BA Latin and Italian

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Ovid: the Mythological Poems

Course unit fact file
Unit code CAHE31261
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course concentrates on the mythological poems of the Augustan poet, Ovid.


Available on which programme(s)?

Available, subject to timetable, on all UG programmes administered by CAHAE. This course counts as a core Roman literature course for BA Classics, BA Classical Studies, and BA Latin joint honours.

Pre-requisite units



for those reading the poems only in translation: none;

for those reading some parts of the poems in Latin: (at least) Advanced Latin 1 or equivalent (higher is fine);

This course aims :

  • To engage in thorough reading of the core mythological poems of Ovid (Metamorphoses, Fasti and (for non-linguists) Heroides), leading to knowledge of and critical thought about the texts and analyses of them.
  • To explore the intertextual background to the set texts, especially focusing on the Greek and Roman epic tradition together with their reception by later cultures.
  • To analyse the poetic, generic, and thematic features of the set texts. In the summatively assessed essay, students will be required to take a wide view of an issue, ranging across all the texts they have studied.

Learning outcomes

In the final examination, students studying entirely in translation will be challenged with a compulsory gobbet question from their additional text, Heroides, plus optional questions from which they will have to choose at least one from each of the Metamorphoses and Fasti, thus requiring wide-ranging knowledge of the texts. Linguists will be similarly challenged with a compulsory translation section, including both Metamorphoses and Fasti.

See in addition the specific outcomes listed below


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alison Sharrock Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Any student who satisfies the pre- and co-requisites for the Linguists' Version, and has already completed Advanced Latin 1, must take the linguist version of the relevant literature course.  Students who are concurrently taking Advanced Latin 1 may choose whether to take the Linguist or the non-Linguist version. If they are taking more than one literature course concurrently with Advanced 1, they may choose to take the Linguist version of one course and the non-Linguist version of another, or both Linguist, or both non-Linguist. Students who are at Level 3 and taking Advanced Latin 1 must choose either the Level 3 version of the course as non-Linguist or the Level 2 version of the course as Linguist. Such a student would only be able to take one course unit as a Linguist, since university rules preclude taking more than 20 credits at a lower level.