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LATIN 463 A: Latin Literature of the Empire

Piper and shepherd with goat on green hills by river
Meeting Time: 
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
PCAR 492
Stephen Hinds 2021 portrait photo
Stephen E. Hinds

Syllabus Description:

Latin 463:  Latin Literature of the Empire   Spring 2023

Late antique and medieval afterlives of Cicero, Virgil and Ovid

Prof. Stephen Hinds

5 credits, A&H

T Th 2:30-4:20 pm, Sieg Hall (SIG) 230

SLN 16101

This Latin reading course (for upper-level students of the language: see below) will explore moments in the late antique and medieval reception and transformation of classical Latin literature, including responses to Virgil and Ovid in verse and to Cicero in prose:  the chosen readings will focus on elements of continuity and change in literary tradition, on transcodification between pagan and Christian, and on concentrations of literary community in a number of different periods.

I expect to build the course around (a) late antique verse experiments by Ausonius, poet of Bordeaux (4th century); (b) pastoral poetry of the court of Charlemagne (8th-9th century); (c) poems by German scholar-monks of the 12th century; and (d) epistles to ancient authors composed by Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca, 14th century).

No prescribed textbook:  Latin texts and commentaries will be made available through electronic pdfs on Canvas, along with xeroxes and books for consultation in the Department of Classics Seminar Room in Denny Hall (to which all students enrolled in the course will have access).


Note that the department’s Latin/Greek 461-2-3 cycles change every year:  a course like Latin 463 can be taken more than once during your undergraduate career.

This is an upper-level Latin reading class, which presupposes first-year and some second-year college Latin coursework, or equivalent.  Please email the instructor at if unsure whether your level of Latin language work is right for this class.  The other option is Latin 307, also offered in Spring Quarter, which is in our second year (intermediate) Latin sequence.

This year’s version of Latin 463 may also be of interest to graduate or undergraduate students in medieval and renaissance studies who have some background in Latin (recent or less recent), and wish to reconnect.  Again, contact the instructor if unsure about your level.


Catalog Description: 
Readings and discussion of selected authors from the Roman Empire.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
April 3, 2023 - 10:25pm