Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

CL2318 Virgil's Aeneid

Virgil's Aeneid

Module Organiser: Professor Anna Chahoud
Duration of Course: One term (Jan-April)
Contact Hours: 19 (16 lectures and 3 seminars)
Weighting: 5 ECTS
Assessment: 20% continuous assessment (one written assignment), 80% end-of-year examination

Virgil's Aeneid is one of the most influential works in world literature. It is also a poem which has given rise to strikingly different interpretations and is still the source of much controversy. This course will consider some of these interpretations in their context, while offering a detailed examination of Virgil's narrative. The lectures will introduce topics and themes, offer a book-by-book examination of Virgil's narrative, and discuss the relevance and resonance of the poem in the worlds of its readers. The seminars will consider Virgil's Aeneid in conjunction with the Homeric epics, focusing on aspects of epic as a genre and on broader themes such as identity, faith and freedom, achievement and failure.


  • Virgil, Aeneid, translated by Stanley Lombardo (Indianapolis/Cambridge Hackett 2005).

Introductory Reading

  • Alden Smith, R. (2011) Virgil, Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World (Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Farrell, J. & Putnam, M.C.J. (2010) A Companion to Vergil’s Aeneid and its Tradition (Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Gransden, K. W. (2004) Virgil, The Aeneid, 2nd ed. by S. J. Harrison (Cambridge)
  • Hardie, P. R. (1998) Virgil, Greece & Rome New Surveys in the Classics No. 28 (Oxford)
  • Martindale, C. A. (ed.) (1997) The Cambridge Companion to Virgil  (Cambridge)
  • Morwood, J. (2007) Virgil, A Poet in Augustan Rome, Greece & Rome Texts & Contexts (Cambridge)
  • Perkell, C. G. (ed.) (1999) Reading Virgil's Aeneid: An Interpretive Guide (Oklahoma Un. Pr.)
  • Ross, D. O. (2007) Virgil’s Aeneid: A Reader’s Guide (Wiley-Blackwell)

Learning Outcomes:

On successful conclusion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Thorough familiarity with the content of the entire poem
  • Sound understanding of the features of Virgil's epic poetry (themes, style, influences)
  • Appreciation of the text in the contexts of its production and reception in antiquity and beyond, through serious engagement with the secondary literature
  • Ability to think critically and present a coherent argument both orally and in writing

Last updated 25 July 2017