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Studies in Ancient Literature: Ancient Philosophies of Literature

This course considers various philosophies of literature which arose in ancient Greece, Rome, and India, traditions of thinking about what literature is, what it does or ought to do, and what roles it should play in the lives of individuals and communities. Topics will include theories of mimesis (imitation), poetics, aesthetics, gesture, and language, drawing on readings from Plato's Republic, Phaedrus, and Ion, Aristotle's Poetics, Bharata Muni's Natyasastra and its earliest commentary, the Abhinavabharati of Abhinavagupta, Longinus' “On the Sublime,” Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria, Horace's Ars Poetica and other literary epistles, and Plutarch's“How to Study Poetry.” We will reading slowly, closely, and with attention to cross-cultural comparison of ancient literary theory and criticism.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka