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Problems in Latin Literature: Latin Epistolography

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Fall 2024

This seminar focus on ancient Roman letter-writing as a generic and social practice. How did the Romans themselves think of it, to what uses did they put it, what advantages did they think it offered? We read a selection of ancient Roman letters, documentary and fictional, in prose and poetry, as well as ancient theoretical texts, to answer some of these questions. We approach letters from different perspectives, functional, literary, and typological, and move beyond letter collections to consider letters embedded in history, biography, and epic.