The poets and writers of ancient Greece and Rome created countless innovations in their literary works that became the inheritance of Western culture. These range from narrative techniques like flashbacks, found already in Homer, to the creation of meaning through sustained allegory, to the development of genres and tones like the macabre. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the range of classical literature by surveying key innovations that continue to make Greek and Roman literature exciting, and that have influenced the work of centuries of writers in the Western tradition down to the present. Students will read selections from early modern and modern writers alongside those of classical authors to consider how these later authors directly or indirectly build upon, adapt, and even abandon the techniques and themes of classical authors. We will consider not only how later authors developed classical modes and methods, but equally how the perspectives of later authors can help us isolate what is interesting and perhaps unexpected in the work of classical authors. The class will include comparisons with Arabic and Chinese poetics to provide additional perspectives on the Western literature. This course satisfies the SUNY General Education Requirement in Humanities and Western Civilization.