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In this course we shall explore various genres of Greek and Latin poetry that are not, at least not formally, dramatic or epic:  lyric, choral, satire, epigram, elegy, and others. © 1994 D. E. Curley
Fresco, Pompeii

These genres are represented by a variety of authors, including Sappho, Pindar, Juvenal, and Martial, whose works directly address the concerns of the societies in which they live. In particular, we shall focus on the role of the poet within the community, whether to praise or to blame, to love (or lust) or to despise.

All readings are in English.



The specific goals for this course are as follows:

  • to understand the content, form, scope and structure of Greek and Roman social poetry;
  • to approach this poetry as both narrative and social commentary, and to differentiate it from other genres; and
  • to assess its value — in a sense, its timelessness — to modern audiences.

Furthermore, students will draw upon universal skills of critical reading and thinking, and will communicate these skills both in class and in written exercises.

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© 2000 Skidmore College Classics Department