The Latin World: Ancient, Medieval and Modern

Module code: ML2020

This interdisciplinary module investigates the changing role of Latin in the classical and post-classical world. We will explore the social, cultural and political circumstances through which Latin lived on in the Roman Empire and beyond, and investigate its interactions with other languages. We will also consider the continued literary impact of the language, through continued writing in the language in the post-classical world, especially the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and early modern period, as well as through its interactions with other European literatures.

This module provides a valuable skill for students studying and researching historical, literary and historical archaeological topics. Knowledge of the Latin language is not essential, and students will be directed to recommended translations of the works taught as well as to the Latin originals. This cross-College Latin module enables you to build on the strengths you have already acquired at degree level, and to specialise in the aspects of Latin's historical, literary, cultural and linguistic development that interest you the most.

In a series of specialist-taught seminars, you will explore classical, late antique, medieval and early modern Latin writing and culture. Themes, topics and genres covered in these seminars may include:

  • History writing
  • Letters
  • Biography/hagiography
  • Pastoral literature
  • Legal Texts
  • Mythology and religious literature
  • Geography and travel writing
  • Erotic poetry/love literature
  • Satire and humour
  • Oratory/rhetoric and sermons
  • Science and magic
  • Epigraphy and coins

Learning

  • 22 hours of seminars
  • 128 hours of independent guided study

Assessment

  • Commentary, 1,000 words (30%)
  • Essay, 2,500 words (70%)