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CLA 127 — The Aeneid

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Oct 16—Nov 13
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 29
Unit: 1
Tuition: $305
Instructor(s): Marsh McCall
Status: Open
On-campus course
7:00—8:50 pm
Oct 16—Nov 13
5 weeks
Drop By
Oct 29
1 Unit
Marsh McCall
The Aeneid is ancient Rome’s national epic poem, its greatest literary creation, and arguably the most influential text from Greece and Rome in the Western cultural tradition. It is Virgil’s response to both the Iliad and Odyssey; it is a triumphal celebration of Rome’s rise to mastery of pretty much the entire known Western world; it is a declaration of Stoic ethical principles; and it is perhaps the saddest poem of triumph ever created. Virgil’s poetic artistry is sublime, and we will try our hardest to appreciate some of its numberless aspects in the translations by Fagles and Fitzgerald that we will use. By the time we have followed Aeneas from Troy to Rome, we will feel immersed in the tremendous interlocking themes of victory and defeat, love and betrayal, along with national destiny and individual helplessness that permeate Virgil’s unforgettable poetry.

This is the final course in a three-year sequence on ancient epic poetry during which we have studied the Iliad, then the Odyssey, and now will confront the Aeneid. However, the earlier courses are not in any way required prerequisites for this course. This will certainly be a “first” experience with ancient epic poetry for many in the course.

Marsh McCall, Professor of Classics, Emeritus; Founder and Dean of Continuing Studies, Emeritus, Stanford

Marsh McCall has taught at Stanford for forty years. He has taught many popular Continuing Studies courses and Master of Liberal Arts seminars. He has received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education, the annual Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Alumni Association’s Richard W. Lyman Award for exceptional volunteer service to Stanford, and the Dean’s Award for Lifetime Achievements in Teaching in the School of Humanities and Sciences. He received a PhD from Harvard.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Virgil, The Aeneid - Translated by Robert Fagles (ISBN 978-0143105138)
(Required) Virgil, The Aeneid of Virgil - Translated by Robert Fitzgerald (ISBN 978-0679729525)