00489 - Latin Grammar

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Lucia Pasetti
  • Credits: 12
  • SSD: L-FIL-LET/04
  • Language: Italian
  • Moduli: Lucia Pasetti (Modulo 1) Elisa Dal Chiele (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Humanities (cod. 8850)

Learning outcomes

Knowledge to be obtained by the end of the course: 1) the student knows the morphosyntax of the Latin language at an intermediate level
 2) he knows some basic elements of Latin metrics
 3) he knows some basic elements of the history of the Latin language aimed to provide a full understanding of the main syntactic structures. 

Skills to be obtained by the end of the course: 1) he can recognize and describe appropriately the main morphosyntatic structures
 2) he can read Latin metrics scanning the texts listed in the programme 3) he can produce simple sentences in Latin
 4) he can translate and analyze previously seen texts.

Course contents


The language of prayer from the Archaic age to Late antiquity. Splitted in two parts, the course will focus on the conventional formulas of prayer in its various forms (e.g. hymn, prayer of request and thanksgiving) and contexts (public prayer, personal prayer); a broad selection of texts will document the diachronic evolution of prayer, and the way in which this particular expression of religious language is interpreted in different literary and cultural contexts.

PART 1 (prof. Lucia Pasetti)
Prayers from Archaic age to 1st cent. AD:

the ancient terminology of prayer (reading from Plinius the Elder, Valerius Maximus); the public prayer (reading from Cato, De agri cultura; Livius; Macrobius, Saturnalia); the private prayer (readings (from Plautus, Catullus, Horace, Carmina, Seneca, Tragedies),

PART 2 (prof. Elisa Dal Chiele)

Prayers from 2nd. cent. AD to Late antiquity:

readings from Apuleius, Metamorphoses; Tertullian (De oratione); Tiberian, Augustine (Confessiones, De civitate dei), Boetius (Philosophiae consolatio)


Latin grammar (particularly syntax) will be examined at an advanced level; basic knowledge of historical grammar will be consolidated


students are required to read in original language all the texts presented in the special focus course and the  Book XI (chapters 1.25) of Apuleius' Metamorphoses.

HANDBOOK, see below, Bibliography.

one out of the essays listed below, in Bibliography.

N.B. non-attending students are required to take two critical readings and the whole Book XI of Apuleius' Metamorphoses; the rest of the programme remains unchanged.

Students who intend to choose the course as a single exam, or outside the options of their course of study, are requested to contact the teacher before making their choice final.


LATIN TEXTS all the texts treated during the classes will be available among the teaching materials; as for Metamorphoses XI is concerned, the following editions are recommended:Apuleio, Le Metamorfosi, o L'asino d'oro, introduzione, traduzione e note di Lara Nicolini, Milano, BUR, 2005; Apuleio, Le metamorfosi o L'asino d'oro, a cura di Alessandro Fo, Torino, Einaudi, 2010.

Grammar and syntax: Dionigi – E. Riganti – L. Morisi, Il latino, Bari, Laterza 2011 (= Verba et res. Morfosintassi e lessico del latino, 2 voll., Bari, Laterza, 1999).

Students who knows Latin grammar at an upper-intermediate level will more profitably use Bologna, Cappelli 1985; or I. Dionigi – E. Riganti – L. Morisi, Il latino, Bari, Laterza 2011 (= Verba et res. Morfosintassi e lessico del latino, 2 voll., Bari, Laterza, 1999).
Historical grammar: A. Traina - G.B. Perini, Propedeutica al latino universitario, Bologna (Patron) 1995, capp. I-V.

Students are required to select one of the following readings /further readings will eventualy indicated during the classes):

pp. 261-296 in E. Norden, Dio ignoto. Ricerche sulla storia della forma del discorso religioso, a cura di C. O. Tommasi Moreschini, Brescia 2001 [ed. or. Leipzig Berlin 1913].

E. Secci, Non movent divos preces (Phaedr. 1242): aspetti delle invocazioni agli dèi nelle tragedie di Seneca, Prometheus 2000, 26, 52-70 e 241-266.

pp. 21-33 e 73-89 in J. Schrijnen, I caratteri del latino cristiano antico, Pàtron 20024.

Appendice 3: Il lessico della conversione in B. Pieri, Narrare memoriter, temporaliter dicere. Racconto e metanarrazione nelle Confessioni di Agostino, Pàtron 2018, pp. 261-299.

M. Vincent, Le vocabulaire de la prière chez saint Augustin, Augustiniana 1991, 41, pp. 783-804.

Teaching methods

Lectures; interactive lessons with exercises and readings of Latin texts in the original language, aimed to control the learning proces. A laboratory on grammar will be activated.

Assessment methods

-The final examination consists of a conversation with the examiner; the student will demonstrate to meet the learning objectives, in particular:

1) to have acquired an adequate knowledge of Latin grammar (phonetic, morphology, syntax) at an intermediate level, both from a synchronic and a diachronic point of view: therefore, to pass the examination it is required a good basic knowledge of Latin Language.

2) to know the content of the thearical essays included in this program.

3) to be able to apply theoretical knowledge in practical situations, by performing translations and analysis of the Latin texts listed in the course contents.

Assessment guidelines:

-failing grades: lack of basic linguistic knowledge and inability to produce a correct translation and interpretation of the text

-passing grades: basic linguistic knowledge, translation and interpretation of texts mostly correct, but inaccurate and lacking in autonomy.

-positive grades: language proficiency at an intermediate level; translation and interpretation of the texts fully correct, but not always accurate and autonomous.

-excellent grades: language proficiency at an intermediate-hight level; translation and interpretation of the texts non only correct, but autonomous and accurate

Teaching tools

Materials to sopport teaching, whether in paper or electronic format, will be provided during classes or made available online

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Pasetti

See the website of Elisa Dal Chiele


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.