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Origins of Western Literature

CWL 220

Same as CLCV 220. See CLCV 220.

Topic: Nightmares of Nero Literature and the Arts, and Western Compartv Cult course. Few Roman emperors have been so constantly reviled in history and popular culture as Nero. Ancient sources depict him as a deviant, a larger-than-life monster, a tyrant, a megalomaniac, an arsonist, a murderer. Early Christians demonized him as their greatest persecutor, and apocalyptic prophecies identified him with the Antichrist. Setting its sights on the various myths and exaggerations that have come down to us about Nero, this course explores the question of what we can know of the infamous emperor and the age that bears his name. Particular emphasis will be placed on the nightmarish refractions of Neronian Rome found in the works of Seneca, Lucan, and Petronius