Love and Death in Greek and Roman Literature


We will study a selection of literary texts from ancient Greece and Rome (all in English translation). These texts all deal with two things that shaped life in antiquity: love and death. As we will see, in some ways the Greeks and Romans had very different views of love and death from ours, but in other texts we find the Greeks and Romans thinking in remarkably similar ways to us.

We will read and discuss literature by some of the best known writers of antiquity. You will read and explore a variety of literary genres, including comedy, epic and love poetry, among others. The course will prepare you to take higher level courses in Classical Studies and Ancient History.

Course outcomes

As a student taking this course you will have the opportunity to:

  • Read key works of literature from ancient Greece and Rome
  • Develop your understanding of Classical antiquity, especially with regard to representations of love and death
  • Compare Greek and Roman representations of love and death
  • Develop a sound understanding of various literary genres
  • Engage in rigorous intellectual discussion and debate
  • Hone your research skills

Practice academic writing, including making a persuasive argument.

Assessment: Coursework plus Exam

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline for ANCIENT 130.

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2024

Not taught in 2024




Plautus: The Pot of Gold and other plays (Penguin Classic).


ANCIENT 130: 15 points