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Literature 1B: The Classical and Christian Legacies in Literatures in English


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


This course is a general introduction to classical mythology and philosophy, to the Bible and (the history of) Christianity, and the various ways in which these have influenced or have been used by English-language writers in literary history from the Early Modern period up to the present day. Students are required to study a course book, and read selections from Ovid, Homer, Virgil and the Bible, as well as later literary texts used to exemplify the Nachleben of the classical and Christian legacies in literatures in English

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to provide students with a working knowledge of key elements of the classical and Judaeo-Christian traditions, so that they are able to understand and analyze more fully literary texts and cultural backgrounds which will be dealt with throughout the entire study programme of English Language and Culture.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Two-hour lecture per week

  • Independent reading/study of primary and secondary literature

Assessment method


  1. Written midterm examination consisting of open questions, multiple choice questions, and an essay question (mandatory)
  2. Written final examination consisting of of open questions, multiple choice questions, and an essay question (mandatory)


  1. Midterm examination 50%
  2. Final examination 50%

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


If the final grade is lower than 6.0, students may take the resit once. This new test will cover the entire material of the course and the mark will constitute for 100% of the final grade, thus replacing all previously earned marks. There is no resit for the midterm exam.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Ovid. Metamorphoses (Penguin)

  • Rivers, Isabel. Classical and Christian Ideas in English Renaissance Poetry (Allen & Unwin)

  • The Authorized Version of the Bible (The “King James” version of 1611; Oxford World’s Classics)

  • Texts in Brightspace.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.



Not applicable.