LAT f385 • Seneca
2:30 PM-5:30 PM
Class meets June 8-26 Latin 365/385: Taming Tyranny: Seneca, Nero, and the Limits of Philosophy In recent years, the younger Seneca has undergone something of a renaissance and has found an enthusiastic readership that extends well beyond those scholars with philosophical interests. Indeed, Seneca might now be regarded as one of the most widely-studied and written-about Imperial Latin prose writers. As such, he is an author with whom students of Latin literature and Roman culture should have some acquaintance. In this course, we will focus on Seneca's management of Nero and his increasingly tyrannical tendencies, with particular attention to the role of philosophy and the literary text more generally in Seneca's efforts. Readings will include De Clementia, the Thyestes, and a selection of his letters. The course has three related aims: to examine how Seneca dealt with imperial power; to explore Senecas distinctive modes of thought and expression; and to improve each student's ability to be an informed and discerning reader of Latin prose. In addition to reading substantial amounts of prepared Latin during each class meeting, we will also discuss a selection of recent secondary scholarship on Seneca and his historical/literary milieu. Latin assignments will range from approximately 50 lines of Latin early in the course to 150 lines by the end of the three weeks. Those students registered for Latin 385 will be responsible for some additional readings in Latin and English. The final grade will be composed of: class participation and preparation (10%); in-class presentation (10%); midterm examination (25%); comprehensive final exam (30%); and a 10-12 pp (15-20 pp for Latin 385 students) scholarly research paper (25%).