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To guide students in the literary and cultural study of selected texts in ancient fictional prose narrative.
Long before the rise of the modern novel, a form of prose fiction arose in the Greco-Roman world that can justifiably be described by that term. This module considers both the ideal Greek novel of love and adventure and the comic strain represented by the Satyrica of the Latin writer Petronius. The ancient novel was a literary melting-pot, shaped above all by epic but indebted to a wide variety of genres; the relationships between the novels and these forms of literature are examined, as are topics such as narrative technique, characterisation, and gender construction.