Great Roman Minds

Choose one of the following:  1) aesthetic: comedy in the Defense of Caelius (if you do this, I would recommend comparing the speech directly to the plays that we’ve read); persona in the poetry of Ovid and/or Catullus; the non-chronological arrangement of someone’s biography 2) ethical: explore how an author deals with the shadier parts of Rome’s past (ex. the abduction of the Sabines and the murder of Servius Tullius); how does Cicero justify the actions of his defendant 3) cultural: compare and contrast at least two texts to explore an aspect of Roman society, like Roman women (if you do this be aware of their social standing), slaves, clients and patrons, military life (what makes a good Roman soldier), plebians, aristocrats, religion (how they talk about the gods and when they talk about the gods), the mos maiorum, etc. 4) historical: this one might require some research, but if you would like to compare what scholars say about a particular Roman versus how an author talks about the same person (or in some cases, himself), go ahead. How does the real Clodia compare to Cicero’s version of her? How does Cicero talk about himself compared to what we know about him? There are also inscriptions included in the back of the book. It might be interesting to compare information from an inscription to things we’ve read in class.

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