Advanced Intermediate Latin Prose / Advanced Latin Prose
Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae and Suetonius’ Divus Julius
This course will focus on reading two great and lively texts: Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae and Suetonius’ Divus Julius. Writing of the events of 63 BCE from the perspective of the end of the Republic and the beginning of the Imperial period, Sallust offers a very different interpretation of the Catlinarian conspiracy from that in Cicero’s orations, as well an alternative portrait of such influential figures as Cicero, the young Julius Caesar, and Cato the Younger. In the process, Sallust also attempts to diagnose the causes of the moral and institutional decline of the Roman Republic. Writing nearly two centuries later, the imperial biographer Suetonius begins his lives of the twelve Caesars with a life of Julius Caesar.
In addition to recounting the Caesar’s military and political career, including momentous events like the crossing of the Rubicon, Suetonius gives us all of the juiciest gossip about the great man – from his escape from Sulla’s blood-bath in the streets of Rome and what his soldiers used to chant about him behind his back, to how he bought popularity with the common Roman and why his various marriages ended. Through reading these texts, with attention to grammar, content, and style, as well as through related assignments, such as in-class presentations, this course develops the advanced student’s Latin. It also develops his/her ability to study the ancient world through Latin texts – exploring, specifically, pivotal moments and figures in Late Republican Rome, as well as key aspects of the period’s culture and ideology.
Course requirements for the Honors sections include an analytical paper and and additional in-class presentation!