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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS2600 Virgil's Aeneid

20 creditsClass Size: 72

Module manager: Dr Bev Back

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

CLAS 3234, 3244

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The Aeneid is an epic tale of adventure, heroism, love, loss, divinity, family, and finding a new home. Virgil’s innovative work blends politics and poetry, offering the Romans an alternative origin story for the Eternal City and the empire it governed. The work had a huge impact on later literature too, with the poem’s themes being reflected in, for example, modern science fiction and high fantasy narratives. Suitable for Level 2 students with a basic knowledge of Classical literature; text taught in English translation.


On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
- discuss, both orally and in writing, the major issues relating to Virgil's Aeneid from literary, cultural and socio-political perspectives;
- demonstrate subject-specific skills, including an ability to carry out close textual analysis and sophisticated evaluation of scholarly work on Virgil;
- demonstrate a range of transferable skills, including verbal and written expression, the organisation of personal study and the use of IT resources.


This module offers the student the opportunity to read Virgil's Roman epic both as a whole and in depth. Topics to be covered include: Virgil's influence from and reaction to the Greek epic tradition; the poem as part of the cultural programme and political ideology of Augustus; literary themes such as characterisation, heroism, the role of the gods and the depiction of human struggle; antiquarianism and the construction of the Roman past.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours177.00
Total Contact hours23.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

35 hours reading per seminar (5 x 7 hours)
70 hours for researching and writing assessments

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar participation and essay

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words50.00
Essay2,000 word commentary50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:37:49


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