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C LIT 360 A: Topics in Ancient and Medieval Literature

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
MGH 248
Joint Sections: 
CLAS 496 B
Michael Ritter

Syllabus Description:

Ancient Satire: Origins and Contexts
TTh 10:30 – 12:20PM MGH 248
Professor Michael Ritter
Office Hours: MGH Lobby first floor, T, Th: 9:30–10:30 am
Course on Canvas ( Posted here (as of the start of and updated throughout the quarter) you will find: the course syllabus, the weekly assignments along with either pdfs of or links to various readings.
Required texts:
Readings drawn from various primary sources (=ancient authors), including: Cicero, Quintilian, Lucilius, Martial, Seneca. (This list is provisional and subject to change and emendation!)
Aristophanes, Four Plays, translated and with an introduction by Arrowsmith and Lattimore. Penguin. ISBN: 978-0-452-00717-8
Braund, S.H. 1998. Roman Satirists and their Masks. Bristol Classical Press. ISBN: 1853991392
Green, Peter. Juvenal: The Sixteen Satires. Penguin Classics (3rd ed.) ISBN: 0140447040
Rudd, Niall. 2005. The Satires of Horace and Persius. ISBN: 0140455086
Additional readings in various secondary sources will be supplied or are readily available online through the UW Libraries (links will be provided on Canvas as needed)
Course description: Satire is a famously elusive genre that defies a simple definition. The term itself indicates poetry “stuffed full” of the miscellaneous topics served up by Roman satirists, including morality, class, politics, freedom of speech, sex, food, and friendship. In this course, we will trace the unique contributions of each of the Roman satirists, beginning with Lucilius (second century BCE) and ending with Juvenal (early second century CE). Through our readings, we will see how the qualities, characteristics, and style of the genre shift with each author and, through a comparison with the satiric spirit of Greek Old Comedy, consider whether the Romans legitimately claimed the genre as entirely their own. Some consideration will be given to the evolution of the genre subsequent to the classical period.
Course requirements:
Annotated Bibliography (100 points)
Annotated bibliography entries should be roughly one-page (double spaced, 12-point font) summaries of the assigned secondary source reading. The first paragraph should detail the main argument(s) of the reading. The second paragraph should detail the evidence the author uses to make their argument. The third paragraph should discuss how the reading connects with your research question and/or other readings from class. Students are required to complete 10 annotations out of the assigned secondary literature, approximately one per week, that are each worth 10 points. Students may choose to do additional annotation assignments for extra credit. They are to be posted on Canvas under the appropriate assignment. As the purpose of these assignments is to prepare students for class, late assignments will be deducted 3 points.
Discussion and Participation (100 points)
Students are expected to contribute to class discussion of the readings each week, which will require a thoughtful reading of the assigned texts. Students should also be mindful of how much space they are taking up in the classroom. Asking engaged questions of other students is a good tool for encouraging a broader discussion among students, while still contributing to class discussion. If students don’t engage with the readings for the week, this grade will suffer. 
Students will also be asked to do in-class group work and introduce their findings to the class. Working in groups, students will use online resources to find information on an assigned key historical moment, figure, or concept. They will then present that information to the rest of the class. If students regularly miss class or don’t particulate in these in-class projects, this grade will suffer. Students will be offered a weekly evaluation of their participation out of 10 points.
Class Presentation (50 points)
Each reading class, a student or group of students will offer an at least 30 minute presentation that connects to the topics/themes in the readings for that class. Students should find relevant media/audio clips, background information about the context, and develop a set of discussion questions about the material. Students must sign up here by April 9th at 10:30am. Students will be graded on the quality of their visual presentation, its ability to engage students, and its connection to class materials. Students are also required to email the professor at least 24 hours before their presentation date with a draft of their presentation in addition to uploading a final copy of the presentation to Canvas here before class on their presentation day. If more than one student is in a group only one of the students needs to upload the presentation to Canvas. Please have a device capable of accepting either a vga or hdmi connection if you are going to be using the in-class projector. 
Abstract and Bibliography (50 points)
All students in the class must complete a research-based paper related to the theme of satire. The paper must engage the readings and discussion from the class as well as context-specific sources. Students will produce and upload to Canvas a 250-word abstract and a bibliography of at least 7 sources (primary and secondary). The abstract should detail the questions the project is going to investigate, the evidence it will use to investigate these questions, and the contribution it will make to the study of satire. Late submissions will be deducted 15 points. If the professor has suggestions on the abstract the student will be asked to revise and resubmit.
Research Paper (draft: 40 points; final: 60 points)
The final project is a 7.5-page double-spaced research paper. A research paper should include your own argument as well as evidence from at least 7 cited sources (both primary and secondary). At least 3 of these sources need to be peer reviewed sources.
Some important guidelines: 
  • In order for this class to be successful and meaningful for you, please a) make a concerted effort to keep up with and understand the readings, and b) come to class prepared to ask questions and contribute to discussions.
  • Cell phones: please don’t use them during class – at all. I say this not only to discourage you from texting during class, but (more importantly) to discourage you from using a phone to do the class readings.
  • Laptops or tablets: It’s OK to use laptops or tablets to take notes or consult texts and for in-class group work, but please don’t use them for anything else.
  • Online texts and the library. Some (if not many) of the texts we will read are available online through the UW Libraries.  For that reason you should quickly become familiar, if you are not already, with how to check out, download, and read an electronic text from the library.
  • Coming late: I understand that it can sometimes be a challenge to get to class on time, but on those occasions when you have to enter the room late, please do so as unobtrusively as possible.
  • Missing classes: I also understand that from time to time you may have to miss a class, but please don’t ask me to recap a lecture or provide you with lecture notes. Ask someone in the class if you miss anything.
Tentative schedule of reading and materials to be covered:
NB: This is merely a rough outline of the principal primary and secondary readings we will cover and when. You will get the most out of each class meeting if you have done the assigned week’s reading prior to the class meetings in which we cover it.

Introduction—Satiric Bearings
The definitions, meanings, and development of Satura.

April 2
Introduction to course and discussion of syllabus; class introductions
Quintilian, On the Education of the Orator, 10.1.93-95 (pdf)
Livy 7.2 on dramatic performances in Rome (pdf)
Diomedes on satura (pdf)

April 4
Discuss readings; in-class group work.
Discuss Readings:
Braund: viii-xiii; 1-9
Davie: vii-xxxiv (pdf)
Hooley, Dan. 2007. Roman Satire, Introduction and Chapter 1 (pp. 1-27) (pdf)

The antecedents of Roman satire; The satiric spirit in Greece

April 9
Discuss readings; in-class group work.
Aristophanes, Frogs (pp. 473-595)

Archilochus (pdf)

Semonides (pdf)

Sign-up for class presentations here.

April 11
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Rosen, Ralph. 2012. Efficacy and Meaning in Ancient and Modern Political Satire: Aristophanes, Lenny Bruce, and Jon Stewart. pp. 1-32. (pdf)

Lucilian invective and the freedom of the satiric speaker; Horace and the refinement of satire

April 16
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.

Lucilian Fragments (access digital Loeb Classical Library through UW library)

Davie: viii-xxxiv (pdf) (If you didn’t already read it from 4/4)

Davie, trans. Horace, Satires Book 1, Satires 1-5, pp. 3-20 (pdf)
Frances Muecke, Rome's first "satirists": themes and genre in Ennius and Lucilius, in Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire, pp. 33-47 (pdf)

Horace (cont.)

April 18
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Davie, trans. Horace, Satires Book 1, Satires 6-10, pp. 20-31. (pdf)

Gowers, Emily (2003) Fragments of Autobiography in Horace "Satires" 1 (pp. 55-91)

April 23
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.

Davie, trans. Horace, Satires Book 2, pp. 32-61.(pdf)

Suetonius' Vita Horati online Loeb Classical Library (search for Vita Horati)

April 25
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work; Classics librarian visits to discuss research paper
Emily Gowers, The restless companion: Horace, Satires I and 2, in Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire pp. 48-61.
Muecke, Frances. (1993). Horace Satires II, pp. 1-11 (pdf)

Persius and Stoic satire

April 30
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.

Abstract and Bibliography
Rudd: xxv-xxxiv (Recommended)
Persius, Satires pp. 137-158
Morford (1984) (pp. 1-24) (pdf)

May 2
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis (pp. 209-233) and Cena Trimalchionis (pp. 51-91) (pdf)
Fredericks, Sigmund C. 1974. Persius, the Philosopher-Satirist, in Roman Satirists and their Satire pp. 114-135. (pdf)

Juvenalian invective—the return of libertas?

May 7
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Green, Introduction pp. xiii-lxviii
Juvenal, Book I (Satires 1-5) (pp. 3-34)

May 9
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Juvenal, Satire 6 pp. 35-54

May 14
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work:
Juvenal, Book III (Satires 7-9) pp. 55-75

Freudenburg (2001) Satires of Rome, 209-277.

May 16
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Juvenal, Book IV (Satires 10-12) (pp. 77-96)
Iddeng, Jon W. (2000) Juvenal, Satire and Persona Theory. pp. 1-23. (pdf)

Martial, Epigrams

May 21

Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Draft Research Paper (optional)
Nisbet, Gideon. (2002) Martial. Epigrams. Introduction (pp. vii-xxxvi) Epigrams Bks. 1-8 (pp. 3-149) (pdf)

May 23
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Merli, Elena. 2006. Identity and Irony. Martial’s Tenth Book, Horace, and the Tradition of Roman Satire, pp. 257-270. In Nauta, Ruurd R., Harm-Jan Van Dam and Johannes J.L. Smolenaars eds. Flavian Rome.
Nauta, Ruurd R. 2002. Patronage in Martial’s Epigrams, pp. 37-90. (pdf)

Juvenal in imitation: Samuel Johnson, "London" and "Vanity of Human Wishes”

May 28
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
London and Notes on Johnson’s LondonVanity of Human Wishes
LaChance, Charles. 1995. 'The sinking Land'/ pessimism in Johnson's London

May 30
Discuss readings; class presentation; in-class group work.
Varney, Andrew. 1989. Johnson's Juvenalian Satire on London/ A Different Emphasis
Cohen, Michael M. 1982. Johnson's Tragedy of Human Wishes, pp. 410-417 (pdf)

Research Paper Workshops 

June 4
Draft of Research Paper Due (By 10:30 am)
Workshop Research Papers

June 6
Workshop Research Papers

MONDAY, JUNE 10:  Research Papers due by 12:20 pm (No Class)



Catalog Description: 
Explores topics in literature and cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds across national and regional cultures, such as particular movements, authors, genres, themes, or problems.
Department Requirements Met: 
Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:12pm