27563 - Medieval and Classical Latin Literature (1)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students know the outline of the history of Middle Latin literature and have the ability to analyze, from a literary point of view, texts both in original language and in Italian translation.

Course contents

The course is divided in two parts. In a first section, it will provide a general overview of the historical development of Medieval latin literature between the 6th and the 13th century. In this part of the course, we will examine the general trends of development of Medieval literature in different times and contexts, and the birth and evolution of the literary genres constituting it. In the second section, we will focus upon the analysis of some representative texts of the Latin poetry of the 12th century. Authors and texts will be selected in order to: 1) provide students with a general overview of the Latin poetic literature of the 12th century; 2) show the influence of classical Latin authors (Virgil and Ovid in particular) on 12th century poetry; 3) make the students aware of the richness of Latin poetry with respect to the forms (lyric poetry, didactic poems, etc.) it adopts and the subjects it deals with.


Sources: Alanus ab Insulis (Alano di Lilla), De planctu naturae ed Anticlaudianus, in: Alain of Lille, Literary Works, ed. and transl. by Winthrop Wetherbee, Cambridge Mass., 2013; Carmina Burana, ed. Alfons Hilka – Otto Schumann, Heidelberg, 1930; Galterius de Castillione (Gualtiero di Châtillon), Alexandreis, ed. Marvin L. Colker, Turnhout 1978; Baldricus Burguliensis (Baudri de Bourgueil), Carmina, in: Les oeuvres poétiques de Baudri de Bourgueil, ed. Phyllis Abrahams, Paris 1926. The texts will be distributed to the students in copies, and uploaded on the electronic platform of the University of Bologna («materiali didattici online»).

- General Studies: C. Leonardi et al. (eds), Letteratura latina medievale (secoli VI-XV), un manuale, Firenze 2002 (see in particular P. Dronke, «Il secolo XII», pp. 231-302); E. D’Angelo, La letteratura latina medievale: una storia per generi, Roma 2009.

- Further Studies: C. H. Haskins, La rinascita del XII secolo, Bologna, 1988; M. Lemoine, Intorno a Chartres: naturalismo platonico nella tradizione cristiana del 12. secolo, Milano, 1988; A. Bisanti, La poesia d’amore nei Carmina Burana, Napoli, 2011.

Non attending students will read, together with the texts listed as "General Studies", one of the two works: 1) Carmina burana. Canti goliardici medievali, a cura di Luisa Vertova, Firenze 1991; 2) Alano di Lilla, Anticlaudianus, ed. Carlo Chiurco, Milano 2004 (or similar editions).

Teaching methods

Classes (30 hours). Classes will consists of introductory lessons given by Prof. Ventura, and of close discussions on the translation and interpretation of the selected texts.

Assessment methods

The exams will consists of an interview. Student will be examined in their skills to 1) identify and describe the historical and typological development of Medieval latin literature, as well as the main steps and phases of its history; 2) picture the development of Medieval latin poetry, and in particular the state of the art during thr 12th century; 3) translate, discuss, and comment upon the selected texts.

In particular, I will assess the students’ skills when comparing the selected texts with the Classical heritage.

Teaching tools

During classes, I will provide students with further readings. Besides, the first part of the course will include an overview of the research tools (manuals, editions of Medieval texts, bibliographies etc.) concerning the history of Medieval latin literature.

Office hours

See the website of Iolanda Ventura