CL 310 : Syllabus
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The Roman playwright Plautus (c. 254 - 184 BCE) is considered one of the founding fathers of Western comedy. 

At the same time, his modus operandi was to translate the plays of New Comedians such as Menander — or was it? 


In this course students will read the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus, one of the founding fathers of the comic theater. This story of a clever slave, Palaestrio, who conspires to outwit a swaggering, braggart soldier, Pyrgopolynices, is generally considered Plautus' masterpiece — a deft and raucus farce in which boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and boy wins girl back.

Students will explore how the playwright manages to sustain one of the oldest plots in the comedic scriptbook, and consider how a play with a Greek setting and characters would have appealed to a Roman audience of the second century BCE.


Students of CL 310 will

-- explore the genre of Roman New Comedy;
-- read Plautus in his cultural and literary context;
-- engage advanced Latin syntax and vocabulary.

Furthermore, students will develop critical reading and thinking skills through class discussion, quizzes, and written exercises.

Professor Dan Curley
Office: 210 Ladd Hall
Hours: MW 1:30 - 2:30 p.m, and by appointment.
Telephone: 518.580.5463

The following books are available in the Skidmore Shop:


-- Hammond, M. et al. (ed.)  1963.  Plautus:  Miles Gloriosus.  Harvard.
-- Lewis, C. T. (ed.)  2000.  Elementary Latin Dictionary.  Oxford.


-- Mahoney, A. (ed.)  2001.  Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar.  Focus.


Class participation (20%)

Class participation involves more than just attendance.  Students must also keep up with the readings and assignments, and participate actively during all sessions.  Students are also expected to come to class on time and to maintain an environment that promotes the exchange of ideas.

Quizzes (20%)

Three take-home quizzes will be administered over the course of the term.  Each will emphasize grammar and scansion.

Further details here.

Semester project (60%)

In the semester project for CL 310 students will revise the Wikipedia entry on Plautus in accordance with standards of thorough and responsible scholarship.   For this project students will produce the equivalent of a 15-20 page research paper.

The project is due Tuesday, December 19 by noon (the end of our scheduled final examination period).  Preliminary work on the project is due at regular intervals throughout the term, usually on Friday evenings.

Guidelines, requirements, and schedule here.

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