Virgil's Aeneid - CLAS6410

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


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.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40
Private Study Hours: 260
Total Study Hours: 300


Autumn or Spring
Also available at Level 6 under code CL739

Method of assessment

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

Indicative reading

Indicative 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 Virgil's Aeneid. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Johnson, W.R. (1976). Darkness Visible: A Study of Virgil'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.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

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

1. Articulate detailed and nuanced responses to key questions about the nature and value of ancient epic;
2. Demonstrate deep understanding of the importance and implications of ancient epic within its historical context;
3. Devise sustained, critical and evaluative arguments related to the variety of voices and themes contained within the epic;
4. Engage reflectively with current research related to primary and secondary sources.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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