The Novel in Antiquity


Seminar-style reading and discussion of the two most exciting novels from classical antiquity, the Satyrica or Satyricon by Petronius and the Metamorphoses or Golden Ass by Apuleius, plus some excerpts from Greek novels. All the texts will be read and discussed in English. The novels have a variety of subjects and tones, and include material that can be offensive or shocking to many readers, but they also allow a privileged access to aspects of ancient culture and society that are not commonly made available through high-brow genres of literature (e.g. sexuality and gender, oriental religions, class difference, human and animal, magic, folklore, subaltern culture, material culture, sub-literary language).

Survey of Greek and Roman narrative fiction in antiquity, its origins and development as a literary genre, and its influence on the tradition of the novel in Western literature. Readings include Chariton?s Chaereas and Callirrhoe, Longus?s Daphnis and Chloe, Heliodorus?s Ethiopian Tale, Lucian?s True History, Petronius?s Satyricon, and Apuleius?s Golden Ass. Concludes with the Gesta Romanorum and the influence of this tradition on later prose, such as Elizabethan prose romance.






Fall 2022

Alessandro Barchiesi
TR: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM KIMM 808