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Unit of study_

LATN3602: Virgil's Aeneid

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Virgil's Aeneid is the central text of Roman civilization and arguably of Western culture. This unit will examine its stylistic, literary and narrative technique, and its historical and political context, through the reading of either an entire book or selected passages from the whole epic. It is particularly suitable for students who are in their second or third year of Latin, but will be of interest, profit and enjoyment to anyone interested in Latin poetry.

Unit details and rules

Unit code LATN3602
Academic unit Classics and Ancient History
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Robert Cowan,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Participation in class discussion
Participation in class discussion
10% - n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam Exam
Commentary exercise on three passages from Virgil Aeneid 4.
25% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Presentation group assignment Presentation on theme or critical approach to the Aeneid
Presentation on a theme or critical approach to the Aeneid
10% Multiple weeks 15 minutes + leading discussion
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Essay
45% Week 11 2500wd
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Small test Translation test
Translation test of passages from set text, Virgil Aeneid 4
10% Week 13 30 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Group assignment with individually assessed component = group assignment with individually assessed component ?
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Participation: preparedness to translate and discuss the set text, and to engage in discussion of the themes and approaches in other classes. A discussion board will be provided to offer opportunities to those whose internet access or temperament makes oral participation difficult.
  • Presentation: a fifteen-minute presentation on one of the themes or approaches to the Aeneid, followed by leading of discussion.
  • Essay: a 2 5000-word essay either on one from a choice of three suggested topics, or devised by yourself. Self-devised topics require an abstract to be approved by the Unit coordinator.
  • Translation test: a short translation test conducted in-class or invigilated on Zoom to ensure you have read and understood the set text.
  • Take-home exam: a 2-hour exam in which you will write a commentary on three from a choice of four passages from Aeneid 4.

More details on all assessments will be posted on Canvas, and the Unit coordinator is always happy to answer questions.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Ongoing Translation and discussion of the set text, Virgil Aeneid 4 Seminar (23 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7
Themes and critical approaches to the Aeneid, with presentations. Seminar (11 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 01 1. Introduction to Virgil and the Aeneid; 2. Introduction to book; 3. Introduction to metre and style Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 13 In-class/on-Zoom translation test Seminar (1 hr) LO2
Revision and exam practice Seminar (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

The set edition of Aeneid 4 is Conte’s Teubner edition: 

Recommended commentaries are O’Hara (online), Austin (print), Pease (online), MacLennan (online), Gildenhard (online, only lines 1-299).

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of Virgil’s Aeneid and critical approaches to it.
  • LO2. Demonstrate an appreciation of Virgil’s style and poetic diction, and how he uses language to construct meaning and assert imaginative power.
  • LO3. Demonstrate competence in critical terminology and theory used in the academic study of Latin literature.
  • LO4. Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which Latin literature reflects the cultural and political concerns of Roman society.
  • LO5. Construct and defend coherent and valid evidence-based arguments about Latin literature and its interpretation in written and oral form.
  • LO6. Demonstrate high-level skills in critical thinking and the analysis of complex works of Latin literature, and the ability to work independently and creatively.
  • LO7. Demonstrate an ability to work effectively in collaborative contexts.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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