CAC3062 : Literature in the Age of Nero (Inactive)


Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module will consist of reading a selection of texts from the Neronian Period or texts written about the Neronian period. Such texts may include (but are not limited to) selections from Lucan’s De Bello Ciuili, the tragedies of Seneca, Petronius’ Satyricon, and Suetonius' Life of Nero. These texts will be situated both within their political context (Rome under a princeps who is the last of the Julio-Claudians, a figure who later acquired legendary status for his decadence and despotism) and their literary context (especially in relation to how these texts negotiate their place within the epic and tragic traditions).

As part of the process for situating these texts within their context, this module will also consider how literature from the Neronian period (together with material culture) can feature in museum exhibitions and media as a means of engaging a wider audience with this material.

Literary, cultural, religious, political and historical issues will be discussed.

This module aims to:
(1) Provide an understanding of the political and literary context of Neronian literature;
(2) Provide an understanding of the key interpretative problems raised in these texts;
(3) Provide an understanding of Neronian writers’ aims;
(4) Develop students' skills of textual interpretation, analysis and problem-solving as applied to Neronian Literature.
(5) Develop students' skills of interpersonal and written communication
(6) Encourage students to think about how to disseminate this information to a wider audience - this will allow them to reflect back upon the central themes within these texts.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following topics will be discussed:
• Historical context
• Key themes in Neronian Literature such as the portrayal of death, dismemberment of body and text, luxury and excess
• Literary context and influences

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Part of contact hours
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion821:0082:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Seminars PiP
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities251:0025:00Activities in preparation for seminars, workshops, guidance for planning projects
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study601:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time41:004:00Online training workshops for assessments and group activities
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce the texts and the period
Lecture materials provide additional content that cannot be covered in lectures. They help to support independent research as well as reinforcing the in-class content. Students can work with this material according to their own pace and schedule and there are opportunities to ask questions about it and to post comments on Canvas.
Seminars (PiP) - small group work focused on the texts
Workshops (PiP) - interactive session to revisit and revaluate the course content and prepare for assessment
Online training workshops - sessions tailored toward creating the portfolio projects. How to source and use content, how to work with different media.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A602000 words (Student Portfolio Project)
Written exercise2M401200 word Commentary - close work on the texts that will help to prepare students for the final assessment.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2M750 word practice piece to help prepare for first assessment (will also build into the second)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative assessment will help students to prepare for the first written exercise, but it will also lay the groundwork for the portfolio project at the end of the course.

The commentary assessment gives students the opportunity to work in depth with a text so that they can the skills needs to incorporate texts into bigger projects (i.e. for assessment 2)

The portfolio project will be an opportunity for students to design their own project that focuses on using literature on Nero or from the Neronian period to present their own 'Neronian story'. This could be (for example) a (virtual) exhibition space, or it could be a journal/newspaper style article, or a podcast or an audio tour or some other form of media (must be discussed in advance with the module leader who will confirm the viability of the proposed project). The literature serves as a starting point for the story that the student wishes to tell. Regardless of the format chosen by the students for delivering their work, they must provide a written copy of their text with full references and bibliography. This serves as a control mechanism with respect to word count and ensuring that students can demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes, while still given them creative freedom. Guidelines on how the assessment will be marked (in line with existing marking criteria) will be provided. This assessment allows students to look in depth at Neronian literature and how it connects to the Neronian age and cultural context. This is an opportunity for students to explore how texts fit within their context and to explore in greater detail the relationship between literature and the world that produces it.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists