Due Friday, November 30.
Previous general paper instructions still apply.
NB: Again, these topics are merely suggestions. You are free to devise your own topic, but please clear it with me before you begin!
1. Compose a dinner conversation between Vergil and Horace (or Vergil and Ovid, or Ovid and Horace, etc.) in which they exchange their views of the emperor Augustus.
2. It is said (C&F F1, p. 216) that Vergil wished the Aeneid to be burned upon his death. Compose a letter -- or a monologue -- in which Vergil explains and defends his wishes to the emperor Augustus.
3. Write Augustus' response to the (fictitious) letter of Vergil in #2 explaining why he wants the Aeneid preserved.
4. At Aeneid 6.450ff. (C&F p. 236) Aeneas meets Dido, the Carthaginian queen whom he abandoned, in the Underworld. She refuses to either look at or speak to him. Compose (either in poetry or prose) a speech such as Dido might have made to Aeneas on this occasion. For those who choose to do this: a) bear in mind why Aeneas left Dido and how that decision relates to the 'Augustanness' of the poem and b) if you have not done so already, read Book 4 of the Aeneid (not in our sourcebook) in order to understand better the circumstances of their split and the characters of both Dido and Aeneas.
5. Assume the persona of someone living in Augustan Rome (like Horace!) and compose a Horatian satire targeting the moral legislation of Augustus (or one aspect of it). Cf. C&F F8 for an example of a Horatian satire; also useful on the moral legislation: I27, D16-17, D23-29.
6. Ovid was exiled by Augustus for some offense, the precise nature of which is unknown (C&F F28-29). Write a letter from Ovid to Augustus in which he explains why he should be allowed to return to the city....and why his particular brand of literature is beneficial to Rome.
7. A friend has come to visit you in Rome in AD 14 and she (or he) is anxious to see what Augustus has done to the city. Take her on a guided tour of the principal buildings, new or restored, of Augustan Rome.
8. You are an architect and have been hired by the emperor to design a new temple to Rome and Augustus. In a brief to the emperor describe your vision of the temple, what adornments it will include, and what they are meant to convey. Your temple should include some of the motifs and themes we have seen to be common to most Augustan buildings.
9. As a member of the commission to design and implement the building of the Ara Pacis, it is your job to take the emperor on a tour of the altar and explain to him the various scenes represented thereupon. See esp. ZANKER 120-23 etc.
10. As the owner of a modest tavern near the newly built Theater of Marcellus, you are delighted to learn that all members (like you) of the neighborhood merchants association have been given free tickets to attend the first performance in the new theater. Describe your reaction to what the new emperor has built and to what you see performed there. Consult Zanker 147-153.
11. You are a bricklayer hired to work on the Forum of Augustus. In a local watering spot, over a cup of chilled Falernian after work, you explain to some interested patrons what you think the whole thing is about and why they should -- or should not -- care about it. See Zanker 201-215, C&F E5-6
12. You are the 13 year old grandniece of the empress Livia, who has just taken you on an outing to look at the newly erected Ara Pacis. You pause for a long time at the 'goddess of peace' panel. Noticing your curiosity, the empress proceeds to explain to you what the panel is all about and what it means for Augustan Rome. See Zanker 172ff.
13. In a speech before the Senate upon becoming Pontifex Maximus, Augustus explains why religion is important to the state and how he plans to revive Roman religion. See esp. passages cited in the assignments for 'religion' section of the syllabus.
14. As a well-known jurist living in the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian (AD 527 to 565) you have been hired by the emperor to comb the archives for evidence on the Augustan legislation. Write a brief to the emperor in which you summarize five pieces of Augustan legislation and what was significant or groundbreaking about them. See readings for judicial system.
15. Vergil relaxes over a glass of Caecuban with Horace, who asks him, "So what were you thinking about when you wrote Book 6 of the Aeneid anyway?" Vergil gives him an answer. (NB: one can imagine many similar scenarios -- e.g., Ovid or Horace explaining a couple of his poems).