May 24, 2022  
2019 - 2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LATN 330 - Imperial Latin Literature: The Rhetoric of Cruelty

Credits: (3)
Prerequisite(s): LATN 202  
Domain (Anchored): ALV
In no other period did the tensions and ambiguities inherent in Roman society manifest themselves more acutely than in the first and early second century C.E., Rome’s ‘Silver Age.’ It was frequently a violent and cruel period in which absolute power could be exercised with a malignancy rarely plied since. Yet this age also produced a literature often marked by profound humanity and by an inventiveness comparable to that of the ‘Golden Age’ a century before. The goal of this course is to gain some insight into the paradoxes of this period. Reading selections in Latin and sometimes English from authors like, Seneca, Petronius, Lucan, Statius, Pliny the Younger and Tacitus, we will
examine the social and political conditions of writing in this period, and we will consider the degree to which these authors were aware of, and indeed played with, the hierarchies created by literary canons and reflected in epithets like ‘golden’ and ‘silver.’