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Literature 1B: The Classical and Christian Legacies


Admission requirements



This course is a general introduction to classical mythology and philosophy, to the Bible and (the history of) Christianity, and the various ways in which these have influenced or have been used by English-language writers in literary history from the Early Modern period up to the present day. Students are required to study a course book, and read selections from Ovid, Homer, Virgil and the Bible, as well as later literary texts used to exemplify the Nachleben of the classical and Christian legacies in literatures in English

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to provide students with a working knowledge of key elements of the classical and Judaeo-Christian traditions, so that they are able to understand and analyze more fully literary texts and cultural backgrounds which will be dealt with throughout the entire study programme of English Language and Culture.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Research (independent reading/study of primary and secondary literature)

Assessment method

There will be a written test at the end of the course, consisting of:

  • 15 short open questions (30% of final mark)

  • 45 closed questions (multiple choice) (50% of final mark)

  • 2 longer (essay) questions (20% of final mark)


Blackboard will be used in this course to offer sample questions, and to make available the material used during the general lectures. See Blackboard

Reading list

  • Ovid, Metamorphoses (Penguin)

  • Isabel Rivers, Classical and Christian Ideas in English Renaissance Poetry (Allen & Unwin)

  • The Authorized Version of the Bible (The “King James” version of 1611; Oxford World’s Classics)

  • Reader with background material, order via Reader Online.


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Co-ordinator of Studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.