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CL7030 Gender and Genre in Augustan poetry

Module Organiser: Prof. Monica Gale
Duration: One Term (2016-17: Sept-Dec)
Contact hours: 22 (1 x 2-hour seminar p.w.)
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Assessment: Written assignment


This module will explore the importance of genre theory for the study of Augustan poetry, and the ramifications of generic choices with particular reference to the representation and discourses of gender in Augustan Rome. Recent scholarship on Latin poetry suggests that genre is far from constituting a purely formal, academic system for the classification of literary texts; rather, generic conventions and hierarchies offer a field for the expression and exploration of cultural and political values. Close reading of poetic texts from a range of genres will form the basis for an exploration of models of masculinity and femininity in Augustan Rome.

Working Methods

The course will be taught as a series of student-led discussion seminars. Guidance for reading and topics will be given in class.


This module requires the completion of assignments as directed by the lecturer. All assignments are compulsory.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with genre theory and its application to the texts under study.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the texts under study, and ability to analyse them with particular reference to the issues of gender and genre.
  • Analyse and assess scholarly interpretations of the texts under study.
  • Display an awareness of the theoretical bases of their own and other scholars' interpretations of Classical texts.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in oral presentation and discussion and in written argument and analysis.


Topics covered include:

  • definitions and theories of genre
  • generic hierarchies and the gender-coding of genres in Augustan literature
  • representations of gender in (different genres of) Augustan literature
  • gender, irony and the role of the reader
  • gender, genre and political engagement in Augustan poetry
  • Hellenism and literary 'imperialism', public and private in Augustan literature and society

Introductory Reading

Set texts for the course will be Horace, Epodes (selections), Propertius 2 (selections), the elegies of Sulpicia ([Tibullus] 3.13-18), Virgil, Aeneid 5, and Ovid, Ars Amatoria 3.

Recommended editions:

  • Virgil, Aeneid 5 and 9
    Latin, Book 5: R.D. Williams, Oxford, 1960 Latin, Book 9: P.R. Hardie, Cambridge, 1994 Translation: S. Lombardo, Indianapolis: Hackett, 2005
  • Propertius 2
    Latin: ed. W.A. Camps, Cambridge 1967 Translation: G. Lee, Oxford 'World's Classics', 1996
  • Horace, Epodes
    Latin: ed. D. Mankin, Cambridge, 1995 Translation: D. West, Oxford 'World's Classics', 2008
  • Ovid, Ars Amatoria 3
    Latin: ed. E.J. Kenney, Oxford, 1961 (OCT) Translation: A.D. Melville, Oxford 'World's Classics' 1990
  • Sulpicia, Elegies = [Tibullus 3.13-18]
    Latin: ed. G. Lee, Liverpool, 1982 Translation: Lee's text (above) includes English translation; or A.S. Kline, on-line at (external) (click on 'Sulpicia's Verses')

Last updated 7 March 2017