Latin 228 and 409, "Vergil's Aeneid"

Fall 1995

Instructor: Joseph Farrell

Department of Classical Studies

University of Pennsylvania

NB: Under construction! (last modified 8/24/95)


This course will survey the main interpretive issues surrounding Vergil's Aeneid and will introduce students to basic research techniques. A notable feature of the course will be participation of both undergraduates and graduate students at Penn, and of people with an even wider range of experience via an Internet discussion list and a newly established World Wide Web site.


Goals of the Course

Weekly Schedule and Assignments

Structure of the Course

Special Events

Recommended Texts


On-line Resources


Goals of the Course

Structure of the Course

The course will have three equally important components:
weekly class meetings, an Intenet discussion list, and a collaborative research project.

Weekly Class Meetings

Class will normally meet from 3:00 to 4:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays in Williams 723. Occasionally one of the weekly meetings will be cancelled in favor of a special event. For each meeting a specific assignment will be required of the entire class; individuals will from time to time be given additional assignments.

Internet Discussion List

A discussion list will be coordinated with the weekly class meetings. Participation in this list is required of anyone taking the class for credit, and is open to anyone who is interested. You can sign up for the list my sending the message "subscribe vergil-list" to (leaving the subject line blank). List participants are not required to duplicate what will be done in class at Penn, but the list will follow the same weekly structure as the class, and will receive regular reports on the class meetings. I expect the discussion list to be somewhat wider-ranging than the in-class discussions; but I also expect participants to remember that it is a course discussion list, not a free-foor-all. The list will end with the course, but contributions will be continuously archived on the CCAT gopher, where you will be able to consult them along with other course materials

Collaborative Research Project

Everyone taking the course for credit will be assigned a research project appropriate to his or her level of expertise, and auditors are more than welcome to take something on as well. The emphasis in these projects will be on collaboration and practicality: Instead of going off to write individual term-papers, students will be assigned to groups charged with creating research tools that will be mounted on the CCAT gopher or the new WWW site mentoned above. The nature of this cite is described in general on the home page of The Vergil Project, and some of results so far can be found via the links at the end of that page.

Recommended Texts

Anyone taking part in this course should own or have ready access to each of the following: I have ordered the following books through the University Book Store: I have also assembled a bulk-pack of shorter secondary readings. It is available at Wharton Reprographics. The readings are listed in the
Weekly Assignments section of this syllabus.

None of the specific texts listed here is "required". If for any reason you prefer to use a substitute, you are welcome to do so. Any significant differences in how editors, translators, and commentators treat the poetry will simply become grist for our mill. Obviously we do not have the same flexibility when it comes to secondary works, but you can use them in a library if you do not wish to buy them.

On-line Resources

We are beginning to see a variety of resources for Vergilians on WWW. Links to some of these have been collected on a new site created and maintained by The Vergil Project.

Weekly Schedule and Assignments

We will in general be covering a book of the Aeneid per week. Graduate students in particular are encouraged to read as much of the poem as they can in Latin. Class meetings will focus on specific passages from the book of the week, and everyone will be expected to have read these passages with great care. Summaries of the secondary readings will be prepared by class members and posted to the discussion list three days in advance of each class meeting. Summaries of each class meeting will be prepared by class members and posted by midnight the day of the meeting. The full schedule is available on another page.

Special Events

From time to time the regular schedule of class meetings will be interrupted by special events. Some of these will take place at Penn, others on the Internet.

Liveware Events in Philadelphia and Environs

Two events are planned:

The Virtual Classroom

Again, two events are currently planned:


Check this space for alterations or corrections of the information contained in this syllabus. Changes will be announced both here and on the discussion list.

Local Events

Meeting with Local Latin Classes

This will now probably take place early next semester. Students from the class will obviously not be required to take part, but it will probably be a festive occasion, and enjoyable for all who do come. Watch this space for details.

Lecture on Aeneid 8

On Friday, Oct. 26, Professor Russell Scott will speak on the shield-ecphrasis in Aeneid 8. The lecture will be in the Goodhart Music Room at Bryn Mawr College at 4:30 pm. This event is sponsored by the Bryn Mawr Claassics Colloquium and is not formally connected with the course, but it should be of great interest to all of us.

Joint Class on Literature and the Visual Arts

On Saturday, Nov. 11, the joint meeting between this class and Ann Kuttner's class on "Greek Art and Architecture" will take place from 1 to 4 pm in Jaffe Hall. The meeting will feature presentations by students from both classes and by Professors Kuttner and Farrell. Watch this space for further details.

New Materials on the Web


Julia Dyson, "Septima Aestas": On the Puzzle of Aeneid 1.755-6 and 5.626

Commentaries (on Aeneid 1)

Two are available: Servius and Conington-Nettleship-Haverfield. Both are under construction, but should be useful even in their current condition.

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