Latin 322-422: Latin Poetry I Epic: Virgil’s Aeneid

Princeton Manuscripts

LATN 322-422

Type: 300 - 400 level
Units: 3.00 (each)
Term: Winter 2023
Instructor: Anthony D'Elia
Delivery: In-Person

Virgil was the greatest Latin poet that ever lived. His golden verse has enthralled, educated, and defined civilization for over 2,000 years. In Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, Virgil was not only the preeminent model for Latin verse, he was seen as a theologian whose ethereal poetry revealed the immortality of the soul and its passage to the divine. The greatest theologian of the Catholic Church, Saint Augustine, quoted Virgil extensively in his foundational works on Christian doctrine. Beyond theology, however, many people in the Middle Ages revered Virgil as a powerful magician; they thought that he was the architect of the mysterious Coliseum and played the "sortes vergilianae" for guidance - like Bible Bingo, they would randomly pick a verse out of the Aeneid to resolve the most important questions of life. In this class, we will focus on some of the most famous parts of the Aeneid: the graphic haunting account of the fall of Troy in book II, the passionate love affair of Dido and Aeneas in book IV, Aeneas trip to the Underworld in book VI, and the duel between Aeneas and Turnus in book XII.

Objectives: To advance and solidify knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary; to increase Latin reading fluency; to gain knowledge of Ancient Roman epic, its meter, core themes, origins. philosophical underpinnings, and socio-political contexts; to discover our own inner heroes through the noble Latin verse of the divine Virgil. 

Note: LATN 322 is co-taught with LATN 422