Department of Classics



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CLST 205 - Ancient Humour (F)

A study of ancient techniques of humour, the role of humour in Greek and Roman society and theories of humour, both ancient and modern.  We will emphasize the relevance of these topics to contemporary humour.

This course explores the techniques by which humour was created in literature and the visual arts in antiquity, along with its social and psychological aspects. Examining ancient humour will make students able to compare and contrast ancient and modern conceptions of humour. The course is blended: there will be two lectures, one in the first week of the term and the second in the ninth week of term. Each week there is one podcast that students can access in onQ at their convenience. This will take the place of the weekly lectures. Every student will enroll in one Group Learning Session and attend their 70 minute weekly meetings.

ASSESSMENT:  Online tests, individual and group assignments, tutorial activities

  • Griffith, R. Drew and Marks, Robert B., 2011   A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Agora: Ancient Greek and Roman Humour, 2nd Revised Ed. (Agora Harder), Kingston, Ontario. REQUIRED
  • Aristophanes   Four Plays by Aristophanes. Translated by William Arrowsmith, Richmond Lattimore, and Douglas Parker. New York, 1984.  RECOMMENDED
  • Sullivan, J. P.   The Satyricon and the Apocolocyntosis. London: Penguin Books, 1986. RECOMMENDED

INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Cristiana Zaccagnino