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LAT 305 Lyric Poetry (3 credits)

This course in Latin lyric poetry will engage us in translation, discussion, and literary and historical analysis of selected passages from the poems of Catullus and the Odes of Horace. We will consider poems within the "Lesbia" cycle, exploring the principal themes and images of these poems. We will also consider how Catullus exploits these themes and images in the rest of the corpus. Exploration will also be made of the historical background of Catullus by examining the clues which the poems provide for our understanding of the poet's social environment. Does the evidence contained in these poems, along with Cicero's testimony in the Pro Caelio, form a coherent and reliable "history" of the Catullus/"Lesbia" affair? We will also read selected Odes of Horace, exploring Horace's indebtedness to his Greek models in lyric, Sappho and Alcaeus. We will also consider topics such as literary patronage in Rome, Augustan social and political policy, Alexandrian poetics, generic composition, and metrical and structural principles of Latin poetry. Fulfills the Art/Literature requirement of the GER/GEP.