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LATIN 462 A: Latin Literature Of The Augustan Age

Meeting Time: 
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
PAR 310
Alain M. Gowing

Syllabus Description:

livy-statue-bw180.jpgLATIN 462 A W '18:

Latin Literature Of the Augustan Age -- Livy (TTh 2:30-4:20, Parrington 310)

Winter Quarter 2018


Course website will be available prior to the start of Winter Quarter '18.

The Augustan historian Livy (ca. 59 BC – AD 17) composed a massive, 142-book History of Rome from its very beginnings as a monarchy down to his own day and the reign of Rome's first emperor, Augustus.  One of the great masterpieces of Latin literature -- and of historical writing of any period -- his History, entitled Ab urbe condita ('From the founding of the city), only partially survives.  But of what survives, Book 1 is in many respects the most interesting part: here we read many of the well-known foundational stories about Rome (even Livy himself called them fabulae or 'fables'), such as Romulus and Remus being raised by the she-wolf, the kidnapping of the Sabine women, colorful tales of the early kings, how the Etruscans came to take over the Roman monarchy, or the fateful tale of Lucretia, whose suicide marked the end of the Roman monarchy and the rise of the Republic in 509 BC.  

This is what we will read: Book 1 of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita, which covers the founding of Rome and the regal period (753-510 BC).  While the majority of class time will be spent translating the text and discussing points of grammar and style, we will also look at some examples of recent scholarship on early Livy.  There will be a midterm and a final, consisting of both prepared and sight passages, as well as a brief (3-5 pages) reaction paper on one (your choice) of the secondary readings. 

Please note that this is an advanced-level Latin class.  It's my expectation that you will have completed the intermediate sequence here at the UW (concluding with Latin 307) or its equivalent or beyond.  If you are in doubt, please ask (

Required Text: H.E. Gould and J.L. Whitely, edd., Livy Book 1 (London 1952; reprint Bristol Classical Press 1996)


Prof. Alain M. Gowing

Denny M262C

Catalog Description: 
Readings and discussion of selected authors from the Augustan era.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:14pm