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CLA 127 — The Aeneid

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Oct 16—Nov 13
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 18
Unit: 1
Tuition: $360
Instructor(s): Marsh McCall
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Oct 16—Nov 13
5 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 18
1 Unit
Marsh McCall
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
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 Vergil’s response to both the Iliad and the 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. Vergil’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, and national destiny and individual helplessness that permeate Vergil’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.

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

Marsh McCall has taught at Stanford since 1976. He has received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education, the annual Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, 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.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Vergil, Robert Fitzgerald(transll), The Aeneid (Vintage Classics) (ISBN 978-0679729525)
(Required) Vergil, Robert Fagles(transll), The Aeneid (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (ISBN 978-0143105138)