Skip to main content


Exemplarity: Literature, Memory and Ethics (CLAM080)

15 credits

The ancient Romans viewed their past through the lens of “exemplarity,” shaping accounts of their history to transmit moral values and to dramatise and explore moral issues, sharing and reinterpreting bloody and exciting tales about the heroic exploits of their ancestors. Such exemplarity was at the heart of Roman popular morality and also permeates Latin literature and this module will explore its operation in literature, and especially its relation to ethical learning and reflection. Your readings will be informed by theoretical insights from literary theory (about intertextuality, narratology, narrativity, focalisation etc.) as well as recent work on social memory, virtue ethics, and role-modelling.