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Latin Literature in translation


The Loeb Classical Timeline

Virgil (Publius Virgilius Maro): 70BC-19BC

Origins (Wm Smith text)

Introductory — approaching The Aeneid

Etruscans to Livius Andronicus and Old Latin lit

Preview of Aeneid: Introduction to Virgil, The Aeneid (John Cox)

Reading/lecture: Vergil’s Aeneid: A Homeric Dichotomy? (David Dysert)

Reading/lecture: Homeric Poetics and the Aeneid (C Dozier)

Reading/lecture: The Nature of the Aeneid (D. Mendelsohn)

The Aeneid (Dryden) full text  (Fitzgerald trans)

The Latin Epic

Reading: Hall: The Reception of Ancient Greek

Literature and Western Identity

Principal etext: The Aeneid (Fitzgerald trans).

Background to the Aeneid:

By now, nothing in this video should be new to you:

TBA: Reading the Aeneid.

Read to Aeneid, Book 7.

Style and structure of the Aeneid, with useful links.

TBA: Aeneid 1-6

Notes: Prophecies in the Aeneid

TBA Aeneid 1-6

TBA: Aeneid 7-12

TBA: Aeneid summary

The Didache (etext)

After reading the Aeneid:

Principal etext: The Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius (Seaton)

Argonautica: synopsis and commentary

Virgil: Georgics

“Myth and Poetry in Lucretius” (Monica Gale; excerpt)

“War and Peace in Lucretius and the Georgics” (Monica Gale; full text)

Virgil on De Rerum Natura (M. Gale, excerpt)

Aeneid and “remytholigization” (Cambridge Classics)

A.N Wilson on Latin translations of Virgil (Telegraph)


Metamorphoses Text (Dryden)

Amores text selections

Introductory comments:

Further (J. Bate):

Reading: An introduction to the poetry of Catullus (Poetry Foundation)

Reading: Plautus to Terence to Cicero (Sanderson Beck)


Remains of Old Latin (Warmington text)




  • Annals (Church and Brodribb, via MIT)
  • Histories (Church and Brodribb, via MIT)
  • The University of Chicago hosts a less-error-prone version of Tacitus here (Annals and Histories with a robust intro).

Studium assignment for February 2019 (Tacitus):

Read Book One. Be attentive to the first 12 paragraphs and the speech by Galba — of the Histories (the MIT page has errors). Pay especially close attention to the rhetorical devices employed and Tacitus’ skill in character-building, scene -setting and tone/voice. You should also listen to Book 1 of the Histories on Librivox:
Look for examples of irony, parallel construction, and other narrative inventions.

Video: Prof Rhiannon Ash (Fellow and Tutor in Classics, Merton College Oxford) on Tacitus’s historical method:

Lucretius: De Rerum Natura (Leonard trans)


Lucretius: Background (Santayana)

Lucretius: Background (Stanford)

Lucretius: Background (Minyard)


Letters to Atticus (vol 1)

First speech against Cataline (Cataline Conspiracy)

Res publica (portions; “Commonwealth”)

Intro to Augustine: ‘Augustine took the worst of St Paul and Calvin took the worst of St Augustine.’ (Harry Williams)

Course text: St Augustine: Confessions (Pusey trans).

Paul Freedman (Yale) on the Confessions:


Introduction to St Augustine’s Confessions (Jas O’Donnell-Georgetown)

Cicero, Augustine, and the Philosophical Roots of the Cassiciacum Dialogues (Michael Foley, Sorbonne)

Oberst: The Aeneid in the Confessions (pdf)

Bennett: The Conversion of Vergil (pdf)

 Stern-Gillet: Consciousness and Introspection in Plotinus and Augustine  (pdf)

Note: ‘A very powerful case has been made out for the influence of the Platonism of Plotinus upon Saint Augustine. From the Manichaean simple solution of the problem of evil Augustine was delivered by reading the Neo-Platonists and especially Plotinus. It was Plotinus who convinced him that God was a spirit, not a luminous body, and he always remained grateful for this deliverance from the crude fantasies of the Manichaeans. In the two years before his conversion when he was receiving a deeper penetration into Christianity through the sermons of St. Ambrose, he came to know of Plotinus in a very few treatises of the Enneads (certainly 1/6 “On the Beautiful” and quite probably V/1 “On the Three Chief Hypostases”) in the Latin translation of Marius Victorinus. St. Ambrose made a determined effort to apply the principles of Plotinus’ philosophy to the clarification of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as against the Arians. The results of such an attempt might not be theologically satisfying but they are interesting. This impact of the mind of Plotinus upon the mind of Augustine was a decisive one because Augustine found a very great area of agreement between the teaching of Plotinus and that of the Scriptures as expounded by St. Ambrose, above all the Gospel of St. John.’ (Wasner: “The Trinitarian Theology of Augustine and His Debt to Plotinus”, Harvard Theological Review.)

AF Holmes (Wheaton) on Augustine and Neoplatonism:

W. R. Inge: The Permanent Influence of Neoplatonism upon Christianity

Assessment :

Mini-exams, 2,000 word Term paper and 2-hour written examination.

The Loeb Classical Timeline

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