkeley, 1949. [An oldie but goodie.]
- Treggiari, S. Terentia, Tullia and Publilia: The Women of Cicero's Family. London, 2007.
- Vasaly, A. Representations: Images of the World in Ciceronian Oratory. Berkeley, 1993.
- Wallace-Hadrill, A. Patronage in Ancient Society. London, 1989.
- Wiseman, T. P. (ed.). Roman Political Life: 90 B.C.-A.D. 69.Exeter, 1985.
- Wood,N. Cicero's Social and Political Thought. Berkeley, 1991.
- Wray, D. Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood. Cambridge, 2001.
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Classics, Cicero, Ancient History, Roman Republic, Ancient Literature, Catullus, Lucretius