Comparative Literature 30A Introduction: Literature in the Ancient World


I.                    The One Who Looked into the Abyss

II.                 The Purpose of Studying Ancient Literature

III.               Course Logistics

A.     Class Meetings

B.     Papers and Tests

C.     Books and Readings

D.     Who are we?

E.      Sections

IV.              The Beginnings of Civilization and of Literature

A.     Civilization and Barbarism

B.     The Idea of Literature

C.     Writing and Speech

V.                 The Books and Their Times

A.     The Ancient Near East: Gilgamesh, c. 2500-1500 BCE, The Exaltation of Inanna by Enheduanna c. 2000 BCE, The Hebrew Bible, 1000-300 BCE

B.     Ancient Greece: Homer, c. 800 BCE, Sappho, 630 BCE, Euripides, 480-406 BCE, Plato, 429-347BCE, Aristotle, 384-322BCE

C.     The Roman Empire and Early Christianity: Virgil, 70-19 BCE, The New Testament, Augustine, 354-430 CE

D.     Anglo-Saxon Britain: Beowulf, c. 700-750 CE

E.      The Late Middle Ages in Italy: Dante Alighieri, La divina commedia: Inferno, 1265-1321