LAT 120: Readings in Imperial Latin Literature (4 units)

imagesLAT 120: Readings in Imperial Latin Literature (4 units)

Valentina Popescu

MWF, 10-10:50A, Wellman 229, CRN 61913

Course Description: The Satyrica of Petronius is considered the first Roman novel. A puzzling and composite first personal narrative, it engages with various literary genres and captures a vivid social image of a fictional southern Italy. The adventures of the narrator and his entourage take the readership to schools, baths, art galleries, dining rooms of rich and ignorant, marketplaces, shady lodgings, etc. The bulk of our surviving text focuses on a profligate banquet at the house of a nouveau riche freedman obsessed with death and self-promotion. We will read selections from the surviving text and will address literary and cultural aspects reflected in it.

Prerequisite: Latin 100 or consent of instructor (

GE credit: AH, WC, WE

Format: Lecture - 3 hours; Term Paper


  • Petronius, Satyrica, edited by Beth Severy-Hoven (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014)
  • Petronius, The Satyricon, translated by J.P. Sullivan (Penguin Books, 2011)