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CL2324 Roman Comedy


Module Organiser: Prof. Anna Chahoud
Duration: One term (Sep-Dec)
Contact Hours: 19 (16 Lectures twice weekly and 3 seminars)
Weighting: 5 ECTS

This course is about creative imitation and comic imagination. You will study the works of the Latin dramatists Plautus (3rd century BC) and Terence (2nd century BC), who adapted Greek plays for a Roman audience. These texts are the only example of Latin poetry surviving in complete form from the early Republican period. The lectures will give an outline of themes, characters and techniques, examine the relation between Roman drama and Greek New Comedy, and place the works of Plautus and Terence against the background of a Rome increasingly Hellenised, cosmopolitan, and imperialist.

Introductory Reading

  • Beard, M. (2014) Laughter in Ancient Rome: on Joking, Tickling, and Cracking up. Univ. of California
  • McDonald, M. (ed.) (2007) The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre. Cambridge
  • Manuwald, G. (2011), Roman Republican Theatre. Cambridge
  • Marshall, C. W. (2006) The Stagecraft and Performance of Roman Comedy. Cambridge
  • Leigh, M. (2004) Comedy and the Rise of Rome. Oxford
  • Sharrock, A. (2009) Reading Roman Comedy. Cambridge

Learning Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Familiarity with the plays of Plautus and Terence (plots, characters, themes)
  • Ability to recognise and analyse the characteristic techniques and features of Roman comedy
  • Ability to analyse the texts in their literary and historical contexts
  • Ability to engage critically with scholarly literature
  • Ability to relate the extant plays to key conditions and conventions of performance, both ancient and modern
  • Critical thinking and ability to present a coherent argument in oral presentations and written assignments

Last updated 16 December 2016