- Instructor: Philip Harland (click here to email me).
Office hours (Vanier 248): Wednesdays 2:30-3:30 or by appointment
- Seminar discussions: Wednesdays 11:30-2:20 – Calumet College 318
This discussion-based seminar explores literary and cultural contexts of the ancient Greek novel (prose fiction) and related fictional or partially fictional narratives in the Roman imperial period (first to third centuries CE). As such, the seminar also considers the lines between “fiction” and “history” and between “lies” and “truth” as these concepts were understood by people in antiquity.
The ideal ancient Greek love novel or romance centres on the story of separated lovers and their adventures, and we will give special attention to the generic features and plots of works including Callirhoe and Chaereas (by Chariton), Anthia and Habrocomes (by Xenophon), Leukippe and Kleitophon (by Achilles Tatius), and Daphnis and Chloe (by Longus). Although not the focus, we will also touch on the later, fourth-century romance by Heliodorus about Charicleia and Theagenes (aka An Ethiopean Story). We will then investigate the ways in which Latin-speaking authors developed and, at times, parodied the Greek novel, considering Roman fictional works such as the Golden Ass by Apuleius and the Satyrica by Petronius.
Furthermore, we will go beyond blatant prose fiction to explore what could be called novelistic features in other partially fictional narratives, including histories, travelogues and biographies. Finally, we will look at how certain cultural minorities, including Judeans (Jews) and Christians, produced comparable prose fiction, including works such as Joseph and Aseneth and The Acts of Paul and Thecla. Throughout the course, we will go beyond the literary features of these texts, using these writings as a window into the social, religious, and cultural worlds of the authors (and audiences). In particular, we will give special attention to the place of gods and goddesses and rituals for them within the worldview of the authors (and audience) of fictional works.
So, overall, we will be doing three main things with these ancient writings:
- Considering genre, ancient narratives, and literary features (the nature, purpose, and function of particular writings);
- Exploring the theoretical question of how the ancients defined truth and lies, history and fiction; and
- Using these writings as a window into cultural and social life in the Greco-Roman world.
- B.P. Reardon, ed. Collected Ancient Greek Novels (2nd edition; University of California Press, 2008). ISBN: 978-0520256552
- E.J. Kenney, trans. Apuleius: The Golden Ass (Penguin, 2004). ISBN: 978-0140435900
- Niklas Holzberg, The Ancient Novel: An Introduction (Routledge, 1995). Available online through York University Library.
- Further online readings listed with links below
Assignments (see full descriptions at the end of the outline)
- Attendance and participation in seminar discussions, including surprise quizzes (25%)
- Discussion leadership (10%) and presentation (10%) (= 20%)
- Academic integrity tutorial and test: http://www.yorku.ca/tutorial/academic_integrity/index.html. All students must go through the tutorial and complete the test before the first assignment, achieving a 10/10 (100%) and submitting a hardcopy print-out of the results of their test. Assignment 1 will not be accepted without a completed academic integrity test submitted or attached (due week 6, Fall term)
- Assignment 1: Academic book review essay, due week 6 in the Fall (10%) – Academic honesty test results must be submitted before or with the first assignment
- Assignment 2: Analysis of primary source essay 1 (Apuleius’ Golden Ass), 8 pages double spaced, due week 11 in the Fall (15%)
- Assignment 3: Analysis of primary source essay 2 (women and gender in Achilles Tatius and in Judith) , 10 pages double spaced, due week 7 in the Winter (15%)
- Final test for both terms (15%)
Penalties for lateness: One grade (10%) per day (e.g. B becomes C, if one day late). Assignments are due at the beginning of class in printed, hardcopy form. My aim here is fairness both to you and to your fellow students.
Electronic copy to accompany hardcopy: All assignments must be submitted in hardcopy. However, you also need to send me the same document to me as an email attachment. Documents may be submitted to turnitin.com for analysis of potential plagiarism.
Studying Greco-Roman Novels and Fictional Literature
Week 1 (Sept 10): Introduction to the novel and related “fictional” or novelistic literature (historiography, travelogues, biographies, etc.)
- Reading and discussion in class: A Babylonian Tale (summary by Photius)
The Earliest Greek Love Novels or Romances: Reuniting with One’s Spouse in the Greek City
Week 2 (Sept 17): Xenophon of Ephesos, Anthia and Habrocomes, aka An Ephesian Tale (first or second century CE)
- Readings: An Ephesian Tale (in Reardon); Holzberg, “The Genre” and “The Idealistic Novel in Early Imperial Times,” in The Ancient Novel, pages 1-20, 32-45 (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 1.12-2.8 (Hippothous and the band of brigands); 4.1-2 (gods save Habrocomes from execution); 5.1-15 (finale and recognitions)
- Leader’s (prof in this case) additional article: Koen de Temmerman, “Xenophon of Ephesos,” Crafting Characters: Heroes and Heroines in the Ancient Greek Novel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). (link)
Week 3 (Sept 24): Film on the ancient Mediterranean world
- Readings: Chaereas and Callirhoe (books 1-4) (in Reardon); Smith, “From Drama to Narrative: The Reception of Comedy in the Ancient Novel” (ADD FOR NEXT TIME).
Week 4 (Oct 1): Chariton of Aphrodisias, Callirhoe and Chaereas (first century CE)
- Readings: Chaereas and Callirhoe (books 5-8) (in Reardon); Morgan, “Make-believe and Make Believe,” pages 197-224 (link; course password required).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 1.1-9 (marriage and separation); 1.1 + 1.14 + 2.3 + 3.3 + 5.3 (epiphanies of Callirhoe); 6.8 + 7.3 (historiographical feel); 8.1 (reunited)
- Leader’s (prof in this case) additional article: Robert L. Cioffi, “Seeing Gods: Epiphany and Narrative in the Greek Novels,” Ancient Narrative 11 (2014) 1-42 (link)
Transformations in the Greek Romances: Foreign Towns and Rural Settings
Week 5 (Oct 8): Achilles Tatius, Leukippe and Kleitophon (second century CE), part 1
- Readings: Leukippe and Kleitophon (books 1-4) (in Reardon); Reardon, “Achilles Tatius and Ego-Narrative” (link; course password required)
- Passages for detailed analysis: 1.1-19 (intro, narrator(s), author’s focus on explaining human emotions); 3.9-24 (“rangers” / bandits and apparent human sacrifice)
- Leader’s additional article: Elizabeth Mitchell, “The Boy’s Own Love Story: The Romantic Adventures of Leukippe, Kleitophon, and Kleitophon’s Friends,” Ancient Narrative 11 (2014) 43-73 (link).
- Presentations: Katharine Haynes, Fashioning the Feminine in the Greek Novel (London: Routledge, 2003).
Week 6 (Oct 15): Achilles Tatius, Leukippe and Kleitophon, part 2 (Alessia leads)
- Readings: Leukippe and Kleitophon (books 5-8); Chew, Kathryn. “A Novelistic Convention Reversed: Tyche vs. Eros in Achilles Tatius.” Classical Philology 107 (2012) 75–80 (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 7.7-16 (trial and asylum in the temple of Artemis); 8.1-19 (finale and chastity theme)
- Leader’s additional article: Kathryn Chew, “Achilles Tatius and Parody,” Classical Journal 96 (2000) 57–70 (link).
*BOOK REVIEW DUE WEEK 6*
Week 7 (Oct 22): Longus, Daphnis and Chloe (second century CE) and the pastoral setting
- Readings: Daphnis and Chloe (in Reardon); Theocritus, Idyll 6 (link); Bernd Effe, “Longus: Towards a History of Bucolic and Its Function in the Roman Empire” (link; course password required)
- Passages for detailed analysis: prologue + 1.1-18 (love in a pastoral environment); 2.12-31 (pastoral atmosphere interrupted and restored); 4.6-10 (conditions of slavery); 4.19-40 (recognition)
- Leader’s additional article: Stephen Epstein, “The Education of Daphnis: Goats, Gods, the Birds and the Bees,” Phoenix 56 (2002) 25–39 (link).
**Oct 29 co-curricular day – no classes**
Roman Comic Novels and Satirical Treatments
Week 8 (Nov 5): Apuleius, Golden Ass, part 1 (second century) (Anh leads)
- Readings: Apuleius, Golden Ass 1.1-4.27; Holzberg, “The Comic-Realistic Novel,” in The Ancient Novel, pages 46-62 (link); browse Pseudo-Lucian, The Ass (in Reardon).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 1.8-10 + 2.20-32 + 3.14-26 (diviners and magicians)
- Leader’s additional article: Keith Bradley, “Fictive Families: Family and Household in the ‘Metamorphoses’ of Apuleius,” Phoenix 54 (2000) 282–308 (link).
- Presentations: Meriel Jones, Playing the Man: Performing Masculinities in the Ancient Greek Novel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). (Alessia); S. J. Harrison, Apuleius: A Latin Sophist (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). (Monica)
Week 9 (Nov 12): Apuleius, Golden Ass, part 2: The transformation narrative and the mysteries of Isis (Monica leads)
- Readings: Golden Ass (books 6.25-11.30); Keith Bradley, “Contending with Conversion: Reflections on the Reformation of Lucius the Ass,” Phoenix 52 (1998) 315–334 (link)
- Passages for detailed analysis: 8.23-31 (devotees of a foreign goddess); 11.1-30 (salvation by Isis and initiations)
- Leader’s additional article: Warren Smith, “An Author Intrudes Into His Narrative: Lucius ‘Becomes’ Apuleius” (link); OR Nathan Watson, “Dreams and Superstition: A Reinterpretation of Satire in Apuleius, Metamorphoses 11,” Ancient Narrative 11 (2014) 133-158 (link).
- Presentations: Regine May, Apuleius and Drama: The Ass on Stage (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). (Jonathan)
Week 10 (Nov 19): Petronius, Satyrica (first century) (Tanecia leads)
- Readings: Petronius, Satyrica (books 1-78) (link); Gareth Schmeling, “Petronius and the Satyrica,” Latin Fiction: The Latin Novel in Context, pages 23-37 (link)
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Leader’s additional article: Jon Bodel, “The Cena Trimalchionis” (link) OR Jeffrey Henderson, “The ‘Satyrica’ and the Greek Novel: Revisions and Some Open Questions,” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 17 (2010) 483–96 (link)
- Presentations: Victoria Rimell, Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). (Sai)
Week 11 (Nov 26): Fellini –Satyricon (1969 film; 2 hours, 9 minutes)
- Readings (to be read before watching the film for orientation): Joanna Paul, “Fellini–Satyricon: Petronius and Film” (link; course password required)
*ASSIGNMENT 2 (APULEIUS ESSAY) DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS WEEK 11*
Week 12 (Dec 3): Wonders Beyond Thule, A Phoenician Story, and Iolaos
- Readings: Antonius Diogenes, The Wonders Beyond Thule (in the “Summaries section of Reardon); A Phoenician Story and Iolaos (in the “Fragments” section of Reardon); Achilles Tatius, Leukippe and Kleitophon 3.13-25 (in Reardon)
Accusations of human sacrifice in “historical” and other sources: Dio Cassius, Roman History 68.32 (link) and 72.4 (link); Josephus, Against Apion 2.91-96 (link); Wisdom of Solomon 14:12-31 (link); Minucius Felix, Octavius, chapter IX (link); Gospel of Judas 36-43 (link); Harland, “Perceptions of Cultural Minorities: Anti-Associations and their Banquets” (link)
- Passages for detailed analysis: A Phoenician Story
Historiography, Ethnography / Paradoxography, and Travel Narratives
Week 1 (Jan 7): Livy’s account of the Bacchanalia (ca. 20 BCE) – History and Fiction
- Readings: Livy, History of Rome 39.6 and 39.8-19 (link); “28. Decree of the Senate on the Bacchanalia, 186 BC” and “28a. Edict of the Consuls on the Bacchanalia, 186 BC” in Ancient Roman Statutes: A Translation with Introduction, Commentary, Glossary, and Index, 26-28 (link); P.G. Walsh, “Making a Drama Out of a Crisis: Livy on the Bacchanalia,” Greece and Rome 43 (1996) 188–203 (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 39.6 (Livy’s moral purposes); 39.8 (a Greek in Etruria); 39.9-39.13 (tale of Aebutius and Hispala); actual decrees
- Leader’s additional article: Adele Scafuro, “Livy’s Comic Narrative of the Bacchanalia,” Helios 16 (1989), 119-142.
Week 2 (Jan 14): Lucian of Samosata’s True Histories / True Story (ca. 160 CE) and others – Travel literature and ethnography
- Readings: Lucian, A True Story (aka True Histories) (in Reardon); G.W. Bowersock, “Truth in Lying,” in Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), pages 1-27 (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 1.1-1.4 (preface and purposes); 1.9-1.27 (Moonites and Sunites); 2.5-2.28 (Island of the Blest)
- Leader’s additional article: Massimo Fusillo, “The Mirror of the Moon: Lucian’s A True Story– From Satire to Utopia” (link; course password required).
- Presentations: James S. Romm, The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992). (Ty)
Fictional or Semi-Fictional Ancient Biographies (Bioi)
Week 3 (Jan 21): Thessalos’ introduction to his herbal (first-second century CE) – Biography and autobiographical narratives (Jonathan leads)
- Readings: Phil Harland, “Journeys in Pursuit of Divine Wisdom: Stories of Thessalos and Other Seekers,” in Travel and Religion in Antiquity (link); Plutarch, On the Obsolescence of Oracles excerpts (link); Lucian, Lover of Lies excerpts (link); begin reading Philostratos with any available time (see next week’s readings).
- Passages for detailed analysis: Thessalos, Plutarch and Lucian (all relatively short)
- Leader’s additional article: Owen Hodkinson, “Some Distinguishing Features of Deliberate Fictionality in Greek Biographical Narratives” (link; course password required).
- Presentations: Silvia Montiglio, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). (Tenecia)
Week 4 (Jan 28): Li(f)e – Philostratos, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, continued (ca. 210-238 CE)
- Readings: “Summary of Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius” (link); Philostratos, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, books 1-3 (link); James A. Francis, “Truthful Fiction: New Questions to Old Answers on Philostratus’ ‘Life of Apollonius,’” American Journal of Philology 119 (1998) 419–441 (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 1.1-3 (introduction and purposes); 3.10-3.58 (time with the Brahmans in India)
- Leader’s additional article: John Elsner, “Hagiographic Geography: Travel and Allegory in the Life of Apollonius of Tyana,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 117 (1997) 22–37 (link).
Week 5 (Feb 4): The Alexander Romance (second to fourth centuries CE) (Christina leads)
- Readings: Alexander Romance (in Reardon), especially book 1, book 2.23-41 (letter to mom with stories of marvels), and book 3; Jeremy McInerney, “Arrian and the Greek Alexander Romance,” The Classical World 100 (2007) 424–30 (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis: 1.1-1.14 (Nektanebos and Alexander’s “divine” origins); 2.32-2.41 (Alexander’s first-person travel adventures to the ends of the earth); 3.1-3.16 (Alexander and the Brahmans of India)
- Leader’s additional article: Grammatiki A. Karla, “Folk Narrative Techniques in the ‘Alexander Romance,’” Mnemosyne 65 (2012) 636–55 (link; course password required).
Week 6 (Feb 11): Lucian’s satirical biography of Alexander of Abonuteichos
- Readings: Lucian, Alexander the False Prophet (link; Greek and English link); C.P. Jones, “Alexander of Abonuteichos” (link; course password required)
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Leader’s additional article: Matthew Dickie, “Divine Epiphany in Lucian’s Account of the Oracle of Alexander of Abonuteichos,” Illinois Classical Studies 29 (2004) 159–82 (link).
- Presentations: C.P. Jones, Culture and Society in Lucian (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986). (Christina)
**Reading week Feb 14-20 – no classes**
Judean (Jewish) Novelistic Stories
Week 7 (Feb 25): Judith (second or first century BCE) (Ty)
- Readings: Judith, chapter 5 in Ancient Jewish Novels: An Anthology, pages 89-120 (link); Sara Raup Johnson, “Jews at Court,” in Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity Third Maccabees in Its Cultural Context (Oakland: University of California Press, 2005), 10–55 (link; go to chapter 1).
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Leader’s additional article: Richard I. Pervo, “Aseneth and Her Sisters: Women in Jewish Narrative and in the Greek Novels” (link; course password required).
- Presentations: Lawrence Mitchell Wills, The Jewish Novel in the Ancient World (Cornell University Press, 1995).
*ASSIGNMENT 3 ESSAY DUE IN CLASS*
Week 8 (April 1): Discussion of strike remediation and student Q & A
Adventures in Early Christian Literature: Acts, Travels, Martyrdoms
Week 9 (April 8): Acts of Paul and Thecla (mid-second century CE) (Sai leads)
- Readings: Acts of Paul and Thecla (link); Judith Perkins, “Death as a Happy Ending,” in The Suffering Self, pp. 15-40 (link); Acts of the Apostles (in the Bible – link), especially familiarizing yourself with chapters 9-28 (story of Saul/Paul).
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Leader’s additional article: Melissa M. Aubin, “Reversing Romance? The Acts of Thecla and the Ancient Novel” (link; course password required).
- Presentations: Judith Perkins, The Suffering Self: Pain and Narrative Representation in Early Christian Era (London: Routledge, 1995). (Anh)
Week 10 (April 15): Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions (third century CE)
- Readings: Clement’s family story extracted from the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions (link to extractions only; link to complete work). Extractions: book 1, chapters 1-19 (Clement’s family story and journeys in pursuit of wisdom); book 7, chapters 1-38 (recognition and conversion of his mother); book 8, chapters 1-2; book 9, chapters 32-38; book 10, chapters 67-72 (recognition and conversion of Clement’s father); “Plot Summary of Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions (by J.B. Lightfoot) (link); Silvia Montiglio, “From the Pagan Novels to Early Jewish and Christian Narratives: Refashioning Recognition” (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Leader’s additional article: Nicole Kelley, “Problems of Knowledge and Authority in the Pseudo-Clementine Romance of Recognitions,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 13 (2005) 315–348 (link).
- Presentations: Catherine Fales Cooper, The Virgin and the Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996).
No class April 22 for hiatus for other exams
Week 11 (April 29): *In class test*
Participation in seminar discussions / surprize quizzes
Participation and interaction is an important part of the process of learning, particularly in a fourth year seminar. For this reason it is essential that all students do the readings (especially the primary sources) before attending the seminar for a particular week, coming prepared for discussion. To further ensure that students are doing the readings, there will be 3 surprise, pass-or–fail quizzes (70% will be considered a pass, 69% or below a fail) in each of the two terms (6 quizzes total, with the ability to drop one for a total of 5). These quizzes will be devoted solely to testing whether you have been doing the readings and thinking about our topics. Failure to attend will be considered a fail for a quiz. These quizzes will be considered as part of the participation mark.
Discussion leadership (15 minute presentation + 30 minutes of discussion time)
Each student will have the opportunity (either once or twice) to lead the discussion in a particular week. The leader is expected to do extra preparation for that week, introducing the writing and also studying beyond the readings assigned to all other students. The presenter is also responsible for studying and explaining an additional article on the topic which is specified in the outline. The focus of leading and leadership questions should be on analysis of the ancient source of the week. We will discuss what is required in more detail.
Presentation relating to the book you reviewed (though NOT reading your book review) – 20 minutes
Each student will do a special presentation on a topic that emerges out of the student’s study of the book they reviewed. This should not be a reading of the book review. Rather, the student should do a presentation relating to material covered in the book in a way that furthers our discussion of the ancient writing for a particular week with a focus on helping us understand one or two main portions of the ancient writing. The aim is to teach us about some important issue relating to the ancient writing and provide us with some insights into the ancient writing. We will discuss what is required in more detail.
Book options (all available through the York University library system – see outline for dates of presentations):
- *Catherine Fales Cooper, The Virgin and the Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996).
- *S. J. Harrison, Apuleius: A Latin Sophist (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
- *Katharine Haynes, Fashioning the Feminine in the Greek Novel (London: Routledge, 2003). (link to ebook)
- *C.P. Jones, Culture and Society in Lucian (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986).
- *Meriel Jones, Playing the Man: Performing Masculinities in the Ancient Greek Novel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
- David Konstan, Sexual Symmetry: Love in the Ancient Novel and Related Genres (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).
- *John M. McMahon, Paralysin Cave: Impotence, Perception, and Text in the Satyrica of Petronius (Leiden: Brill, 1998).
- *Regine May, Apuleius and Drama: The Ass on Stage, Oxford Classical Monographs (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).
- *Silvia Montiglio, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
- *Judith Perkins, The Suffering Self: Pain and Narrative Representation in Early Christian Era (London: Routledge, 1995).
- *Victoria Rimell, Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
- *James S. Romm, The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).
- *Christine M. Thomas, Acts of Peter, Gospel Literature, and the Ancient Novel: Rewriting the Past (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
- Stefan Tilg, Chariton of Aphrodisias and the Invention of the Greek Love Novel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
- *Lawrence Mitchell Wills, The Jewish Novel in the Ancient World (Cornell University Press, 1995).
Assignment 1: Academic book review essay (6 pages double-spaced)
Step 1: To familiarize yourself with the genre of the academic book review, read at least 10 book reviews (reviewing single-author books, not edited ones) that interest you in The Classical Review (accessible through JSTOR on our library system) or in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review online at: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/
Step 2: With a focus on the arguments and main points, read the book
Step 3: Write an academic book review of the book (in the form of an essay), which entails:
- Explaining the main arguments of the book and how the author builds up these arguments with sub-arguments throughout the chapters.
- Discussing the author’s methods or approach and the author’s use of evidence to support the author’s points.
- Providing a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the book. Does the author achieve what he or she set out to do? Is the argument convincing or not, and in what ways? What theoretical assumptions and/or value judgments influence the author’s reconstruction of history? Be sure to provide concrete examples (citing page numbers in parentheses) of the problems or strengths you discuss.
The review paper should have a clear thesis statement or argument (concerning your evaluation of the book) which is supported throughout the paragraphs. The paper should be clearly written and structured with no spelling or grammatical errors. Be succinct and do not exceed the prescribed length.
Assignment 2: Analysis of Primary Source (Apuleius) (8 pages double-spaced)
For Greeks and Romans, the gods, stories about the gods, and ritual honours for the gods were integrated within everyday life. Using Apuleius’ novel as evidence, write an essay that illustrates the importance of gods and goddesses (e.g. Fortune, Mars, Mother, Isis) and honours for them within the worldview of the author and his audience. In the process of carefully reading the novel, give special attention to the role of the gods and to rituals and customs associated with the gods. Also be attentive to the meaning and function of “Fortune” and “Providence” in the development of the story. Be sure to demonstrate that you have read the whole novel and that you have carefully analyzed at least four substantial episodes, including Lucius’ initiation into the mysteries of Isis and Osiris in book 11.
Assignment 3: Essay on Portrayals of Women Protagonists in Judean Fiction and in the Greek Novels (10 pages double-spaced)
Step 1a: Read the following articles (in addition to course readings on Judith) to provide you with some scholarly background on the issue of women and gender in ancient fictional or semi-fictional narratives, particularly Judith:
- Brigitte Egger, “The Role of Women in the Greek Novel: Woman as Heroine and Reader,” in Oxford Readings in the Greek Novel, ed. Simon Swain (Oxford: OUP, 1999), 108-112 and 119-129 (link).
- Katharine Haynes, Fashioning the Feminine in the Greek Novel (London: Routledge, 2003), pages 56-70 (link).
- Amy-Jill Levine, “Sacrifice and Salvation: Otherness and Domestication in the Book of Judith” in A Feminist Companion to Esther, Judith and Susanna, ed. Athalya Brenner, The Feminist Companion to the Bible (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 208–223 (link).
- Sidnie Ann White, “In the Steps of Jael and Deborah: Judith as Heroine” (link; course password required).
- Richard I. Pervo, “Aseneth and Her Sisters: Women in Jewish Narrative and in the Greek Novels” (link; course password required).
Step 1b: Do your own careful reading and analysis of the principal female characters in Leukippe and Kleitophon (including Leukippe and Melite) and in Judith (Judith), paying special attention to gender issues, the depiction of women, and the relation between women and men in the narrative.
Step two: Write a comparative essay that analyzes the narratives and addresses the following: What similarities and differences do you see in Achilles Tatius’ depiction of female characters (especially Leukippe and Melite), on the one hand, and the Jewish author‘s portrayal of Judith, on the other? What sort of characters are these women within the overall story and what are their functions in the plot?
This comparison would include addressing questions such as the following: What characteristics and attributes does each author give to his female protagonists (including the relation of each woman to men in the narrative) and what attitudes about women and gender does this reflect? In what ways are these characters portrayed as passive or active, weak or strong, helpless or assertive? In what ways might the portrayal of the central female character work against or reaffirm commonly held notions of femininity in the Greco-Roman world?
Additional Useful Resources
- Susan A. Stephens and John J. Winkler, eds., Ancient Greek Novels, The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995).
- Lawrence Mitchell Wills, Ancient Jewish Novels: An Anthology (Oxford University Press, 2002). (link)
- J.K. Elliott, The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993). (link)
- Herbert A. Musurillo, The Acts of the Pagan Martyrs: Acta Alexandrinorum (New York: Arno Press, 1954).
- Herbert A. Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972).
- Ancient Narrative (journal).
- G. W. Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian, Sather Classical Lectures 58 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). (link)
- Edmund P. Cueva and Shannon N. Byrne, eds., A Companion to the Ancient Novel (Wiley, 2014).
- Christopher Gill and T. P Wiseman, eds., Lies and Fiction in the Ancient World (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993).
- Marilia P. Futre Pinheiro, Judith Perkins, and Richard Pervo, eds., The Ancient Novel and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative: Fictional Intersections (Eelde, Netherlands: Barkhuis, 2012).
- R. Morgan and Richard Stoneman, eds., Greek Fiction: The Greek Novel in Context (New York: Routledge, 1994).
- James S. Romm, The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).
- Gareth L. Schmeling, ed., The Novel in the Ancient World (Leiden: Brill, 1996).
- Koen de Temmerman, Crafting Characters: Heroes and Heroines in the Ancient Greek Novel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
- Tim Whitmarsh, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Greek and Roman Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
- Lawrence Mitchell Wills, The Jewish Novel in the Ancient World (Cornell University Press, 1995).
OMITTED AND REDESIGNED
Apuleius, Golden Ass, part ?: The story of Cupid and Psyche
- Readings: Golden Ass (books 4-6); Gerald Sandy, “The Tale of Cupid and Psyche,” in Latin Fiction: The Latin Novel in Context, pages 126-138 (link)
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Leader’s additional article: Costas Panayotakis, “Vision and Light in Apuleius’ Tale of Psyche and Her Mysterious Husband,” Classical Quarterly 51 (2001) 576–583 (link).
Petronius: part 2
- Petronius, Satyrica (books 79-141) (link);
The Story of Apollonius King of Tyre
- Readings: The Story of Apollonius King of Tyre (in Reardon); Gareth Schmeling, “The History of Apollonius King of Tyre,” Latin Fiction: The Latin Novel in Context, pages 141-152 (link)
Removed due to strike:
(): Joseph and Aseneth (first century BCE-second century CE)
- Readings: Joseph and Aseneth (link; course password required); B. Diane Lipsett, “Aseneth and the Sublime Turn,” in Desiring Conversion Hermas, Thecla, Aseneth, pages 86-122 (link).
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Leader’s additional article: Virginia Burrus, “Mimicking Virgins: Colonial Ambivalence and the Ancient Romance,” Arethusa 38 (2005) 49–88 (link).
Week 12 (April 1): Acts of Peter
- Readings: Acts of Peter (link; portions to be determined)
- Passages for detailed analysis:
- Presentations: Christine M. Thomas, Acts of Peter, Gospel Literature, and the Ancient Novel: Rewriting the Past (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).