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Introduction to Classical Culture

Tutor: Professor Catharine Edwards, Dr Christy Constantakopoulou and Dr Serafina Cuomo
The main aim of the course is to help you to think about a variety of kinds of ancient evidence (e.g.
different kinds of literary and material evidence) and some contemporary analytical frameworks that
can be used to understand it. Each week, we approach a broad theme or question by considering a
case-study that allows us to explore sources and methods in detail. The sessions proceed in broadly
chronological order, from the archaic Mediterranean to the early Christian Empire. Themes
considered will include politics and culture, religion, sex and sexuality, the writing of history, and the
reception of classical culture in the modern world.
It will be helpful to do some background reading in conjunction with this course, especially if you
have limited specialist knowledge of the ancient world. More detailed bibliographical guidance will
be given at the beginning of term.

Recommended reading
A selection of authors in translation (Penguin or World Classics):
o
Homer Odyssey/Iliad
o
Catullus The Poems
o
Hesiod Works and Days
o
Cicero On behalf of Caelius
o
Aeschylus The Oresteia
o
Vergil Georgics/Aeneid
o
Sophocles Antigone
o
Livy The Early History of Rome
o
Euripides Medea
o
Horace Odes
o
Plato Apology
o
Ovid The Erotic Poems
o
Aristotle Politics
o
Propertius The Poems
o
Theokritos Idylls
o
Juvenal Satires
o
Polybius The Rise of the Roman Empire
o
Tacitus Annals
o
Pliny the Younger Letters.
General works:
o
S Hornblower and A Spawforth (eds.), The Oxford classical dictionary (1996)
o
Oliver Taplin (ed.), Literature in the Greek world (2001)
o
Oliver Taplin (ed.), Literature in the Roman world (2001)
o
M. Beard and J Henderson, Classics : a very short introduction (1995)
o
P Cartledge, The Greeks: a Portrait of Self and Others (1993)
o
A Giardina (ed.), The Romans (1993)
o
P Easterling and B Knox (eds.), Cambridge History of Classical Literature 1 Greek
Literature (1985)
o
EJ Kenney and WV Clausen, Cambridge History of Classical Literature 2 Latin
Literature(1982)
o
R Osborne, Greece in the making, 1200–479 BC (1996)
o
O Murray, Early Greece (1980)
o
S Hornblower, The Greek world, 479–323 BC (1983)
o
JK Davies, Democracy and classical Greece (1993)
o
TJ Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome (1995)
o
G Shipley, The Greek world after Alexander, 323–30 BC (2000)
o
MH Crawford, The Roman Republic (1992)
o
C Wells, The Roman Empire (1984)
o
M Goodman, The Roman World 44 BC–AD 180 (1998).