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CLASSICS 3YY3 Ovid (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Mariapia Pietropaolo


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 709

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23455

Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00-3:00 and Thursday 11:00-noon

Course Objectives:

The goal of this course is to enable students to become acquainted with Ovid’s poetry on love and myth and to develop the critical skills necessary to examine fundamental aspects of the Ovidian style in various genres. We will explore salient features of Ovid’s poetics through close readings of representative passages from his works, interpreting them against the background of  contemporary culture and in the context of the expectations raised by the different genres in which Ovid wrote. Ovid is a highly sophisticated poet, thought-provoking and amusing at the same time. By the end of the course, students should be able to speak and write confidently about the principal aspects of Ovid’s style and the main themes of his poetry. Special attention will be paid to Ovid’s perspective on gender, sex and beauty as well as poetry itself.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Ovid, Metamorphoses (trans. Melville). Oxford University Press, 2008.  ISBN: 9780199537372

Ovid,  Heroides (trans. Isbell). Penguin Classics, 1990.  ISBN: 9780140423556

Dyson Hejduk, J. The Offense of Love: Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris, and Tristia 2. Wisconsin Studies in Classics. University of  Wisconsin Press, 2015.     ISBN: 9780299302047

Other texts will be supplied by the instructor.

Method of Assessment:

Midterm Test  (October 23)                                                     20%

Essay  (Due November 23)                                                    20%

2 Quizzes  (each 5% , Sept. 25 and Nov. 20 )                       10%                            

Participation, attendance, preparation                                    10%

Presentation                                                                            5%

Final Examination                                                                   35%


There will be no make-up quizzes. Essay topics will be distributed well in advance of the due date. Regular participation will comprise a significant component of the final grade.  This participation mark will be based on class attendance and participation in discussion, asking and answering questions, etc. You are expected to come to class having prepared the day’s reading assignment, and you should be ready to participate in class discussion.  Students will pair up to present short talks (approx.10 minutes) on assigned readings. The presenters will introduce three questions about the reading, lead discussion on those questions or related issues, and offer their own interpretations of the assigned reading.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students who miss a quiz due to severe illness or grievous personal distress must provide appropriate documentation and will have the weight of the missed quiz transferred to the next element of the course requirements. Only illness and grievous personal distress are considered valid reasons for missing a quiz.

Your Essay is due in class on November 23. Late assignments will lose 3% per day (including weekends). Should you require an extension, you must arrange one with the instructor before the due date. Extensions will only be granted in cases of illness or grievous personal distress; general midterm busyness or extra-curricular activities are not suitable reasons for extensions.

The date and time of the final examination will be set by the office of the registrar.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Tues. Sept. 4               Welcome and Introduction,  Amores 1.1

Wed. Sept. 5               Amores 1.1, 1.2, 1.5 (Ave. to Learn)

Fri. Sept.7                   Amores 1.8, 1.9, 1.14

Tues. Sept.11              Amores 2.4, 2.12, 2.13, 2.14

Wed. Sept. 12             Amores 2.17, 3.1

Fri. Sept. 14                Amores 3.8, 3.12, 3.15

Tues. Sept.18             Ars Amatoria 1 (Dyson Hejduk)

Wed. Sept. 19             Ars Amatoria 1

Fri. Sept. 21                Ars Amatoria 1, 3

Tues. Sept. 25           Quiz #1, Ars Amatoria 3

Wed. Sept. 26            Ars Amatoria 3

Fri. Sept. 28                Remedia Amoris  

Tues. Oct. 2                Remedia Amoris (Dyson Hejduk)

Wed. Oct. 3                 Heroides 1, 3, 4

Fri. Oct. 5                   Heroides 4, 6, 7

Oct. 8 to Oct. 14   Midterm Recess

Tues. Oct. 16              Heroides 7, 10, 11

Wed. Oct. 17              Heroides 11, 12

Fri. Oct. 19                 Heroides 12, 15

Tues. Oct. 23            Midterm Test

Wed. Oct. 24              Heroides 15, 17, 18

Fri. Oct. 26                 Heroides 20, 21

Tues. Oct. 30             Metamorphoses 1

Wed. Oct. 31              Metamorphoses 1

Fri. Nov. 2                  Metamorphoses 3

Tues. Nov. 6               Metamorphoses 3-4

Wed. Nov. 7               Metamorphoses 4-5

Fri. Nov. 9                  Metamorphoses 5-6 (up to page 130)

Tues. Nov. 13            Metamorphoses 7, 8 (pages 144-153, 171-179)

Wed. Nov. 14             Metamorphoses 10-11 (pages 225-251)

Fri. Nov. 16                Metamorphoses 13

Tues. Nov. 20            Quiz #2, Metamorphoses 13-14

Wed. Nov. 21              Metamorphoses 14

Fri. Nov.23                 Essay due, Metamorphoses 15 (pages 374-379)

Tues. Nov. 27             Tristia 2 (Dyson Hejduk)

Wed. Nov. 28              Tristia 2

Fri. Nov. 30                 Tristia 2

Tues. Dec. 4                Catch up

Wed. Dec. 5                Review


Other Course Information:

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.