Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook

Latin (LATN)

LATN 1101  (c)   Elementary Latin I  

Michael Nerdahl.
Every Fall. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

A thorough presentation of the elements of Latin grammar. Emphasis is placed on achieving a reading proficiency.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015.

LATN 1102  (c)   Elementary Latin II  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 18.  

A continuation of Latin 1101. During this term, readings are based on unaltered passages of classical Latin.

Prerequisites: LATN 1101 or Placement in LATN 1102.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016.

LATN 2203  (c)   Intermediate Latin for Reading  

Michael Nerdahl.
Every Fall. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

A review of the essentials of Latin grammar and syntax and an introduction to the reading of Latin prose and poetry. Materials to be read change from year to year, but always include a major prose work. Equivalent of Latin 1102, or two to three years of high school Latin is required.

Prerequisites: LATN 1102 or Placement in LATN 2203.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015.

LATN 2204  (c, IP)   Studies in Latin Literature  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 18.  

An introduction to different genres and themes in Latin literature. The subject matter and authors covered may change from year to year (e.g., selections from Virgil’s “Aeneid” and Livy’s “History,” or from Lucretius, Ovid, and Cicero), but attention is always given to the historical and literary context of the authors read. While the primary focus is on reading Latin texts, some readings from Latin literature in translation are also assigned. Equivalent of Latin 2203 or three to four years of high school Latin is required.

Prerequisites: LATN 2203 or Placement in LATN 2204.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016.

LATN 2210  (c, IP)   Catullus  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

The intimacy and immediacy of Catullan lyric and elegiac poetry have often been thought to transcend time and history; in his descriptions of a soul tormented by warring emotions, Catullus speaks to all of us who have felt love, desire, hatred, or despair. Yet Catullus is a Roman poet, indeed, the Roman poet par excellence, under whose guidance the poetic tools once wielded by the Greeks were once and for all transformed by the Roman world of the first century BC. Catullus is a product of his time; in turn, he helps to make his time comprehensible to us. Catullus is studied in all his complexity by engaging the entire literary corpus he has left, and so to understand his crucial role in shaping the Roman poetic genius. Taught concurrently with Latin 3310.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

LATN 2215  (c, IP)   The Swerve: Lucretius's De rerum natura  

Barbara Weiden Boyd.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

T. Lucretius Carus (c. 94-55 BCE) is the author of a poem, “on the nature of things,” composed in six books of didactic-epic hexameters. A student of Epicurean philosophy, Lucretius adapts both the beliefs and protoscientific discoveries of one of classical antiquity’s most influential intellectual traditions to Latin poetry; his poem proves a model both for subsequent classical poets and for the rationalist movements of the Renaissance. In this seminar, we will read selections from the poem in Latin, and the entire work in English, and consider recent scholarly approaches to Lucretius’s work. We will also devote several weeks at the end of the semester to Lucretius’s postclassical influence and reception. This is a bilevel course, with students at the 2215 and 3315 levels meeting together but with a different syllabus for each level.

LATN 3302  (c)   Ovid's Metamorphoses  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 15.  

Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid, 43 B.C.E.–17 C.E.) is a sophisticated and rewarding writer of Latin poetry, whose work was greatly influential on the writers and artists of succeeding eras. His epic-style Metamorphoses, in fifteen books, gathers together several hundred episodes of classical myth, organized through an elaborate play with chronology, geography, history, philosophy, and politics; the resulting narrative is at once clever, romantic, bleak, and witty, and repeatedly draws attention to its own self-conscious poetics while carrying the reader along relentlessly. Focuses on a close reading of three books in Latin, against the background of the entire poem read in English, and considers at length the ideological contexts for and implications of Ovid’s work. Assignments include several projects intended to train students to conduct research in Classics; this seminar counts as a research seminar.

Prerequisites: LATN 2204 or Placement in LATN 3300 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

LATN 3310  (c, IP)   Catullus  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

The intimacy and immediacy of Catullan lyric and elegiac poetry have often been thought to transcend time and history; in his descriptions of a soul tormented by warring emotions, Catullus appears to speak to and for all who have felt love, desire, hatred, or despair. But Catullus is a Roman poet -- indeed, the Roman poet par excellence, under whose guidance the poetic tools once wielded by the Greeks were once and for all appropriated in and adapted to the literary and social ferment of first century BCE Rome. Close reading of the entire Catullan corpus in Latin complemented by discussion and analysis of contemporary studies of Catullus work, focusing on constructions of gender and sexuality in Roman poetry, the political contexts for Catullus’s work, and Catullus in Roman intellectual and cultural history.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

LATN 3311  (c, IP)   Sicily in the Roman Imagination  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

The Roman poet Horace famously commented that captured Greece took captive its fierce captor -- in other words, that though Rome conquered Greece, the culture of Greece captivated uncivilized Rome; his reference to Greece includes first and foremost Sicily, which was the richest center of Greek culture in the Mediterranean and became Rome’s first extra-peninsular colony in 242 BC. Regards the history of Sicily both before its transformation into a Roman province and during the first three centuries of Roman rule through a number of central primary texts: readings in Latin from the historian Livy, the politician Cicero, and the poets Ovid and Horace are supplemented by readings in English from relevant Greek sources, including the poet Pindar and the historian Thucydides, in the context of the archaeological record. Students have the option of participating in a study tour of Sicily during the spring break. Research seminar.

Prerequisites: LATN 2204 or LATN 3000 or higher or Placement in LATN 3300 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2016.

LATN 3315  (c, IP)   The Swerve: Lucretius's De rerum natura  

Barbara Weiden Boyd.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

T. Lucretius Carus (c. 94-55 BCE) is the author of a poem “on the nature of things,” composed in six books of didactic-epic hexameters. A student of Epicurean philosophy, Lucretius adapts both the beliefs and protoscientific discoveries of one of classical antiquity’s most influential intellectual traditions to Latin poetry; his poem proves a model both for subsequent classical poets and for the rationalist movements of the Renaissance. In this seminar, we will read selections from the poem in Latin, and the entire work in English, and consider recent scholarly approaches to Lucretius’s work. We will also devote several weeks at the end of the semester to Lucretius’s postclassical influence and reception. This is a bilevel course, with students at the 2215 and 3315 levels meeting together but with a different syllabus for each level.

LATN 3316  (c)   Roman Comedy  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

An introduction to the earliest complete texts that survive from Latin antiquity, the plays of Plautus and Terence. One or two plays are read in Latin and supplemented by the reading of other plays in English, including ancient Greek models and English comedies inspired by the Latin originals. Explores not only the history, structure, and language of comic plays, but also issues such as the connection between humor and violence, the social context for the plays, and the serious issues— such as human identity, forms of communication, and social hierarchies—that appear amidst the comic world on stage.

Prerequisites: LATN 2204 or LATN 3000 or higher or Placement in LATN 3300 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

LATN 3317  (c)   Ovid's Roman Calendar  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Ovid’s “Fasti,” an elegiac poem on the Roman calendar in six books, is the focus of much recent scholarship on Roman literature and culture. Rather than being read, as formerly, as an escapist and antiquarian foray into the byways of Roman religion and folklore, it is now read as a political poem—perhaps the most explicitly political of Ovid’s career. Considers contemporary readings of the poem in an attempt to make sense of what it means to call Ovid an Augustan poet. In addition to reading three books of the “Fasti” in Latin, students read and discuss the whole work in translation. Research seminar.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2016.

LATN 3318  (c)   Literature and Culture under Nero  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

During Nero’s time as princeps (54-68 CE), despite the unstable and often cruel nature of the ruler himself, Rome experienced a period of literary, artistic, and cultural development unseen since Augustus. Works in Stoic philosophy, Roman tragedy, epic poetry, and a new genre, the satiric novel, thrived under Nero’s rule. By reading selections of the works of Seneca, Lucan, and Petronius, and analyzing historical works about Nero, we can see how thinkers and artists function in a world dictated by an eccentric and misguided—but artistically inclined—autocrat. Examines the relationships of the works to the principate and to Roman culture, how the authors were affected by the powers that be, and what their works say about the ever-evolving society of Rome. Research seminar.

Prerequisites: LATN 2204 or LATN 3000 or higher or Placement in LATN 3300 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

LATN 3392  (c)   Horace: The Career of an Augustan Poet  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Focuses on the varied poetic works of Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 BCE). Students read selections from a number of his extant works, including “Epodes,” “Satires,” “Odes” and “Epistles”; special attention is paid to the reflection of contemporary life and politics in Horace's work, and to Horace's literary relationship to other poets.

Prerequisites: LATN 2204 or Placement in LATN 3300 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2015.