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Course Description

Academic Year 2021-2022 • Grade 11 and above • Literature Sequence

Western Literature to Dante II

An occasional course offered for students who have an extra year to spend in literary studies, with special focus on classical and mediaeval materials, this course covers roughly the same chronological ground as Western Literature to Dante, but concentrating on different authors and a range of different works by the same authors.

Course Website: Western Literature to Dante II

Sections and Teachers

Section 1:

Instructor: Bruce McMenomy

Starts: September 7, 2021
Ends: June 10, 2022

Friday 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM ET

Tuition: $500.00



Prerequisites

Western Literature to Dante or equivalent.

Recommended background

This course is intended for students seriously thinking of pursuing classics or mediaeval studies in college, or those who would like to delve deeply into early literature with special attention. Some familiarity with Latin and/or Greek is certainly helpful, but not required.

Teacher's notes:

A practical alternative for those who find themselves in their junior year and would like to defer Senior English till their senior year, or for those who simply want a lot more focus on ancient and mediaeval litrature.

Textbooks and Materials

This textbook is required:

Greek Lyrics , Authors: Richmond Lattimore, ed.

ISBN: 0226469441

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Used versions of this book are available for about $2.00 through Amazon (the SO Bookstore), and it is also widely available at larger libraries.


This textbook is required:

Parzival: A Romance of the Middle Ages , Authors: Wolfram von Eschenbach, Helen M. Mustard (tr.), Charles E. Passage (tr.)

ISBN: 0394701887

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: I really don't care overly whether you get this one or the equivalent Penguin version; I slightly prefer this one myself. Either way, however, you can get them used for fairly little. The work is long enough that you probably don't want to have to read it online.


This textbook is required:

The Cosmographia of Bernardus Silvestris , Authors: Bernardus Silvestris, Winthrop Wetherbee (tr.)

ISBN: 0231096259

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: I've listed this as required because it's virtually impossible to find any other way. You are welcome to use any edition you can find, however. (Warning: the Latin original text is available as well, but is dizzyingly difficult.)


This textbook is required:

The Discarded Image , Authors: C. S. Lewis

ISBN: 0521477352

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This book will be required, though any edition is acceptable. (I've listed the Canto edition of 1994, but it was published through the main Cambridge University Press series much earlier.)


This textbook is required:

The Quest of the Holy Grail , Authors: Anon., Pauline M. Mararasso, tr.

ISBN: 0140442200

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This is not available many other places, which is why I've listed it as required. The Matarasso translation has been out there for years, though, and there should be many copies available used for a pittance.


This textbook is required:

The Romance of the Rose , Authors: Guillaume de Lorris, Jean de Meung, tr. Dahlberg

ISBN: 0874512670

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: I'm not really insisting on a particular translation, so you can pick and choose, but some version is necessary. This is a big work, so give yourself some lead time.


This textbook is required:

The Romance of Tristan , Authors: Beroul, Alan S. Fedrick (tr.)

ISBN: 0140442308

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: I've listed this as required so that you'll make sure you're getting the Beroul version, but if you can find it elsewhere, I don't really mind. It's important not to mistake it for any of the many other Tristan stories out there.


This textbook is required:

Tristan , Authors: Gottfried von Strassburg

ISBN: 0140440984

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Since this is not widely available, I've listed it as required here, but anywhere you can get it is fine. It is long enough that even if it were readily available online, you'd probably rather not have to read it that way.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Arthurian Romances , Authors: Chr├ętien de Troyes, Carleton W. Carroll (tr.)

ISBN: 0140445218

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: There are a number of versions out there; David Staines' is also quite acceptable. This one is somewhat more economical, and there are used versions available. The texts of most of the romances are also available online.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Categories and De Interpretatione , Authors: Aristotle, J. L. Ackrill (tr.)

ISBN: 0198720866

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: These works are also available online if you don't want to pay for this (rather shockingly expensive) edition; Ackrill's notes really are superior, however, so this is strongly recommended. The work is available used from about $10.00.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Edda (Prose Edda) , Authors: Snorri Sturluson

ISBN: 0460876163

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: The text here is one of several convenient versions; it is also available online in other translations.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Greek Tragedies, vol. 2: The Libation Bearers (Aeschylus), Electra (Sophocles), Iphigenia in Tauris, Electra, and The Trojan Women (Euripides) , Authors: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, David Greene

ISBN: 0226307751

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Some versions of both Sophocles' and Euripides' Electra are required. This is one accessible form; the plays are also available online, though I recommend against the very old Morehead translations.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Greek Tragedies, vol. 2: The Libation Bearers (Aeschylus), Electra (Sophocles), Iphigenia in Tauris, Electra, and The Trojan Women (Euripides) , Authors: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, David Greene

ISBN: 0226307751

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Some versions of both Sophocles' and Euripides' Electra are required. This is one accessible form; the plays are also available online, though I recommend against the very old Morehead translations.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

La Vita Nuova , Authors: Dante Alighieri, Barbara Reynolds (tr.)

ISBN: 0140442162

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: You are also welcome to use the Mark Musa version (published separately or as part of the Portable Dante).


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Njal's Saga (sometimes The Saga of Burnt Njal). , Authors: Anon., Robert Cook, tr.

ISBN: 0140447695

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: The older Magnusson version from Penguin is equally acceptable; the text is also available online at the Internet Sacred Texts Archive.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

On the Good Life , Authors: Cicero, Michael Grant

ISBN: 0140442448

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: We'll be reading the Somnium Scipionis (Scipio's Dream) from this. There are a number of versions available online, though Grant's translation is quite accessible.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Poems of the Elder Edda [Edition 4], Authors: Anon., Patricia Terry (tr.)

ISBN: 0812282205

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Terry's translation is lively and engaging. You may read these poems here or in the Hollander edition; unless you are a real maven of things Nordic you probably don't need both. You can also find the relevant poems online, so don't really need to buy any.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Statius, Charles Stanley Ross (tr.) , Authors: The Thebaid: Seven Against Thebes

ISBN: 0801886368

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: We'll be spending several weeks on this, and it's hefty and long: you'll probably want a hard copy. This version is available used in paperback for a reasonable price. Any other version is acceptable, though it is somewhat difficult to find, and is fairly hard to locate in a readable edition online.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece , Authors: Apollonios Rhodios, Peter Green, tr.

ISBN: 0520076877

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: I offer this as a verse alternative to the Penguin Rieu version. It is somewhat more expensive, though there are copies listing for less than a dollar through the Amazon site. You do NOT need both this and the Rieu.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Comedies , Authors: Terence, Betty Radice (tr.)

ISBN: 014044324X

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: These plays are available in many editions and online. You may read these plays in any format that's available; this is a fairly convenient one with a good solid (and readable) translation if you want the physical book. Make sure you get both the Hecyra and the Adelphoe.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Frogs and Other Plays , Authors: Aristophanes, David Barrett (tr.)

ISBN: 0140441522

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Some reasonable modern version of this play is required; this edition is available cheaply in quantity. One can also elect to use a library edition or to read the play online.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Lais of Marie de France , Authors: Marie de France, Glyn S. Burgess (tr.)

ISBN: 0140447598

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: You will need some version containing the various Lais. There is also a version in the Everyman Library, and some online. I don't care much which one you use.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Plays of Roswitha , Authors: Roswitha von Gandersheim

ISBN: 1596545496

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: There are various editions of this to be found here and there; you are certainly welcome to use any version you like, including the online edition in the Mediaeval Sourcebook site at Fordham.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Poetic Edda [Edition 2], Authors: Anon., Lee M. Hollander, tr.

ISBN: 0292764995

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This is probably well worth getting if you like this kind of material: Hollander's notes are extensive and intriguing, and his translation is probably better than any other out there for accuracy. I am also listing the Terry translation, however, if you would like an alternative.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Pot of Gold and Other Plays , Authors: Plautus, E. F. Watling (tr.)

ISBN: 0140441492

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: I really don't care whether you read this in a book or online. If you want the hard copy, this is a reasonable edition. We need both the Menaechmi (contained herein) and the Amphitruo (Amphitryo, Amphitryon, in different editions), one way or the other. Reasonably cheap used copies are available at Amazon.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Rope and Other Plays , Authors: Plautus, E. F. Watling (tr.)

ISBN: 0140441360

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: As with the Menaechmi, I offer this as a convenience: you may read the play online or in another edition if you prefer. Inexpensive copies are available at Amazon.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Shorter Socratic Writings , Authors: Xenophon, Robert C. Bartlett, ed. and tr.

ISBN: 0801472989

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Some edition of the Apology of Socrates (Xenophon's account, not Plato's!) is required. This is offered in case you want to own your own, but it is short and freely available through the Perseus Project.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Voyage of Argo: The Argonautica , Authors: Apollonius of Rhodes, E. V. Rieu (ed., tr.)

ISBN: 0140440852

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Some edition of the Argonautica is required. It's less available online than some other works in this course, and it's long enough that you'd probably rather not read it all from the screen. I don't really care, however, which edition you use. This is a prose translation. I have also listed a verse translation by Peter Green, but it is somewhat more expensive.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Timaeus and Critias , Authors: Plato, Desmond Lee (tr.)

ISBN: 0140442618

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: Some edition of the Timaeus is required; one may read it from a library edition, some other reasonably modern translation of published independently or in a collected Plato.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Two Lives of Charlemagne , Authors: Einhard, Notker the Stammerer, David Ganz (ed., tr.)

ISBN: 0140455051

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: We'll be reading the Einhard half of this. It is available any number of places online, and the older Penguin edition will certainly suffice.


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