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Reading Virgil’s Eclogues: Rome’s Instant (and Constant) Classics (Intermediate-Advanced Latin Reading)

Mon. 7pm Eastern

Course Description: Analysis and interpretation of Virgil’s Eclogues, with emphasis laid on three types of reading: close reading, independent reading, and sight reading, skills necessary for reading all Roman literature with increasing pleasure, understanding, and appreciation. Frequent practice of and experiment with such reading. Careful attention paid to translating as a path to reading, to reading as decoding, to short cuts and rules of thumb for (accurate) vocabulary, forms, and grammar, and to mnemonics for all relevant formalities in the language. Topics include: meter and rhythm, imitatio, the Idylls of Theocritus, Roman history and Virgil’s imagination, poetics and rhetoric, allegory, the nature of friendship, Roman citizenship, praise, and song, and on grammar and style as Virgil’s pastorals may require and students need.


Level:  For high school or college students from intermediate (just coming to terms with Roman literature as the primary focus, typically after two years of Latin, or one year of intensive Latin) to advanced.  A brief diagnostic at the start of the course will help us to find the right pace for the opening weeks and to choose how many and which of the ten Eclogues we can read with pleasure and profit.  The aim is to find, encourage, and build the habits and skills necessary in all students for pleasant and effective reading of great and greatly influential Roman poetry.
Textbook: Instructor will provide materials.
Sections capped at: 5 students. If the course is sold-out, please fill out this waiting-list form.

Regular price $250.00

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Tim Markey

Tim Markey took his Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard, concentrating on Renaissance classical tradition in England, France, and Italy.  He is a high school teacher of Latin and French, whose students have always loved Virgil’s Eclogues, which he first discovered while studying under Wendell Clausen.  He has lectured and published in the U. S., England, and Europe on such artists as Simone Martini and poets as Petrarch, Spenser, and Milton.