Literature - Virgil's Aeneid

Ref: C3530238

This course is an introduction to Virgil's Aeneid, his epic poem about the mythical Aeneas, the refugee from Troy who founds Rome. Written during the reign of the emperor Augustus, it has been translated many times and served as the basis for countless works of Western art down to the present. Each session will each week take the form of a survey of the poem's content (its story, characters and themes etc.) and its context, the relationship of the work to the world around it, historical events, key ideas and other works of art. Students will have the option of reading, in sequence, two books of the poem's twelve books in preparation for each week's session. Special attention will be paid to the history of translations of the Aeneid out of Latin and into other languages, especially English. The course will put the poem in its Roman context but will also be concerned about how the poem has been understood subsequently in different times and places down to the present day.

Course aim

To make accessible to readers of English, perhaps the greatest work of Roman literature, Virgil's epic poem, the Aeneid; and to to demonstrate how and why the work appealed not just to Romans of the time but to other cultures down to the present.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Provide an outline of the key narrative events of the Aeneid
  • Recognise the way that the Aeneid reflects aspects of the culture of the Roman Empire under Augustus and that later translations of the Aeneid similarly reflect the cultures of other people living in different places at different times.
  • Carry out simple analysis of the language of the text.
  • Discriminate – in basic terms – between different English translations of the Aeneid.
  • Participate in and make informed contributions to discussions about the meaning and value of The Aeneid Iliad from a personal perspective.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Each session will deal in sequence with two of the twelve sections of the Aeneid and students may wish to read those sections in advance of sessions. Students will need to have access to any English translation of the Aeneid text.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A list of recommended, accessible translations of the Aeneid and other suggestions for optional reading will be provided for students upon registration.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Literature - Virgil's Aeneid

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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