Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
classics masthead classics masthead
Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3400, Austin, TX 78712-1738 • 512-471-5742

Spring 2006

LAT 385 • Seneca

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31550 TH
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
White, S

Course Description

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c.1-65 CE) is a fascinating figure from a fascinating time. Immensely rich, immensely learned, and immensely powerful, he led an immensely successful and productive life, which came to a sudden end by enforced suicide in official disgrace (such were the risks of public service under Nero) but displayed great dignity and won him immediate and lasting renown. Widely considered the Roman Socrates, he also emulated Plato in weaving elaborate textual tapestries that have beguiled and inspired readers ever since. In this course, we'll focus on reading and discussing some of his more "personal" writings, mainly some letters and essays. The course has two closely related aims: to explore Senecas distinctive ways of thought and expression; and to improve students ability to read Latin with accuracy, facility, profit, and interest. Most of our time in class will be devoted to close reading of a representative selection of Senecas essays and letters. We shall also look briefly at his form of tragic drama, at some of the background to his writings, and at some contemporary writers. Each student will also select an area of his work to explore independently, though not without guidance. Graduate students (in LAT 385) will be responsible for additional independent reading and writing. Grades will be based (25% each) on daily performance and progress, occasional quizzes and written exercises, substantial written work (a commentary or research paper), and a comprehensive final (translation and essay). Required Texts Seneca, Epistulae morales, vol. 1 (Oxford) Seneca: De otio, De tranquillitate, ed. G. Williams (Cambridge) Seneca: Selected Letters, ed. W. Sumner (London) Recommended Seneca, Epistulae morales, vol. 2 (Oxford) Seneca, Dialogi (Oxford)


bottom border