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CL1231 Latin Comedy

This module is about creative imitation and comic imagination. We study the works of the Latin dramatists Plautus and Terence, who adapted Greek New Comedy for a Roman audience. These texts are the only examples of early Latin poetry surviving in complete form and have greatly influenced the development of European comic theatre. We examine the typical themes and techniques of the genre, explore the contexts of production and reception of the plays, and discuss aspects of Early Latin language.
  • Module Organiser:
    • Professor Anna Chahoud
  • Duration:
    • One term (Jan-Apr)
  • Contact Hours:
    • 49 (16 lectures, 22 reading classes and 11 language labs)
  • Weighting:
    • 10 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • 50% continuous assessment (two written assignments), 50% final examination

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Sound understanding of the main themes and characteristic features of Roman comedy
  • Ability to translate and analyse in detail the language and style of Plautus and Terence
  • Appreciation of the texts in their literary and historical contexts, through serious engagement with the secondary literature
  • Familiarity with early Latin language and poetic diction
  • Ability to analyse and scan two forms of early Latin verse (iambic senarius and trochaic septenarius).
  • Ability to think critically and present a coherent argument both orally and in writing

Prescribed Texts

  • Plautus, Menaechmi, ed. A.S. Gratwick (Cambridge 1993)
  • Terence, Adelphoe, ed. R. H. Martin (Cambridge 1976)

Introductory Reading

  • Manuwald, G. (2011), Roman Republican Theatre. Cambridge
  • McDonald, M. (2007) The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre. Cambridge
  • Leigh, M. (2004) Comedy and the Rise of Rome. Oxford