Reception of Classical Literature


Course Objective

- Insight in the function of the classics in the cultural history of the
later 18th, the 19th and the early 20th century;
- General knowledge of theories of reception.
- Detailed insight in classical receptions in connection with
- Detailed insight in receptions of the classics in ‘De Tachtigers’
(‘The movement of Eighty’), Dutch Symbolist as well as Modernist poetry;

Course Content

The aesthetic movements that rose in France (Baudelaire, Gautier),
England (Whistler and Wilde), and the Netherlands (‘De beweging van
Tachtig’) from the mid 19th Century onwards were strongly influenced by
early Romanticism and therefore polemically opposed to classicism. Yet
classical texts and ideas were absolutely central to aestheticism – one
has but to realize that virtually all ‘Tachtigers’ (e.g. famous poets as
Willem Kloos and Herman Gorter) started their intellectual development
as a classicist. This course studies classical receptions in connection
with aestheticism.
David Rijser will first provide a general introduction on Reception
theory. He will then treat cultural continuities in Classicism from the
Renaissance to Winckelmann and the aesthetic revolution in the period of
the latter. Subsequent lectures will be devoted to e.g. Walter Pater and
Thomas Mann.
Mieke Koenen will first study the role of classics in the Dutch Movement
of Eighty (‘De Tachtigers’, e.g. Herman Gorter) and Dutch Symbolist
poetry (e.g. J.H. Leopold). Then she will focus on receptions of
classics in the poetry of Ida Gerhardt, who also translated Lucretius,
Vergil and Greek Epigrams. The classes by Mieke Koenen will be taught in
two groups: one for Dutch speaking students, one for non-Dutch speaking
N.B. Most Greek and Latin texts are read in translation.

Teaching Methods

Seminars; presentations.

Method of Assessment

David Rijser: written exam (50% of final grade);
Mieke Koenen: presentation and researchpaper (50% of final grade;
presentation: 20%, paper: 30%).

Entry Requirements

BA in the humanities.


To be announced.

Target Audience

Master students in the humanities, e.g. Classics and Ancient

Additional Information

Participants must contact the coordinator (Mieke Koenen) before the
course starts:

General Information

Course Code L_XLMAOHS007
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. M.H. Koenen
Examiner dr. M.H. Koenen
Teaching Staff D. Rijser
dr. M.H. Koenen

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: