Course image Classics First Year Personal Development Portfolio 2020 2019/20
Course image Classics Professional Development Portfolio (19/20) 2019/20
Course image CX102:Introduction to Greek and Roman History 2019/20
Course image CX109:Greek Culture and Society 2019/20
Course image CX115/CX215/CX315: Latin Language 2019/20
Course image CX120/CX220/CX320: Greek Language 2019/20
Course image CX126/CX226/CX326:Greek Language and Literature 2019/20
Course image CX136/CX236/CX336:Latin Literary Texts 2019/20
Course image CX209/CX309:The Roman Near East 2019/20
Course image CX230/CX330:Epic and Epyllion 2019/20
Course image CX233/CX333:Principles and Methods of Classical Archaeology 2019/20
Course image CX244/CX344:The Roman Empire from Tiberius to Hadrian 2019/20
Course image CX247/CX347:Sexuality and Gender in Antiquity 2019/20
Course image CX251:The Hellenistic World 323 - 31BC 2019/20
Course image CX254/CX354:Domestic Space in the Roman World 2019/20
Course image CX257/CX357:History of Medicine in the Ancient World 2019/20
Course image CX262/CX362:Greek Religion 2019/20
Course image CX266/CX366:Politics and Poetics in Greek and Latin Literature 2019/20
Course image CX268/CX368:Roman Laughter 2019/20

Can we ever get a window onto what made the Romans laugh? Is such a question naïve? Studying how the comic operates in Latin texts is a slippery exercise that seems to connect us (physically, emotionally, intellectually) with Roman experience while at the same time revealing the strangeness and unknowability of the Roman world. In this honours module, we will read a range of Latin texts that perform or have something to say about wit and humour – whether puerile, grotesque, bitter, farcical, subtle, philosophical, aggressive or abusive – and cover genres and forms from epigram to satire, theatre to oratory, from the second century BCE to the early second century CE. We will also juxtapose ancient thinking about humour with both the latest classical scholarship on Roman laughter and selected modern texts on the sociology, psychoanalysis and philosophy of joking (e.g. Freud, Bakhtin, Bergson). Investigating what and who gets laughed at (and why) in Latin literature will make us giggle, balk, and scratch our heads: it will also take us straight to the heart of questions to do with literary history, cultural identity, gender, politics and power in ancient Rome.

A wide range of texts and genres will be considered, but individual lectures and seminars will be devoted to single authors and texts, and you will be able to narrow your focus in the termly coursework. Everyone should read the full list of core texts in English as soon as possible. In preparation for this course, it would also be useful to read over the summer the relevant chapters of G.B.Conte’s Latin Literature: A History (1994, Johns Hopkins), on the authors Terence, Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Seneca the Younger, Petronius, Martial, Quintilian, Pliny the Elder and Suetonius.

Q800 and Latin and English students may take this module as a Latin language option.

Course image CX269/CX369:Space and Place in Greek Literature 2019/20