This course, making extensive use of Internet resources, focuses on the evolution of Latin literature during late antiquity and the medieval period. We will read sample texts from a millenium of Latin writings, beginning in the third century and continuing until the twelfth. Students will read and study the works of some of the major authors of the period, including Tertullian, Jerome, Augustine, Prudentius, Anselm, Abelard, Heloise, John of Salisbury, and others. Although the course will touch upon many themes (e.g. religion, education, gender, and transmission of texts), the meaning of Latin itself and Classical Culture — their use, reuse, and transformation — are the overarching concern of the course.
Students will participate in a weekly webcast lecture, an on-line discussion moderated by faculty members from participating institutions in Sunoikisis, and weekly tutorials with faculty members at their home institutions.
This course is specifically designed for advanced students and will include a rigorous study of the cultural and historical context during late antiquity and the medieval period. Students will continue developing their understanding of the language by studying the literature as it evolved over this long period of time. The goals of this course are to read and enjoy late antique and medieval Latin poetry and prose with full comprehension of form and content; to master its genres and conventions and follow essential points of written discourse; to demonstrate an awareness of the aesthetic properties of medieval Latin language and literary style and how these differ from classical Latin; to begin developing avenues towards understanding the historical, social, and cultural world of the medieval period as the bridge between antiquity and the modern world and the problems associated with such "periodization" of history.
As noted below, readings are organized by common session, and students should read all assigned primary texts by the end of the week before the common session. Students who choose to take this course at the 295 rather than 395 level will be responsible for less reading in Latin but will be expected to complete all of the reading in English.
Wednesdays, 7-8:30 PM Eastern. Students at all partipating institutions will meet together online for a common session via multipoint interactive video-conferencing and a chat room. These interactive sessions have a different faculty leader each week and typically combine mini-lectures with discussion, questions, and exercises.
Responses to the study questions are due Wednesdays, with additional responses due on Fridays. The study questions afford students the opportunity to expand on and synthesize issues that arise in the reading and common session, as well as engage with secondary literature. Students may be asked to complete additional reading in English for the study questions.
Due Dates and Times for Discussion Questions
|10 PM (ED/ST) Sundays
||First Answers to Study Questions due
|4 PM (ED/ST) Tuesdays
||Responses to other students' answers due
Each student will meet for at least one hour every week with a mentor at her or his home institution. The times and locations of these meetings will be determined on each campus. Students are responsible for contacting their faculty mentors and finalizing the details of their weekly meetings. These sessions will focus more closely on issues of language, translation and interpretation of assigned readings. Home campus mentors will be the final authority for all grades.
Translation exams and quizzes will be handled by home institutions, but there will be a communally designed essay-based midterm and final exam that will be administered and graded by course faculty as a whole. Students will often be asked to interpret passages of Latin or use passages to support their arguments on the midterm and final. Individual course faculty have some latitude in how they will assess final grades, but the following formulas are suggested.
For students in ICLAT 295, grades will be based on the following components:
Class preparation and work in tutorial: 40%
Participation in the study questions: 30%
Midterm examination: 15%
Final examination: 15%
For students in ICLAT 395, grades will be based on the following components:
Class preparation and work in tutorial: 30%
Participation in the study questions: 30%
Midterm examination: 20%
Final examination: 20%
Harrington, K. and J. Pucci. Medieval Latin (2nd ed.). Chicago, 1997.
Lewis, Charlton and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary. Oxford, 1879. (Lewis and Short contains more references to late Latin than the Oxford Latin Dictionary. A good web interface for Lewis and Short isGlossa
Sidwell, S. Reading Medieval Latin. Cambridge, 1995.
Most texts and commentaries will be made available in the resources section of the Sakai site for the class, but indiviudal faculty may require students to purchase one or more texts.