Latin 202-02

Introduction to Latin Poetry

Spring, 2000

Instructor: William Hutton
Office: Morton 326
Phone: 221-2993
Office hours: MWF 10-11 a.m. and by appointment.

Time and place of Class: MWF 2-2:50, Morton 302

Important Electronic Addresses:
Class web page:
Class e-mail list:

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to original Latin poetry. Chiefly on account of the nature of our textbooks we will be proceeding in reverse chronological order: We will begin with a selection of poems by Horace (65-8 BCE), the wry, subtle and vers atile virtuouso of Latin versification, and follow with a healthy dose of the poems of the fiery and passionate Catullus (ca. 84-54 BCE), whose finely crafted poems of love, hate, politics and debauchery have shocked and inspired generations of readers. B oth poets are among the foremost representatives of the art of Latin verse, and both have been extremely influential in the course of subsequent European (and American) poetry.

As we read the poetry in the original Latin, we will continue the development of your grasp of Latin grammar and vocabulary. We will also work on getting you attuned to the sound and rhythm of Latin poetry (two qualities that are important for any type of poetry), and get you thinking about the sort of fundamental issues of literary interpretation for which the study of classical literature is so valuable.

Required Textbooks:

R. Ancona, Horace: Selected Odes and Satire 1.9

D. H. Garrison, The Student’s Catullus.

Assignments and Grading:

Your grade will be calculated as follows:


You can fail the course by amassing too many unexcused absences (see "Attendance Policy" below).

NOTE: Your grade will be calculated on a strictly numerical basis and converted to letter grades on the following scale: 93-100 = A; 89-92 = A-; 85-88=B+; 81-84 = B; 77-80 = B-; 74-76 = C+; 71-73 = C; 68-70 = C-; 64-67 = D+; 60-63 = D; 55-59= D-; Below 55 = F.

Explanation of Grade Components:

--Class participation: Includes attendance, preparation, participation in discussion, cooperative attitude. Your grade for class particiption will be adversely affected by the following (this is not an exhaustive list): Missing class without a very good reason (SEE ATTENDANCE POLICY BELOW) tardiness, obvious lack of preparation, not participating in discussions, frequently sleeping in class (particularly if you snore), eating noisy food in class, in general, being inconsiderate.

—-Oral/written critique: EITHER: A 7-minute oral report in class consisting of your description and critique of a work of modern scholarship that you will read about a poem by Horace or Catullus. OR a 1500-word (ca. 5-to-6-pag e) written essay about one of the poems of Horace and Catullus involving the consultation and critique of at least two works of modern scholarship (due on the last day of class). Oral reports will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, a nd those who cannot be accommodated in the class schedule will have to do the written option. Topics of oral and written reports must be approved by me. I also recommend that you consult me with regard to your choice of modern scholarship to read in conne ction with your report.

--Exercises and assignments: In addition to assigned translations, additional work will be assigned from time to time. This will include written exercises, literary commentary on poems metrical analyses and oral readings of poetical texts.

—-Quizzes of the 15-20 minute variety are scheduled at five times over the course of the semester. They will consist largely of translation of seen and unseen passages; occasionally you will also be asked to comment on meter and literary fe atures of the poems you are translating. No quiz grades will be dropped, but students who wish to may take an optional extra quiz following the last day of class. The grade on this quiz will be substituted for the lowest grade on the quizzes previo usly taken (assuming that it is higher, of course). Note that the terms of this option will not allow you to make up a quiz that you missed due to an unexcused absence.

--Midterm Exam and Final Exam: will have the same basic format, and will include the following elements: Translation of passages (both seen and unseen), brief essays commenting on passages covered in class, questions on grammar and poetical mete r.

Important Course Policies:

No late assignments will be accepted. No make-ups will be given for

the quizzes or the midterm exam except in the case of dire and verifiable circumstances. Special arrangements for the final exam, if necessary, will have to be arranged through the College. I have no authority to make such arrangements.

Attendance Policy:

This is a small class that depends for its success on the participation of every member. For that reason attendance is required. If you must miss class because of unavoidable circumstances, let me know ahead of time, if possible or, at the very latest, no more than 48 HOURS after the class that you miss.

If you don’t do so, your absence will be considered UNEXCUSED. You are allowed one unexcused absence without penalty in the course of the semester. Any further unexcused absence will cost you one percentage point from your final grade, and any student who accumulates MORE THAN FIVE UNEXCUSED absences will automatically fail the course.


TENTATIVE CLASS SCHEDULE: There is some wiggle room here, but the

following things will remain constant: 1) Quizzes and the Midterm Exam will be on the dates given here. 2) The FINAL EXAM will occur as scheduled by the College. 3) Any readings indicated should be completed BEFORE the date for which they are listed


Week 1

Jan 19 Introduction

Jan 21 Horace: Read Ancona's introduction and Ode 1.5

Week 2: Horace the Lover

Jan 24 No Class

Jan 26 Ode 1.13, 1.23

Jan 28 Ode 1.20

Week 3: Horace the Philosopher

Jan 31 Ode 1.9; 1.11

Feb 2 Ode 2.14

Feb 4 Ode 4.7 QUIZ I

Week 4: Horace Politicus

Feb 7 Ode 2.7

Feb 9 Ode 1.37

Feb 11 Ode 3.1

Week 5: Horace the High Priest

Feb 14 Ode 3.1

Feb 16 Ode 3.1

Feb 18 QUIZ II; Ode 1.30

Week 6: Satirical Horace

Feb 21 Excerpts from Satire 1.9

Feb 23 Excerpts from Satire 1.9; Review


Week 7: Catullus

Feb 28 Catullus: Read Garrison’s introduction and Poems 1 & 2

Mar 1 Catullus Poems 3, 84

Mar 3 Catullus 6, 27

Mar 6 - 10: SPRING BREAK (Whoopee!)

Week 8: Catullus the Man

Mar 13 Catullus 16, 28

Mar 15 Catullus 10

Mar 17 Catullus QUIZ III; 46, 101

Week 9: Catullus the Furious

Mar 20 Catullus 49, 93, 57, 41

Mar 22 Catullus 74, 80, 88, 89

Mar 24 Catullus 91; Catullus 62

Week 10: Catullus the Chorus-Leader

Mar 27 Catullus 62

Mar 29 Catullus 62

Mar 31 Catullus 62

Week 11: Epic Catullus

Apl 3 Catullus 64

Apl 5 Catullus 64

Apl 7 Catullus 64 QUIZ IV

Week 12: Catullus in Love I

Apl 10 Catullus 51, 5

Apl 12 Catullus 7, 48, 109

Apl 14 Catullus 99, 86

Week 13: Catullus in Love II

Apl 17 Catullus 83, 102, 70, 72, 75, 85

Apl 19 Catullus 57, 11

Apl 21 Catullus 8, 107; QUIZ V

Week 14: Catullus Unexpurgated

Apl 24 Catullus 69, 71, 97

Apl 26 Catullus 98, 39

Apl 28 Catullus 32, 23

Monday, May 1, 1:30 p.m.: FINAL EXAM