00556 - Greek Literature

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student will become acquainted with philological methods applyed to many literary texts , regarded within their historical and social background.

Course contents

Module 1 (30 hours)

- Introduction to Greek literature.

- Ideas on mousike in classical Athens (from Damon to Peripatos).

Module 2 (30 hours)

Telling the past: from epic poetry to historiography.

Course timetable: Tuesday 13-15, Thursday and Friday 9-11, Aula B (via Centrotrecento 18).

Beginning: Tuesday 21.9.2021 (Module 1), Tuesday 9.11.2021 (Module 2). The course will last from September to December (first semester).


Alphabetization to ancient Greek (optional)

The course (100 hours) will start on 7 October at the Department of Classical and Italian Philology and will extend up to the second semester, with the following timetable:

- 1st semester (from October 7), seminars held by Dr. Margherita Mongiovì;

- 2nd semester (from February 2), seminars held by Dr. Stella Sacchetti.

For hours and classrooms see here.

Interested students are invited to contact the teachers to register (margherita.mongiovi2@unibo.it; stella.sacchetti@gmail.com).


A (modules 1 and 2): student are required to know the historical development of Greek literature and its main authors. They can use the handbook they have from previous studies; otherwise they can use one of the following handbooks: A. Porro-W. Lapini, Letteratura greca, Bologna (Il Mulino) 2017; F. Montanari, Storia della letteratura greca, Roma (Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura) 2017; G.A. Privitera-R. Pretagostini, Storia della letteratura greca, Torino (Einaudi) 1997; L.E. Rossi, Letteratura greca, Firenze (Le Monnier) 1995.


B (module 1): notes from the lessons and texts provided during the course. In addition, it is compulsory to read one book OR three articles among the following essays:


- W.D. Anderson, Ethos and education in Greek music: the evidence of poetry and philosophy, Cambridge (Harvard University Press) 1966.

- A. Barker, Psicomusicologia nella Grecia antica, Napoli (Guida) 2005.

- A. Brancacci, Musica e filosofia. Da Damone a Filodemo, Firenze (Olschki) 2008 (capp. 1-6).

- G. Cerri, La poetica di Platone, Lecce (Argo) 2004.

- F. Pelosi, Plato on music, sould and body, Cambridge-New York (Cambridge University Press) 2010.

- R.W. Wallace, Reconstructing Damon: Music, Wisdom Teaching, and Politics in Perikles' Athens. Oxford-New York (Oxford University Press) 2015.


- P. Destree, Aristotle on music foe leisure, in T. Phillips-A. D’Angour (edd.), Music, Text, and Culture in Ancient Greece, Oxford (Oxford University Press) 2018, 183-202.

- A. Pagliara, Musica e politica nella speculazione platonica: considerazioni intorno all’ethos del modo frigio (Resp. III 10, 399a-c). in A.C. Cassio-D. Musti-L.E. Rossi (edd.), Synaulía. Cultura musicale in Grecia e contatti mediterranei, Napoli (Istituto Univ. Orientale) 2000, 157-216.

- E. Rocconi, Aristoxenus and musical ēthos, in C.A. Huffman (ed.), Aristoxenus of Tarentum: Discussion, New Brunswick (Routledge) 2017, 65-90.

- E. Rocconi, La dottrina aristossenica dell’ethos musicale nel De musica dello Ps.-Plutarco, «Seminari Romani di cultura greca» II (2005) 291-297.

- L.E. Rossi, Musica e psicologia nel mondo antico e nel mondo moderno: la teoria antica dell'ethos musicale e la moderna teoria degli affetti, in A.C. Cassio-D. Musti-L.E. Rossi (edd.), Synaulía. Cultura musicale in Grecia e contatti mediterranei, Napoli (Istituto Univ. Orientale) 2000, 57-96.

- C. Tartaglini, Ethos ekousion e paideia musicale nella ‘Repubblica’ di Platone, «Seminari romani di cultura greca» II (2001) 289-311.

- C. Tartaglini, Ethos del lamento e ethos simposiale nella paideia musicale dei guardiani nella Repubblica di Platone, in R. Nicolai (ed.), ΡΥΣΜΟΣ. «Studi di poesia, metrica e musica greca offerti dagli allievi a Luigi Enrico Rossi per i suoi settant’anni», Roma 2003, 319-345.

- T.J. Mathiesen, Harmonia and Ethos in Ancient Greek Music, «Journal of Musicology» III (1984) 264-279.

- R.W. Wallace, Plato, Poikilia, and New Music at Athens, in D. Micalella (ed.), Poikilia, Torino, 2009, 199-210.

- Wallace, R. W., Damone di Oa ed i suoi successori: un’analisi delle fonti, in R.W. Wallace-B. MacLachlan (edd.), Harmonia mundi. Music and Philosophy in the Ancient World, Roma (Edizioni dell’Ateneo) 1991, 30-54.

- R.W. Wallace, Music Theorists in Fourth-Century Athens, in B. Gentili-F. Perusino, Mousike. Metrica, ritmica e musica in memoria di Giovanni Comotti, Pisa-Roma (Edizioni dell’Ateneo) 1995, 17-39.

- R.W. Wallace, Performing Damon’s Harmoniai, in S. Hagel-C. Harrauer (edd.), Ancient Greek Music in Performance, Vienna (Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften) 2005, 147-158.

Further bibliographical references will be suggested during the course.

C (module 2): notes from the lessons and texts provided during the course and uploaded to the course website at the link "Materiali didattici". In addition, it is compulsory to read one of the following essay:

- G. Arrighetti, Poeti, eruditi e biografi, Pisa (Giardini) 1987 [part I].

- G. Arrighetti, Poesia, poetiche e storia nella riflessione dei Greci. Studi, Pisa (Giardini) 2016 [part I].

- C. Calame, Il racconto in Grecia. Enunciazioni e rappresentazioni di poeti, Roma-Bari (Laterza) 1988 [chapters 1-3].

- G. Cerri, La poetica di Platone, Lecce (Argo) 2004.

- M. Detienne, I maestri della verità nella Grecia arcaica, Roma-Bari (Laterza) 1983, re-issued over and over again.

- E. Gabba, Storia e letteratura antica, Bologna (Il Mulino) 2001.

- B. Gentili, Poesia e pubblico nella Grecia antica, Milano (Feltrinelli) 20064 [chapters. 1-6, 8].

- E. Havelock, Preface to Plato, Cambridge, Mass. (Harvard University Press) 1963, re-issued over and over again [part I].

- R. Vattuone, Historie, Bologna (Pàtron) 2006.

- M. Vetta, La civiltà dei Greci. Forme, luoghi, contesti, Roma (Carocci) 2011 [three chapters at student's choice].

Further bibliographical references will be suggested during the course.


Students of the Bachelor in History will follow only one module and are requested to study the bibliography pertaining to points A (general part, mandatory for all) and B or C.


Students who cannot attend the course are invited to talk with the teacher in order to substitute the notes from the lessons with a text, according to their interest.

Teaching methods

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment methods

The conclusive examination is an oral interview. It is required a close, critical investigation of the texts examined during the course. The students who will prove to achieve a thorough and complete knowledge of the topics discussed during the lessons will gain excellent marks; the students who will show an incomplete knowledge of the topics and will not be able to contextualize the main authors of Greek literature will gain lower marks or even a fail, depending on the importance of the subject.

Range of marks: outstanding: 30L; excellent: 28-30; good: 25-27; discrete: 22-24; sufficient: 18-21.

Teaching tools

Texts and photocopis, e-learning documents.

Office hours: see the website of Marco Ercoles [https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/marco.ercoles/en]

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Marco Ercoles