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Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3400, Austin, TX 78712-1738 • 512-471-5742

Spring 2009

LAT 323 • Cicero

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32435 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
WAG 112

Course Description

Cicero remains one of the most influential political figures and writers from the late Roman Republic. Among Cicero's surviving writings is a corpus of nearly one thousand letters to a range of family members, friends, and other contemporaries. Later Latin letter-writers like Pliny and Symmachus regularly looked back to Cicero as a model for their own epistolary activities. In this course, we will read a small selection of these letters, with close attention to Ciceros Latin, the social-historical context of the letters, and to Ciceros epistolary tactics. In addition to reading substantial amounts of Latin, we will also discuss a selection of recent secondary articles on Ciceros letters and Latin letter-writing more generally. Assignments will range from approximately 25 lines of Latin early in the semester to 45-50 lines by the end of the semester. In addition to translation exams, students will be asked to produce a short (8-10 pp) research paper on some aspect of Ciceros letters. The final grade will be composed of: class participation and preparation (10%); 2 midterm examinations (50%); the final exam (25%); and an 8-10 page scholarly paper (15%).


Required Texts: D.R. Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Select Letters (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980). P.G. Walsh, Selected Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008),


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