Methodology: Intertextuality and Classical Storytelling

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

The aim of this course is to introduce you to two central methodologies
in the study of classics: narratology and intertextuality.

Narratology offers a refined set of instruments to analyze narrative,
the text type of most classical texts (epic, historiography and the
embedded narratives of lyric and drama). You will study the most
important theoretical concepts of narratology and learn how to use them
when reading and interpreting narrative texts.

Scholars have always discerned traces of earlier classical poems in
later ones. The influence of Homer, for instance, can be found in almost
every line of Virgil’s Aeneid. But what do we make of these traces? In
the nineteenth century, in particular Hellenistic and Roman poetry were
criticized as secondary works of literature. In the last few decades
however, intertextual theory has offered various ways to give meaning to
the presence of the earlier text in the later one, and we are currently
able to see how poets self-consciously place their poetry in a long and
dynamic tradition. Intertextuality is now an indispensable tool when
reading classical poetry.

Inhoud vak

You will be introduced to key concepts of narratology, such as the role
of the narrator and his addressee, the narratee, focalization or point
of view, the manipulation of time (retardation and acceleration,
repetition and omission, foreshadowing and flash-back), description, the
structure of narrative and its linguistic underpinning. These concepts
will be used when reading passages from Greek and Latin narrative
literature, and it will be discussed how these concepts can help us to
correct, expand or refine existent interpretations and suggest new ones.

You will be introduced to the (pre)history of intertextuality and the
problems concerning the interpretation of intertextual contact: is there
a difference, for instance, between just a reference and a self-
conscious allusion? And how can we tell? Do classical texts for example
somehow express their intertextuality? These and other questions will be
asked by means of case studies from Virgil's Aeneid and this epic's
intertextuality with, for instance, the Iliad, the Odyssey,
Catullus, and Virgil's own works.


Lectures and seminar, 2 x 2 hours a week.


Paper and a written exam.

Vereiste voorkennis

BA in Classics or compatible expertise.


I.J.F. de Jong, Narratology and Classics. A Practical Guide, Oxford, OUP
2014; S. Hinds. Allusion and Intertext: Dynamics of Appropriation in
Roman Poetry, Cambridge, CUP 1998; syllabus with the primary texts (via


MA students Classics and Ancient Civilizations.

Overige informatie

This course is taught in collaboration with Prof. dr. I. de Jong (UvA).

Algemene informatie

Vakcode L_XLMAOHS005
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P1
Vakniveau 400
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Vakcoördinator dr. M.A.J. Heerink
Examinator dr. M.A.J. Heerink
Docenten prof. dr. I.J.F. de Jong
dr. M.A.J. Heerink

Praktische informatie

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