Syllabus
   

blank

  Click to select:
Overview
Objectives
  Instructor
  Textbooks
  Requirements
  page 2
Overview.
 

Plutarch

 

The story of biography is a short one or so it seems.

      Most retrospectives on the genre single out Suetonius and Plutarch, the two core authors for this course, as the genre's originators.  Yet the origins of biography and autobiography are more complicated than mainstream scholarship allows.

     Our purpose in this course is to trace out those origins and their continuation in later literature.  Along the way we shall consider how each work asks to be seen, whether as history, propaganda, moral exemplar, philosophy, or fantasy.


Objectives.
 

The specific goals for this course are as follows:

  • to understand the content, form, scope and structure of ancient biography;
  • to approach biography as a vehicle for narrative, social commentary, historiography, and other concerns; and
  • to explore the conceptual foundations of Western biographical writing.

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

  page 2
© 2002 Skidmore College Classics Department