LAT30120 Virgil's Aeneid

Academic Year 2024/2025

In this module students will read selections from Virgil's Aeneid in the original Latin. As well as consolidating their skills in translating Latin, students will study the Augustan contexts of the Aeneid, and will be introduced to a variety of critical methodologies for analysing the poem.

Research students taking this module may, by agreement with the module co-ordinator, take a third in-class test in place of the final essay.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course students will be able to:

- translate selected passages from Virgil's Aeneid, thereby demonstrating a strong knowledge of Latin grammar, syntax and vocabulary;
- analyse the poem in its Augustan context;
- evaluate the aesthetic merits of the Aeneid, and its contribution to Western literature.

Indicative Module Content:

In the 2024/25 Autumn Trimester we will focus on passages from Vergil, Aeneid books 9-11.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The text will be prepared in advance through students' own translation work and will be read together in class (approximately 30 lines of Latin verse per class, 540 lines in total). We will evaluate the literary qualities and historical contexts arising from each passage.

In-class translation of the set texts, students having prepared sections in advance, with focus on translating Latin into accurate and idiomatic English and points of literary, historical and cultural interest.

The mode of delivery is face-to-face on campus. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students taking this module should have at least one year's experience of reading Latin texts in the original.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
GRC20080 - Virgil's Aeneid

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment(Including Essay): 2,000 word essay which refers to the Latin text of the Aeneid. Week 10 Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Exam (In-person): Translation and commentary test on passages of the Aeneid studied in class. Week 5 Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Exam (In-person): Translation and commentary test on passages of the Aeneid studied in class. Week 12 Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive individual written feedback on class tests (translation and gobbet passages) and essay within 20 working days of submission. Students are welcome to arrange a meeting with the module coordinator to discuss their grade and feedback.

Indicative bibliography

Austin, R.G. ‘Virgil Aeneid 2.567-88’, Classical Quarterly 55 (1961), pp. 185-198
Benario, H.W. "The Tenth Book of the Aeneid." Transactions of the American Philological Association 98 (1967), pp. 23-36.
Bowie, A.M. ‘The Death of Priam. Allegory and History in the Aeneid’ Classical Quarterly 40 (1990), pp. 470-481
Cairns, F. Virgil's Augustan Epic, Cambridge (1989): Chapter 1. Divine and Human Kingship; Chapter 2. Kingship and the Love Affair of Aeneas and Dido
Clausen, Wendell V. Virgil's Aeneid and the Tradition of Hellenistic Poetry. Sather Classical Lectures, 51, Berkeley (1987)
Clausen, Wendell V. Virgil's Aeneid: Decorum, Allusion, and Ideology, 2002 (a revised version of sorts of Clausen’s earlier book)
Coleman, R. ‘The Gods in the 'Aeneid', Greece & Rome, 29:2 (1982), pp. 143-168
Feeney, D.C. ‘The Taciturnity of Aeneas’, Classical Quarterly, 33 (1983), pp. 204-219; reprinted with corrections in Harrison (1990)
Feeney, D.C. The Gods in Epic, Oxford (1991): Chapter 4. Vergil’s Aeneid
Feeney, D.C. ‘The Reconciliations of Juno’, Classical Quarterly, 34 (1984), pp. 179-194
Goold, G.P. ‘Servius and the Helen Episode’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 74 (1970) pp. 101-168, repr. Oxford Readings in Virgil’s Aeneid, ed. S.J. Harrison (1990), pp. 60-126
Gotoff, H.C. 'The Transformation of Mezentius', Transactions of the American Philological Association 114 (1984), pp. 191-218
Harrison, E.L. ‘Divine Action in Aeneid Book 2’, reprinted in Harrison (1990), pp. 46-59
Harrison, S.J. (ed.) Vergil: Aeneid 10, Oxford University Press, 1991
Hardie, Philip, Virgil, Greece and Rome New Surveys, no. 28 (Oxford, 1998): Chapter IV. The Aeneid
Keith, A. ‘Engendering Rome. Women in Latin Epic’, Cambridge (2000), pp. 101-131
Knox, B.M.W. ‘The Serpent and the Flame. The Images of the Second Book of the Aeneid’, American Journal of Philology 71 (1950), pp. 379-400
Perkell, C. Reading Vergil’s Aeneid. An Interpretative Guide, Oklahoma (1999)
Tarrant, R.J., Commentary on Virgil, Aeneid, Book 12, Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, Cambridge (2012), introduction pp. 1-41
Williams, R. D., ‘The Pictures on Dido's Temple (Aeneid 1.450-93)’, Classical Quarterly, 10 (1960), pp. 145-151, reprinted in Harrison (1990), pp. 37-45