Stanford Rolls Out Another Podcast Course and a New iTunes Look


Virgil_2Stanford re-launched its iTunes site last week, rolling out a new sleek look and a host of new podcasts.

Among the new releases, you'll find the latest in a series of full-fledged courses ready to be downloaded to your iPod for free. (See the previous courses we've mentioned here, here and here.) This time around, you can access a short course, Virgil's Aeneid: Anatomy of a Classic (get it on iTunes), which takes a close look at one of the central texts in the Western tradition.  (You can purchase a copy of the book referenced in the course here, or download free web versions in English or Latin, though they won't follow the correct pagination.) Presented by Susanna Braund, a Stanford classics professor, the course is divided into 5 installments, each running about two hours. For the moment, you can only download the first part. But rest assured that the remaining ones are set to be issued in the weeks to come. The course was originally presented in Stanford's Continuing Studies program. To learn more about the course, take a look at the course description below.

"The central text in the canon of Latin literature is Virgil’s Aeneid, an epic poem in twelve books composed more than two thousand years ago under the Roman emperor Augustus. The poem was an instant hit. It became a school text immediately and has remained central to studies of Roman culture to the present day. How can a poem created in such a remote literary and social environment speak so eloquently to subsequent ages? In this course we will discover what kind of poem this is and what kind of hero Aeneas is. Our studies will focus chiefly on the poem itself and on wider aspects of Roman culture. It will be essential to commit to reading the poem ahead of time, at a rate of about 100 pages per week. We will use the energetic translation by Robert Fitzgerald."

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  • Gene De Lisa says:

    This is terrific. A lecture on the Aeneid available for free.

    Unfortunately someone chose to force would be listeners to use iTunes. That was not necessary.

  • Bob says:

    Tying this to iTunes is just a bad choice. I don’t know if Apple somehow pushes/pays for this approach but it certainly makes it harder to use as their Podcast handling is somewhere between poor and broken. I’ll go through the painful effort of getting this through iTunes but I’m glad a number of other Universities have chosen to offer better approaches.

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