Virgil's Aeneid - CL739

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 5 30 (15) DR A Alwis checkmark-circle


Virgil composed the Aeneid in order to provide Rome with an epic equal to any that Homer produced. Commonly regarded as one the greatest epics of the ancient world, the Aeneid is the story of the foundation of Rome; a tale of exile, war, passionate love and the deepest humanity. We will analyse, comment on and explore the epic, book by book. This will be intertwined with a thematic approach, investigating issues concerning the gods, fate, morality, art and gender.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40


Also available at Level 6 under code CL641

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (2,000 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (3,000 words) – 60%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Cairns, F. (1990). Virgil's Augustan Epic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Camps, W.A. (1969). Introduction to Virgil's Aeneid. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harrison, S. (ed.). (1990). Oxford Readings in Vergil's Aeneid. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Johnson, W.R. (1976). Darkness Visible: A Study of Vergil's Aeneid. Berkeley: University of California.
Virgil. (2003). The Aeneid, tr. D. West. London: Penguin.
Zanker, P. (1988). The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:

Articulate responses to key questions about the nature and value of ancient epic;
Understand the importance and implications of ancient epic within its historical context;
Demonstrate critical, specific and in-depth analyses of the variety of voices and themes contained within the epic;
Engage reflectively with other people's analyses and interpretations of primary and secondary sources.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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