Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Latin 2010

Sunoikisis Latin 2010: Neronian Era Literature

Latin 393 Fall 2010: Neronian Era Literature

Sunoikisis Latin 2010: Neronian Era Literature

Seminar Director: Prof. Richard Tarrant (Harvard University)

Course Director: Prof. Molly Pasco-Pranger (University of Mississippi)

NB: All lectures will occur on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 EST. Weeks are listed starting on Thursday and ending on Wednesday with the lecture. Listed readings should be completed in the week before the lecture; study questions will also be posted and addressed during the week before the lecture as preparation.

Week I (September 9-15)

  1. Lecture: “Nero and the Historians,” Prof. Sanjaya Thakur (Colorado College)
  2. Latin Readings: students should start reading selections for Week II
  3. English Readings: Suetonius’ Nero, Champlin “Stories and Histories”

Week II (September 16-22)

  1. Lecture: “Stoicism in Seneca’s Letters,” Prof. Megan Drinkwater (Agnes Scott College)
  2. Latin Readings: Seneca Ep. Mor. 747
  3. English Readings: Seneca Ep. Mor. 1 "On Saving Time",12 "On Old Age", 56 "On Quiet and Study", 80 "On Worldly Deceptions", and 84 "On Gathering Ideas".

Week III (September 23-29)

  1. Lecture: “Slavery and Social Status,” Prof. David Sick (Rhodes College)
  2. Latin Readings: Petronius XXIX-XXX, LXXV.10-LXXVII (= pp. 37-43, 187-199 in Lawall)
  3. English Readings: Petronius Cena Trimalchionis

Week IV (September 30-October 6)

  1. Lecture: “Stuff That No Longer Exists, or Making Yourself Sexy,” Prof. Hal Haskell (Southwestern University)
  2. Latin readings: Petronius CX.6-CXIII.6  (=Lawall, pp. 206-26)
  3. English reading: Elsner “Constructing Decadence: The Representation of Nero as Imperial Builder”, Martial De spectaculis II   (+ Latin in case you want it)

Week V (October 7-13) MIDTERM

  1. Lecture: There will be no lecture this week.
  2. Latin readings: added as needed by individual campuses
  3. English readings: none

Week VI (October 14-20)

  1. Lecture: There will be no lecture this week.
  2. Latin readings: added as needed by individual campuses
  3. English readings: none

Week VII (October 21-27)

  1. Lecture: “Spectacular Lucan,” Prof. Miriam Carlisle (Washington & Lee)
  2. Latin readings: Lucan I.1-66, VI. 138-262 (to be finished in the next two weeks)
  3. English readings: Lucan I.67-182, VII-VIII (to be finished in the next two weeks)

Week VIII (October 28-November 3)

  1. Lecture: “Lucan and the Augustans,” Prof. David Guinee (DePauw University)
  2. Latin readings: continue readings from Week VII
  3. English readings: continue readings from Week VII

Week IX (November 4-10)

  1. Lecture: “Getting death right,” Prof. Molly Pasco-Pranger (University of Mississippi)
  2. Latin readings: Seneca Thyestes [dialogue sections; this in preparation for Week X]
  3. English readings: On the death of Cato: Seneca Ep. Mor. 70, 104.29-34; de Providentia 2.6-12.
    On Neronian deaths: Tac. Ann. 15.49-70, 16.9-19
    On the death of Nero: Suet. Nero 40-57; Cassius Dio 63.26-29.
    Optional secondary readings: Edwards, "Dying in Character: Stoicism and the Roman Death Scene" (Death in Ancient Rome, 144-60) OR Ker, "Forced Suicide and the Bodily Paths to Libertas" (The Deaths of Seneca, 247-79).

Week X (November 11-17)

  1. Lecture: “Thyestes,” Prof. Richard Tarrant (Harvard University)
  2. Latin readings: Seneca Thyestes [dialogue sections (cont’d.)]
  3. English readings: Seneca, Thyestes (all)

Elluminate Instructions

Dear Sunokisis participants:

For this intercampus course, we will be using Elluminate, a multipoint interactive videoconferencing system. Elluminate offers a web-based videoconferencing system that integrates a variety of communication channels and interactive activities.

To help prepare you to participate in our interactive sessions, we would like you to complete Elluminate's free participant training. This training will help you be comfortable in the environment. First you will need to check your set up and configure your computer for Elluminate. Next, you can choose from a variety of delivery options for participant training, including live sessions in Elluminate, recorded sessions, and online user guides.

Recommended Equipment:

  • high-speed internet connection
  • web video camera (participants don't necessarily need this, but faculty do)
  • echo-free audio system (For hands-free use and quality sound, we recommend a USB head set, but any headphones that can plug into your computer's audio jack should be fine. Anyone with there microphone turned on in the meeting without earphones will bring echoes and bad noises to the meeting environment, and will have to turn off their audio or leave)

Getting started:

Want more participant training?

  • Under "Participant Training", review "Recorded Training, Quick Reference Guides and User Guides for V10".

One last detail:

Before each session, we should all clear our Java caches. This is not the same as your browser cache (although you should empty both of them every week).

If you are using a Macintosh, here are some good instructions for clearing the cache:

And here are some if you are using a PC:

Link for our v-classroom:

To join as a Participant, use the link below just before class time and type in your name on the sign in page.


Course Policies

Course Policies


Description and Objectives:

Making extensive use of the latest electronic resources available, this course will focus on the literature of the age of Nero, as well as the social, cultural, and political milieu in which it flourished. Primary readings include selections works of Seneca, Petronius and Lucan. Students will participate in a weekly collaborative class session with students and faculty from nine institutions via Elluminate video-conferencing technology. These sessions will include live broadcast lectures by participating faculty, with live question and answer opportunities. This course also includes an on-line weekly discussion, which will be moderated by participating faculty. In addition, classes will meet at least twice weekly in on campus tutorials with home campus faculty for translation and discussion of the readings for the week. This course is specifically designed for advanced students and will include a rigorous study of the cultural and historical context during the Late Roman Republic. All components of this course have been devised to help students become familiar with current interpretative approaches to original material, to build facility in reading Latin, and to develop skills in various methods of communication.

Course Requirements:

The course consists of several elements: readings, online discussion, online common session, and meeting with the campus mentor. Each week readings and online discussion will precede and prepare for the coming online common session. Class meetings on individual campuses are arranged by local faculty and students, and so will vary by school. The course will also include a midterm exam, administered online and graded collaboratively by the intercampus teaching faculty.


This course is intended for advanced, mature students, who can effectively and conscientiously work through the readings and fulfill the assignments with minimal supervision. Participating faculty members presuppose that students will come to each event prepared to participate actively. Students should take advantage of every resource to ensure that they thoroughly understand the readings and have a command of the interpretive issues that will form the basis of the lectures, discussions, and tutorials. All students are expected to complete all readings in Latin and English, to be present in the Elluminate classroom for all common sessions on Wednesday evenings, and to post responses to all weekly study questions posted on the course Sakai site.


The midterm exam will be a shared online experience, but the timing and requirements for final exams and papers for this course will be determined differently on individual campuses, as will the grading of each element of your work.

Details of weekly assignments and lectures are outlined on the Syllabus document available on the Sakai course site.


To enter the Elluminate Classroom, use the link below before class time and type your name on the sign in page:

A few days before you first lecture, go to the Elluminate instructions posted on the Sakai site, and configure your computer for this new adventure.




  • Contact

    Halford Haskell, PhD
    Professor & Chair