This attachment contains instructions on the two papers
that you will write before the course begins, and that are due on day 1 and
day 2. We will discuss the format and topics of the final research paper in
class, with your topic preference to be submitted June 19, approved by June
20, and submitted after the classes have completed, by July 21.
3 page paper on Virgil’s Aeneid, due on day 1
3 page paper on The Life of Cola di Rienzo, due on day
Final research paper (8-10 pages plus bibliography) due
Due at start of class on Day 1.
This paper should be based on the assigned books (bks. 1, 8, 11, 12) of
Virgil's epic poem, The Aeneid. Virgil began the poem shortly after the
military triumph of Octavian/Augustus in 30 and the poem terminated with the
poet’s death in 19 BCE. Although there are many topics of interest in this
enormously influential Latin work, the focus of our reading will be what it
reveals about the religious culture of ancient Rome (the Rome of Virgil’s
day). Please pay particular attention to the relations between mortals and
deities in the assigned books. Using specific episodes and passages from
Virgil’s poem (not background textbooks), please answer the following
What do gods and goddesses
want from mortals? Does piety pay?
3 pages, double spaced, and stapled. Please number pages in the upper
right-hand corner. Use numbered footnotes
for citations (Arabic, not Roman numerals) and cite in the following form:
Aeneid, 8: 123-26. (meaning: Aeneid, book 8, lines 123-35.) Do not use
page numbers. (If you are not using the Mandelbaum translation, please
indicate the translator in your first citation.)
Example: Aeneid, 8: 123-26.
Due at start of class on Day 2.
Your second paper is on The Life of Cola di Rienzo, a section from a
medieval chronicle written around 1358 by an unknown author (Anonimo Romano)
in romanesco, the local dialect of Rome. It recounts the career of the
notary Cola di Rienzo, son of a Roman tavern keeper, who led a political
revolution on behalf of the hitherto powerless urban citizens, victims of
warring feudal nobles, in Rome between 1347 and 1354. For a man who was not
from the elite classes to become a political leader was unusual in
pre-modern times; it was unheard of for one to do so with the goal of
transforming the existing political regime. Rome’s past as a center of
classical and Christian history was crucial to his success. Ancient Rome,
republic and empire, and modern Rome, the papal capital, provided Cola with
many useful symbols. Cola built support for his movement by drawing
creatively on the rich variety of messages latent in Rome's dual
inheritance. In your essay answer the following question:
specific Roman places, traditions, individuals, or texts from Rome's older
classical past and more recent Christian
past does Cola di Rienzo mobilize to achieve his political goals? Be sure
to treat both the city's classical and Christian heritage.
As in the first paper, we are most interested in your
own use of textual evidence to support your argument so do not rely on the
editor’s introduction or other scholarly treatments but instead read for
yourself. Be sure to cite or quote specific details or passages from the
text, using the footnote form indicated below.
3 pages, double-spaced and stapled. Please number pages in upper
right-hand corner. Use footnotes with the following form of citation:
Second and subsequent citations to the same source:3
The Life of Cola di Rienzo, trans. John Wright (Toronto,