The death of the play’s principle character mid-way through the play undermines the dramatic significance of Sophocles’ Ajax
Sophocles’ tragic drama Ajax is 1420 lines long, yet the eponymous main character is dead by line 866, just over halfway through the play. After the dramatic chain of events which lead up to his suicide, the audience is left with a lengthy argument between Teucer and the Atridae as to what should be done […]
How does Late Republican Rome differ in terms of Art and Architecture from other contemporary cities in Italy?
The Roman Republic can be defined as the phase during which the ancient civilization of Rome was dominated by a Republican form of Government, following the overthrow of the Monarchy around 509 BC. Opposed to a monarchy a republic is that which is led by the people, working together with government. The word originates from […]
The Principate of Augustus, which was the bridge between the Roman Republic and the Imperial Period, was of the utmost importance in Roman history. When this period actually started is a matter of some debate. Perhaps cautioned by the example of his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, Augustus’ journey to supreme power was made up of […]
The Homeric Question: Theories and Hypotheses Concerning the Authorship of the Two Major Epics the Iliad and the Odyssey
A recurring topic in classical studies concerns the existence (or fabrication) of Homer, the author/poet of the Greek epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. Many literary critics base their hypotheses upon the likelihood of whether the two major epics (the Iliad and the Odyssey) were possibly composed by the same author, and find that due […]
Choose a novel from the 16th-18th century. Compare and contrast with one or both of the Latin novels. (Petronius’ Satyricon and/or Apuleius’ The Golden Ass)
The Spanish picaresque novel, exemplified in Don Quixote by Cervantes, can be seen to have antecedents in the Roman novels, Petronius’ Satyricon and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses. This essay will examine some of the shared traits of these styles as well as some of the differences. Particular attention will be paid to direct […]
To What Extent and by What Means did Alexander the Great Try to Ensure That Posterity Would Regard Him in Heroic and Uncritical Terms?
Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, is considered to be one of the most successful military commanders in history. His father, Philip II, had unified most of mainland Greece under a Macedonian hegemony known as the League of Corinth. Following his death, his son Alexander assumed the throne and went on […]
What light is thrown on Archaic and Classical Athenian beliefs about gender by artistic representations of any one aspect of contemporary life? Illustrate your essay with specific examples.
A great deal of attention has been focused on the role of women in antiquity, in particular those during the Classical Athenian period. It is common for these scholars to regard the social status of women during this period as appallingly low. Many assert that at this time they were considered little better than slave […]
How useful is the Panegyric to the Emperor Julian by Claudius Mamertinus for understanding the life and times of the Emperor Julian? Illustrate your essay with specific examples.
The Panegyric to the Emperor Julian by Claudius Mamertinus was delivered to the Senate at Constantinople on the first day of 362 AD. Julian had only recently become sole Augustus, upon the death of his rival Constantius II. His short reign remains controversial, as the last pagan Emperor and with few unbiased sources to give […]
How realistic is the ‘Cena Trimalchionis’ as a portrayal of Roman Dining in the Early Imperial Period? Illustrate your essay with specific examples.
The Cena Trimalchionis is a description of an outrageously extravagant and luxurious dinner given by a fictional Roman freedman (ex-slave) called Trimalchio. It appears in the Satyricon (or Satyrica), written by Petronius. The Satyricon is the earliest Roman novel, and as such shares some features with Greek novels, which preceded it, but it is also […]
Examine the character and political significance of the Roman army in the later second century BC. Was there a manpower shortage? Illustrate your essay with specific examples.
For many centuries, the Roman republic had survived with a military and political framework that had ensured the survival and prosperity of the city state. However, it is clear that by the later second century BC the nature of Rome was changing to adapt to varying internal and external stimuli. The army began a significant […]