30352 - Philology and Greek Literature (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Camillo Neri

  • Credits 12

  • SSD L-FIL-LET/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Philology, Literature and Classical Tradition (cod. 9070)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, the students acquire a specific knowledge of the authors of Greek Literature as well as the methodological skills useful for the textual analysis. They also know elements of ancient Greek culture that are necessary for understanding modern European literatures.

Course contents

A Core course (30 hours).

1. Scholarship and history of Greek scholarship: history of textual tradition, textual criticism, editorial technique, examples (Sophocles, Trachiniae: prologue) (10 hours).

2. Greek language and history of the Greek language: historical grammar, from IE to Greek dialects, examples (Archilochus and Hipponax, fragments) (10 hours).

3. Greek literature and history of Greek literature: from oral performances, to theater, to prose, to 'literature', to the opening to the Jewish and Roman world, to the late-ancient and Byzantine age, examples (Greek lyric, Aristotele, Poetics, Theocritus, Thalysia) (10 hours).

B. Special focus course (30 hours).

Alcaeus' fragments.

C. Critical investigations (personal).


A.1. Notes from the lectures. As for the reading of Sophocles' Trachiniae (verses discussed during the lectures only): H. Lloyd-Jones–N.G. Wilson, Sophoclis fabulae, Oxford 1990, pp. 239-292 (for the commentary: M. Davies, Sophocles. Trachiniae, Oxford 1991; see also R.D. Dawe, Sophocles. Trachiniae, Stuttgart-Leipzig 19963); A. Rodighiero, Sofocle. La morte di Eracle (Trachinie), Venezia 2004. One book in the following list: P. Maas, La critica del testo, trad. it. Roma 2017(4) (19511; ed. or. Leipzig 19271, 19502, 19573); G. Pasquali, Storia della tradizione e critica del testo, Firenze 19522 (19341); R. Pfeiffer, Storia della filologia classica, I. Dalle origini alla fine dell'età ellenistica, trad. it. Napoli 1973 (ed. or. Oxford 1968); L.D. Reynolds-N.G. Wilson, Copisti e filologi. La tradizione dei classici dall'antichità ai tempi moderni, Roma-Padova 20164 (Padova 19691; ed. or. Oxford 1968); S. Timpanaro, La genesi del metodo del Lachmann, Torino-Novara 2010 (Firenze 19631, Padova 19812); M.L. West, Critica del testo e tecnica dell’edizione, Palermo 1991 (ed. or. Stuttgart 1973).

A.2. Notes from the lectures. Ad for the reading of Archilochus and Hipponax (verses discussed during the lectures only): M.L. West, Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati, I, Oxford 19892, 1-171; H. Degani, Hipponax, Stuttgart-Leipzig 19912. One book in the following list: L. Heilmann, Grammatica storica della lingua greca, Torino 1963; P. Chantraine, Morphologie historique du grec, Paris 1947; C. Neri (et all.), Μέθοδος. Corso di lingua e cultura greca. Grammatica, Firenze 2018.

A.3. Notes from the lectures. As for the reading of Greek lyric (Archilochus, Solon, Sappho, Bacchlylides only): C. Neri, Lirici greci. Età arcaica e classica, Roma 2011; E. Degani-G. Burzacchini, Lirici greci, Bologna 20052. As for Aristotle, Poetics (passages discussed during the lectures only): C. Gallavotti, Aristotele. Dell’arte poetica, Milano 1974 (rist. 1999); D. Lanza, Aristotele. Poetica, Milano 1987. As for Theocritus, Thalysia (verses discussed during the lectures only): A.S.F. Gow, Theocritus, Cambridge 1965, I pp. 56-67, II pp. 127-169; Bruna Marilena Palumbo Stracca, Teocrito. Idilli e epigrammi, Milano 20044, pp. 151-169. A history of Greek literature of your choice (recommended: Antonietta Porro-W. Lapini, Letteratura greca, Bologna 2017).

B. Notes from the lectures. As for Alcaeus' fragments: Eva-Maria Voigt, Sappho et Alcaeus, Amsterdam 1971, pp. 175-355; G. Liberman, Alcée. Fragments (I-II), Paris 1999; as for an Italian translation: Antonietta Porro, Alceo. Frammenti, Firenze 1996; as for the commentary: D.L. Page, Sappho and Alcaeus, Oxford 1955, pp. 149-317; see also C. Neri, Lirici greci. Età arcaica e classica, Roma 2011, 65-73, 222-236, 352-356; G.O. Hutchinson, Greek Lyric Poetry, Oxford 2001, 187-227.

C. Students are required to arrange with the teachers their own field of interest where to direct the reading (in translation) of some work of crucial importance in the Greek Literature as well as of some monographies (ex. if a student decides to examine the women-role in ancient Greece he will be required to read in translation the Euripides' Medea, Aristophanes' Thesmoforiazousai, Theocritus' XV Idyll, a selection of erotic epigrams and the reading ed. by G. Arrigoni). Basic notions of metrics, grammar and literary history are also required.

Students who do not attend the lessons are required to bring the same program as regards the institutional part and to define a personalized program, also in the light of their own interests, for the monographic part.

Teaching methods

The lectures on the core course will mostly have a frontal character, and the main concepts will be illustrated by examples taken from the texts in the program. The lectures on the special focus course will instead be carried out mostly as a seminar: the textual analysis and the discussion will be collective. Photocopies of the most important texts will be given out and students will be required to do their own researches in the Library of the Department.

All the material handed out in the lectures will be available afterwards on line at http://www2.classics.unibo.it/Didattica/Programs/20212022/FLG2022/

Assessment methods

At the end of the course an oral examination will take place. The students are expected to expose their critical investigation and to show their skills in translating the core course's texts and in translating and commenting the special focus texts. The active participation of the students in the course is strongly recommended.

The maximum grade (30L) requires accurate and complete answers to all questions posed during the oral examination. The exam will be deemed to have been passed (with variable evaluation depending on the quality of the answers) if the candidate has answered in a precise and complete manner to most questions. As for the theoretical knowledge and the translation and exegesis of the texts, the metric is the following: outstanding: 30L; excellent: 28-30; good: 25-27; discrete: 22-24; sufficient: 18-21.

For deeply-rooted didactic conviction, I do not propose links to syllabi of questions, which would inevitably end up impoverishing the general preparation of the students. Since exams take place every fifteen days, students who want to experience the actual performance of an exam can attend - as spectators - the exam sessions, which are public.

Teaching tools

PC, video projector, overhead projector, photocopied handouts.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Camillo Neri