Skip to main content


Virgil's Georgic Environment (CLA3046)

15 credits

In Virgil’s Georgics, ‘the best poem by the best poet’ (Dryden), the earth is a place of labour and nostalgia, of philosophical reflection and poetic fragmentation. This course reads the ‘middle’ Virgilian poem from a number of different angles: in the context of ancient poetic tradition and politics, including Virgil’s other poetry (EcloguesAeneid); through selected examples of its reception ; and as a focus for reflecting on topics such as climate change, sustainability, race and ethnicity, gender and class. We will read about e.g. Orpheus in the underworld, Octavian, beekeeping, and tree-grafting, and will use the text to think through concepts such as ecocriticism, geophilosophy, human-animal ethics, and the connections between place, mind, and memory.