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Tutorial MA/ ResMA Latin: Roman drama


Academic requirements

This course is for MA students Classics and ResMa students Classics and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations


As a genre which brings interaction and its various effects on stage, drama is sui generis reflecting the performance and aesthetic experience of words and/in action. In the seminar we will be concerned with the preliteral forms of theatre (such as mimus and atellane) and their development, the role of dance and music (pantomimus), the early forms of literary comedy and the tragedies of the philosopher Seneca – the only texts of this genre which have been transmitted. Beside of reading a selection of primary texts (partly Latin, partly in translation) we will also read and discuss ancient theoretical reflections on the production and reception of dramatic art and discuss modern approaches to the dramatic culture and literature.

Course objectives

  • Survey Roman Drama & Theatre;

  • Introduction into aesthetic aspects of the genre;

  • Advanced research skills: independent formulation of a complex research question, collecting materials (both primary texts and results of earlier research). Analyzing results, constructing arguments, formulating conclusions.

  • Critical assessment of secondary literature;

  • Oral presentation: presenting clearly and making effective use of hand-outs, illustrations and/or multi-media techniques;

  • In case of 10 ects: written presentation: setting out research results effectively, clearly and in a well-structured manner.


Timetable MA Classics

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

5 ects:

  • Pensum, 30%

  • Oral/ Written exam (essay/ response), 70%

10 ects:

  • Pensum, 20%

  • Oral/ Written exam (essay/ response), 40%

  • Paper (8-10 pp), 40%



Reading list

G. Manuwald, Roman Republican Theatre, Cambridge/ New York 2011.


Via uSis

Contact Information

Prof. Dr. A.B. Wessels


  • Students can attend this course for 5 or 10 ects;

  • For an introduction into Metre in Roman Drama students are welcome to attend the Extra college (in Dutch), blok 3, session 3 and 4.