75993 - Classical Literary Sources for the Study of Cultural Heritage

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Alessandro Iannucci

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-FIL-LET/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in History, preservation and enhancement of artistic and archaeological heritage and landscape (cod. 9218)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Sep 27, 2021 to May 05, 2022


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 learn to use classical literary sources for the study of the archaeological, historical and artistic cultural heritage. The student will learn classical tradition and mythology, their cultural, symbolic and narrative elements, as well as their persistence in the history of ideas and culture.

Course contents


1. Classical tradition and its persistence in modern and contemporary culture through the cultural heritage: reading methodology, interpretation and storytelling of cultural heritage through the use of Greek and Latin literary texts.

2. Mythical narratives of the classical civilisation and the function of myth in the organisation of society and thought, as well as in the construction of behavioural models and shared values; tradition and reception of myth in modern and contemporary culture; the myth , as a language and compositional code for artistic and literary works.

3. Case studies. Technology and control of nature in the myth of Prometheus, from ancient narratives (Hesiod, Aeschylus) to modern representations (visual arts, theatre, literature, cinema, philosophy and science).


1. On the Classical Tradition: lecture notes and teaching materials available on the course website.
Students who do not yet possess a basic knowledge of classical literature are recommended to study A. Beltrametti, La letteratura greca. Tempi e luoghi, occasioni e forme, Roma: Carocci, 2005.

2. On the Classical Myth it is required to study one between:   W. Burkert, Mito e rituale in Grecia: struttura e storia, trad. it. Roma-Bari: Laterza, 1996; F. Graf, Il mito in Grecia, Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2007; D. Lanza, Tempo senza tempo. La riflessione sul mito dal Settecento a oggi, Roma: Carocci, 2017; S. Saïd, Introduzione alla mitologia greca, Roma: Editori Riuniti, 2012.

3. On the Prometheus Myth: F. Condello (a cura di), Prometeo. Variazioni sul mito, Venezia: Marsilio, 2011.

Additional texts, handouts, multimedia aids and critical essays on all parts of the programme will be available on the course's website.

For non attending students it is required the reading of one among these volumes: M. Bettini – M. Lentano, Il mito di Enea. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi, Torino: Einaudi, 2013; M. Bettini – C. Brillante, Il mito di Elena. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi, Torino: Einaudi, 2013; M. Bettini – C. Franco, Il mito di Circe. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi, Torino: Einaudi, 2010; M. Bettini - S. Romani, Il mito di Arianna. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi, Torino: Einaudi, 2015; F. Condello, Elettra. Storia di un mito, Roma: Carocci, 2010; G. Ieranò, Arianna. Storia di un mito, Roma: Carocci, 2010; S. Fornaro, Antigone. Storia di un mito, Roma: Carocci, 2012; G. Paduano, Edipo. Storia di un mito, Roma: Carocci, 2012; M. Bettini, G. Pucci, Il mito di Medea. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi, Torino: Einaudi, 2017; R. Deidier (ed.), Kore, la ragazza ineffabile. Un mito tra passato e presente, Roma: Donzelli Editore, 2011.

Teaching methods

The course is delivered through frontal lectures supplemented by seminar activities, laboratory exercises on the main bibliographic and iconographic repertoires and on the use of the iconographic tradition repository of the classic myth Mythologiae.

At the end of the course students who request it will be able to carry out a didactic laboratory of 2 CFU at the FrameLAB of the Department of Cultural Heritage, aimed at the construction of the Mythologiae repertory and functional to the application of the skills acquired on the classical tradition and digital storytelling of cultural heritage.

Assessment methods

The  acuuqired knowledge  will be verified through two different methods chosen by the students: 1. Critical essay (recommended to attending students); 2. Oral examination (recommended to non-attendig students)

1. Preparation of a critical essay: students who choose this option are required to prepare an essay of between 18,000 and 22,000 characters, based on a format available at the course website. The essays must be submitted in the course website fifteen days before the date of the examination call. The essays will be assessed taking into account the degree of skills acquired on the programme, the ability to critically review, the skills in the use of literary sources for the understanding and storytelling of cultural heritage objects. Scores will be awarded taking into account the level of pass (between 18/30 and 23/30); full merit(between 24/30 and 27/30) and distinction (28/30 and 30/30).

2. Oral examination. the examination will assess knowledge of all sections of the course (cultural heritage and classical tradition, mythical narrative, function and reception of myth, case studies) through a critical discussion of ancient texts read during the lectures and through the additional teaching materials. Marks will be evaluated according following criteria:

  • pass (18/30-23/30): basic and mnemonic knowledge of the arguments
  • merit 24/30-27/30): good knowledege about sources and essays; competence on critical discussion about the contents of the course;
  • distinction (28/30-30/30): excellent knowledege about all the arguments; evidence of remarkable skills in the critical evaluation of the course contents

Teaching tools

The course website will offer the following teaching materials:

  • classical texts discussed during the lectures
  • critical essays related to the classical persistence
  • guides for the use of digital repositories for bibliographic and iconographical searches

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Iannucci