00755 - Palaeography and Diplomatics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course aims at the knowledge of the Mediaeval book and cursive latin writing as well of the document typologies between Middle and early Modern Ages. At the end of the course the student acquires a critical knowledge of latin and vernacular manuscript productions, is able to distinguish and date the most important book and cursive writings, knows the principles of the diplomatic edition of Mediaeval documents and the specific bibliography. He is also able to manage the research tools.

Course contents

In the first half of the course will be analyzed the morphologic relationship between calligraphy and cursive writing with deep insights into the abbreviation systems used in the Middle and the early Modern ages. It will not also overlooked the development of the Western latin writing (between the Carolingian age and early Modern age), even though this matter will be traeted more concisely.

The second half of the course will be devoted to the diplomatic. Main arguments of the course: diplomatic and diplomatic document; functions and typologies of documents in the pubblic and private production domains; the most important public and private documentary typologies will be showed in facsimile and discussed.

Practical lessons will be dedicated to reading, understanding, and dating diplomatic documents.

Although no specific prerequisites are required for course attendance, knowledge of Latin is strongly recommended.


Readings for attendant students:

1. A. Pratesi, Genesi e forme del documento medievale, Roma, Jouvance, 1979

2. F. De Lasala-P. Rabikauskas, Il documento medievale e moderno. Panorama storico della diplomatica generale e pontificia, Roma, Università Gregoriana- Istituto portoghese di S. Antonio, 2003.

3. G. Cencetti, Il notariato medievale italiano, in «Annali della Facoltà di giurisprudenza dell’Università di Genova», 4 (1965), pp. 1-13.

4. Documents in facsimile to be read and discussed during the lessons.

Students withouth basic knowledge in Latin palaeography will be study also:

4. A. Petrucci, Breve storia della scrittura latina, Roma, Bagatto, 1992.

Students non attending to the lectures are required to read the texts listed in the bibliography and are invited to contact the teacher to agree an alternative work program for the examination

Teaching methods

Lessons and educational visit  in Archiv and Libraries.

Assessment methods

The oral exam aims at assessing the critical knowledge of the recommended readings as well as of the topics discussed during the lessons.Part of the exam will focus on reading and discussing facsimiles of manuscripts and documents in order to verify the student's ability in the understanding and dating Mediaeval manuscripts and documents. It will be evaluated very positive or positive the student's ability to demonstrate the acquired knowledge in a personal and critical way, using an appropriate language.More than sufficient will be evaluated the mnemonic knowledge, expressed with conciveness, in a correct language but not very appropriate. Sufficient will be evaluated the basic knowledge expressed with inappropriate language. Insufficient will be evaluated the incomplete knowledge of the readings, the incorrect and inappropriate language, the inability to manage bibliographies and texts analized during the lessons.

Teaching tools

Power point and network access for the the visit of the most important specific web sites devoted to the topics discussed in the lessons.

Office hours

See the website of Paola Degni