CLAS310-21S1 (A) Semester One 2021 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)

Writing in Chains: Latin Literature and Roman Slavery

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


An examination of Roman slavery from a literary and cultural-historical perspective.

In this course we will investigate the presence of slaves in Latin literature, their contribution to it as a practice and the role they played in the Roman imagination. Classes will be a combination of lectures, discussions, and seminar presentations.  The lecturer will provide students with the general framework for thinking about specific issues and with questions to guide them through the readings.  Students will read primary and secondary texts in order to make a useful contribution to the discussion in all classes.

Lectures and readings will consider:
• the literary purposes that slaves served, the light that they shed on the practice and the imagining of slavery in ancient Rome, and how they functioned as tools for negotiating other issues.  
• Primary texts will be drawn from a variety of genres, including satire, lyric poetry, comedy, philosophy, the novel, and the fable.
• A variety of critical approaches towards slavery and literature

Learning Outcomes

  • Students who are successful in this course will:
  • become familiar with a variety of Latin literary works drawn from a range of genres;
  • be exposed to diverse critical approaches while keeping a special focus on Latin literature and Roman slavery;
  • learn to discuss and assess scholarly arguments by testing them on primary sources both orally and in written form.
  • Write an argument in proper form and to support it through citation and discussion of primary and secondary sources
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Any 30 points at 200 level from CLAS, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA.

Timetable Note

Classes will be held at the City Campus in the Arts Centre, 3 Hereford Street.

Course Coordinator

Enrica Sciarrino


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Written report 15% One written report of no more than 1,500 words on a secondary source
Research Journal 25%
Essay OR Seminar presentation 35% 2,500 word essay, or 20 minute presentation
Final test 25%

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Apuleius; The Golden Ass ; Penguin Classics.

Petronius; The Satyricon ; Penguin Classics, 2011.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,570.00

International fee $7,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All CLAS310 Occurrences

  • CLAS310-21S1 (A) Semester One 2021 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)