Classical Literature (Augustan Rome) OpenCourseWare: MIT's Free Undergraduate Roman Literature Class

Published Feb 06, 2009

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Explore classical Roman literature in this free online OpenCourseWare. MIT's 'Classical Literature: The Golden Age of Augustan Rome' examines the history of Latin literature under Augustus Caesar and the enduring influence of classical Roman themes. This undergraduate course is well suited to students seeking a Bachelor of Arts in English, Literature or History.

Classical Literature (The Golden Age of Augustan Rome): Course Specifics

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Classical Literature (The Golden Age of Augustan Rome): Course Description

In MIT's 'Classical Literature: The Golden Age of Augustan Rome,' students explore classical Roman texts that founded enduring and influential Western ideology on philosophy, aesthetics and politics. The course focuses on texts written during the shift from a republic-style government to an empire ruled by Augustus Caesar. The transition produced a rich body of literature addressing the radical changes that Roman society underwent. Students have the opportunity to analyze a diverse group of Roman authors through this historical perspective, including Virgil, Livy, Catullus, Ovid, Horace, Cicero and Caesar. Major themes addressed in the texts include the evolving role of the public and private in society, ancient perspectives on gender and class, and the connection between pleasure and art. MIT professor James Cain taught 'Classical Literature: The Golden Age of Augustan Rome' in a lecture format on the Cambridge campus.

A list of recommended class readings, written assignments and a selective timeline of Augustan Rome, including study notes, are offered on the course website, as well as a collection of useful links on classical literature and a translation of the course into traditional Chinese. If you're curious about this free online course, visit the classical Roman literature course page.

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