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Unit information: Latin Language Level D2 in 2015/16

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Unit name Latin Language Level D2
Unit code CLAS32343
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. O'Gorman
Open unit status Not open

CLAS2207 or equivalent



School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

AlieNation: The Far Side of the Roman World

As the Roman Empire expanded, its armies marched into ever wilder and more exotic lands, to conquer strange tribes in the name of the Eternal City. Meanwhile back in Rome, the political and moral landscape changed, and Romans felt increasingly estranged from their own homeland. The historians Sallust and Tacitus compellingly present this double vision of alienation. The far lands of the known world: the deserts of North Africa and the frozen seas around Scotland. The political jungles of factional strife and tyranny in Rome itself. How can a Roman pursue traditional virtus in such wastelands? Does the pursuit of empire abroad redeem the Romans from their political ills at home? These questions are explored in Sallust’s Jugurtha and Tacitus’ Agricola through images of foreign lands, reflections on the distant and recent past, and the speeches of Romans and barbarians in praise and denunciation of the imperium Romanum.

This unit aims to develop skills in sophisticated literary analysis of texts in Latin. The texts covered will be chosen to reflect the unit director's research interests, amounting to 1200-1500 lines. These texts will be studied in relation to the debates which they raise in secondary critical and theoretical literature, and in relation to their position in the literary history of Classics and its reception.


Upon conclusion of this unit students will have developed knowledge of the issues raised in relation to the texts studied and their interpretation, and the relevance of these for wider theoretical issues. They will have developed a detailed appreciation of the literary style of the texts studied and improved their fluency in reading and stylistic translating of Latin.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students should have:

  • developed their skills in reading, translating and interpreting a Greek/Latin text and in evaluating translations of it;
  • become familiar with current debates about the texts studied, and their historical and cultural significance;
  • developed and refined their skills in constructing coherent, relevant and sophisticated critical arguments, and in relating their readings of the texts to wider theoretical issues;
  • developed and enhanced their skills in oral and written communication by contributing to discussion in seminars, presenting short papers, and producing an essay and a written examination.

Teaching Information

Seminars and reading classes.

Assessment Information

  • 1 essay of approximately 3000 words in length (50%), and
  • 1 90-minute examination containing sight translation, set text translation, and passages of set text for comment (50%).

Reading and References

~extracts from Sallust Jugurtha and Tacitus Agricola~

Katherine Clarke. 2001. ‘An Island Nation: Re-reading Tacitus’ AgricolaJRS 91

Casey Dué. 2000. ‘Tragic History and Barbarian Speech in Sallust’s JugurthaHSCP 100

Dylan Sailor. 2008. Writing and Empire in Tacitus.

Thomas Wiedemann. 1993. ‘Sallust’s Jugurtha: Concord, Discord, & the Digressions’ G&R

Texts are specified on an annual basis according to the author being studied. Texts and references are detailed on the course handout.