spring 2017

In this course we will:


a. read, in English translation, an extensive range of works of Roman literature from the classical period (roughly the late third century BC to the early second century AD);

b. identify various characteristics typical of works of Roman literature;

c. reflect on the nature of "national" literatures.



Assignments and Grading:


a. Each week there will be an in-class essay-question quiz on the readings assigned for that week; essay responses should be a half to a full page in length. Your average for these essays will account for 65% of your semester grade. In calculating this average I will drop your two lowest grades.

b. There will be a three-page close-reading assignment at the end of the semester. The grade for this assignment will account for 10% of your semester grade.

c. There will be a five-page final take-home essay on the distinguishing characteristics of Roman literature. The grade for this essay will account for 25% of your semester grade.





There is no textbook for the course. All readings will be linked on the class web site, but you may use different translations if you choose.





According to the University's Catalogue, "All students are expected to attend every scheduled class session. The impact of attendance on grading is specified in the syllabus." You must attend class to write the required weekly essay (remember, though, that your two lowest essay grades will be dropped in calculating your final grade). You are expected to attend the entire class; since the essay serves as a proxy for your attendance your essay grade will be lowered if you leave early without a legitimate reason.



Meeting once a week:

Don't forget that this course meets only once a week. Missing a single class session is the equivalent of missing an entire week in another course. This is a particular problem in a course like this, which does not have a textbook that you can read on your own. Further, with so few class meetings, missing even one day's essay can have a serious impact on your overall course grade. Please keep this in mind when choosing whether or not to attend class.

The work load for this class is not exceptionally heavy but if can appear so if you leave all the reading to the last minute. Break the weekly readings down into smaller units and spread the work out over two or more days during the week.


Electronic Devices:

You are expected to bring with you to class a laptop, tablet or other similar device for accessing the internet. You will need such a device to consult the on-line reading assignments during class, and it will also be useful for tracking down background information and the like. On the other hand, the use of such devices in any way unconnected with class (checking Facebook, reading for another course, etc.) is unacceptable since it prevents you from making your full contribution to the class, it distracts other students, and it is just plain rude. For the same reasons the use of a cell-phone, texting device or similar personal communications gear during class is also unacceptable. Please turn all such devices off before class begins.



Professor Rosivach

DMH 126

Office hours: Wednesday at 9:00 pm and Thursday at 2:00 pm. Please come at the start of the hour; I will stay as long as there is someone to see.

E-mail: If you have any questions on any topic related to class, e-mail me and I will answer your question as soon as I am able. My e-mail address

If you have to communicate with me for any reason, I would prefer that you use e-mail, not voice-mail. If you do use voice-mail and a reply is in order I will e-mail you at your Stagweb account.


The website for this course is