Discussion Nine: Political Discourse

Discussion Nine: Political Discourse
For this Module, we have read a group of selections that debate political issues.
Drawing from what you have read here, and what you know about contemporary
politics, what similarities do you see? What differences?
Points of comparison can involve tone, language, purpose, or topic. You can also
consider the manner that particular individuals are engaged.
If you are totally stuck, think about what early Empire Roman writers had to say about
the the shift from Republic to Empire. In what ways do their appraisal of the past
resonate with the way that contemporary politicians talk about/use the past?
Alternatively, look at the situations in which Roman authors discuss/appeal to particular
politicians. In what ways is their tone/approach similar to that which contemporary
politicians take to their subject?
I intend for this to be a broad and free-flowing discussion. Feel free to bring in your own
observations feel free to use whatever examples you find are appropriate.

Discussion Ten: Conversations with Horace
This has been a pretty poetry-driven module, hasn't it? Horace. Ovid. Juvenal. These
are not hard poets to read, because they have been translated into modern language
for us, from their original Latin.  Still, they seem hard to grasp, their meaning just a little
arcane and esoteric, because of the figurative language that they use to express
themselves. Indeed, similies, metaphors, and symbolism from Ancient Rome does not
always exactly hit the mark with our modern day sensibilities.
This does not mean, however, that these poets have nothing to tell us, or that their
experiences do not resonate with our own.  They most certainly do– we just have to
give them the chance.
Pick one of these fine poets, and one of their poems. Explain, in your own words what
they are trying to convey about their experience in the Roman Empire, and explain how
this resonates (or doesn't! 🙂 ) with our experiences today.
Give me one response to the prompt, and then one response to a classmate's
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


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