Latin 55

Latin Prose Authors

Spring 1997


Robert W. Cape, Jr., Assistant Professor of Classics


AD 310

PHONE: x2241

MAIL: 61539



2:00-3:00 MWF, & by appointment or just dropping by.

  • Barnes, E. J., and J. T. Ramsey. Cicero and Sallust: On the Conspiracy of Catiline. White Plains 1988.
  • Frerichs, K. Cicero's First Catilinarian Oration. Wauconda 1997.
  • M. Tulli Ciceronis Orationes, Vol. 1. Ed. A. C. Clark. Oxford 1905.
  • Vasaly, A. Representations: Images of the World in Ciceronian Oratory. Berkeley & Los Angeles 1993.
  • Description:

    This course is a study of selected prose works by major Roman authors. The works read this semester were written by Cicero and Sallust and represent two genres of Latin prose: oratory and history. What they have in common is their theme, the so-called Catilinarian Conspiracy. Our primary emphasis will be on reading the texts for content, style, presentation, and discussing them as representatives of the genres of Roman history and oratory. We shall read secondary sources to delve into broader issues of historiography and rhetorical theory (which are inseparable in the classical tradition), but the focus of our work will be close examination of the Latin texts. We shall also examine how the texts influence and are influenced by contemporary political and social events. At the end of the course there will be a special project examining the nature of modern criticism of these texts.

    Course Objectives:

    The primary goal of this course is to help students develop a greater appreciation for and facility in reading Latin literature. Particular objectives include: 1) enhanced reading speed and accuracy; 2) a more refined appreciation of the similarities and differences in purpose, style, and treatment of material in Latin historical and rhetorical writings; 3) an improved understanding of the cultural context in which Latin literature was written and read; 4) a more developed sense of both the continuity and the distinctiveness of ancient and modern historical and oratorical genres; and 5) an awareness of the critical climate in which these works are studied today.

    Class Format:

    This course will be conducted in a seminar format. We will meet once a week for three hours. Sessions will include close analysis of the Latin texts, discussion of cultural and literary contexts, reports on special topics in the primary and secondary literature, and considerations of modern conventions in historiography and rhetoric. All students should be prepared to participate in every class session.


    These will consist primarily of readings to be done prior to class meetings. Some group work outside of class may also be assigned, as will reports to be given to the class on a specified date. There will be one summative and analytical paper and oral report which will cover an aspect of modern scholarly criticism.


    Required. One absence is allowed. Each additional absence will reduce the final grade by five percent. Students will be dropped from the course when they have missed class three times without an excuse. Appropriate documentation will be required for excused absences. Students remain responsible for all work assigned.


    Grades are based on primarily on in-class performance. There will be one midterm, a final exam, and the final paper/report. The final exam may also include an oral component.

    Final Grades
    (based on total points available)
    A = 90 - 100
    B = 80 - 89
    Final exam:
    C = 70 - 79
    Final paper/report:
    D = 60 - 69
    F = less than 60

    Academic Integrity:

    All students are required to abide by Austin College's Policy on Academic Integrity.

    [Bob Cape's Homepage] [Classics Program Homepage]

    Robert W. Cape, Jr., Assistant Professor of Classics
    Classical & Modern Languages
    900 N. Grand Avenue, Suite 61539
    Sherman, TX 75090-4440
    phone: (903) 813-2241  fax: (903) 813-3197

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