This Classics seminar depends upon active participation by all students in the course for us to pursue an in-depth examination of the Satyrica by C. Petronius Niger. Over the course of the semester we will read the most thoroughly extant portion of the novel, the Cena Trimalchionis or "Dinner Party of Trimalchio," as well as a considerable number of secondary sources. We will devote class time to reading aloud and translating into eloquent English the Latin text, conducting extensive discussions, and composing essays on a wide variety of issues related to the Satyrica and the novelistic genre. The objectives of these exercises are enumerated below:
Goals to examine the genre of the novel, both as manifested in the Satyrica and in its Greek predecessors
to assess scholarship on the Satyrica
to gain a comprehensive perspective on the Neronian age and the literary, historical and social context of the Satyrica
Skills to read Latin prose at an advanced level by engaging the syntax and grammar of the Satyrica
to communicate effectively in classroom discussion
to conduct research by traditional and digital methods
to develop critical thinking abilities and learn to articulate them orally and in written form
to write a literary, historical, art historical or archaeological analysis supported by primary and secondary sources

You will have ample opportunities to hone your skills in order to achieve these goals. The requirements for successful completion of the course focus on communication, research and composition as follows:
Participation 15% Seminars depend upon regular, stimulating and provocative contributions from all participants. Language seminars require consistent time outside of class devoted to reading and preparing notes on the textual passages assigned for the next class meeting. Each student is also expected to participate actively and regularly in classroom discussions, and that participation must be grounded in a thorough understanding of the readings for each class meeting. Thus, participation includes
  • regular attendance: you cannot participate if you are not in class
  • in-class contributions: there is no place to hide in a seminar. Your participation grade depends upon frequent and substantive contributions to the class discussion.
  • completion of reading assignments: a seminar has high expectations. Your comments in class will reflect whether you have done the reading thoroughly and carefully.
Scholarship Reports 15% Each student will present a 15 minute report on an individual scholarly article or book chapter. Students will select a work from the reading list on a first-come, first-served basis and circulate focus questions at least one class meeting prior to the presentation.
Research Project 30% Over the course of the semester each student will focus on a research project that bears directly on Petronius' Satyrica. As the main focus of the semester, this project will consist of a variety of components - benchmarks of the progress towards successful completion of the research:
  • Topic statement: a one-paragraph summary of the issue(s) addressed in the research paper, due March 6th. 
  • Thesis statement and Working Bibliography: The Skidmore Guide to Writing (p. 3) explicates succinctly the content of a thesis statement. This one-paragraph (not one-sentence) statement and a thorough and in-progress bibliography are both due March 27th. We will review the variety of theses under examination on March 29th.
  • Project report: one 15-minute report on the research project
  • Research project paper: 20-page annotated paper due May 4.
Midterm and Final Exams 40% The Midterm exam is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8th.
The Final exam will be scheduled by the Registrar.
Co-curricular events Over the course of the semester we will screen one film and attend one lecture (film date/time TBA); your attendance at both events is mandatory.
  • Fellini's Satyricon (1969) by Frederico Fellini (running time: two hours)
  • Lecture by Prof. Amy Richlin, University of Southern California, on Roman oratory, the Forum and the construction of masculinity (April 10th, 5.30pm)