Virgil, Ovid, Horace: Latin Poets in Translation (LIT4185.01)

Dan Hofstadter

These Latin poets lived in the age of Caesar Augustus. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a book-length poem (he called it a “perpetual song”) is our central interest. In this work Ovid recasts Greek mythology in an account of the loves of the gods and men, working in ancient Roman enthusiasms with distinctly New Age overtones, such as vegetarianism and the migration of souls. Mythology is also treated by Virgil in his Georgics, which treat not only of good farming methods but also of what really happened to Orpheus after he lost Eurydice, his significant other. Some of Virgil’s finest verses sing of the fall of Troy, of how Dido was cruelly abandoned by Aeneas, and how Aeneas journeyed into the Underworld to see his father. Finally there is Horace, a lyric poet: admired for his grace and shrewd ethical sense, he wrote verse letters, chats, odes, satires, and witty attacks on phonies and knuckleheads that have been imitated ever since.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please contact him before November 3 at dhofstadter@bennington.edu. If you are a freshman or sophomore who has not worked with him before, include a writing sample of not more than four pages. Class lists will be posted November 10.
Credits: 4
Th 8:20am - 12noon
Maximum Enrollment: 20
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, Literature, 4000, Dan Hofstadter, and tagged , , , , , , .