30353 - Latin Philology and Literature (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Luigi Pirovano

  • Credits 12

  • SSD L-FIL-LET/04

  • 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

  • Course Timetable from Sep 22, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


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

At the end of the classes, students have a deep knowledge of Latin literature, they are able to analyse Latin texts with regard to language, style, subject, they understand textual problems referring to Latin texts, they use the tools needed for a philological research. They also know elements of Roman culture that are necessary for understanding modern European literatures.

Course contents


Terence's Eunuchus, between Antiquity and Late Antiquity

  • Module 1: Terence's Eunuchus: Philological, literary, metric and linguistic problems (a detailed list of all passages examined in the lessons, and requested for the exam, will be available on Virtuale).
  • Module 2: Late-antique readings and readers of Terence's "Eunuchus" (a detailed list of all passages examined in the lessons, and requested for the exam, will be available on Virtuale).

B. CRITICAL ESSAYS: students are requested to read 2 essays for each module.


  • Module 1: Ovid, Ars amatoria, book 1.
  • Module 2: Tacitus, Annales, I.1-10, 14, 33; II.41.2-43, 75-77; III.1-4, 15-18, 64; IV.52-55.1; V.1-3.1; VI.25, 26.3; XI.25.5-38.


Students not attending the course will have to agree upon additional readings (or an alternative program) with the teacher.



Texts Module 1: The reference text for Terence's Eunuchus is that established by J. Barsby: Terence, Eunuchus, ed. by J.B., Cambridge 1999; Terence, vol. I: The Woman of Andros. The Self-Tormentor. The Eunuch, ed. and trans. by J.B., Cambridge (Mass.) - London 2001. An edition of the Eunuch with Italian translation and Latin migh be useful: see e.g. Terenzio, Eunuco, ed. by G. Zanetto, Milan (BUR) 1999;Terenzio, Eunuchus – Phormio, a cura di M. Bonfanti, Milano (MOndadori) 2009.

Texts Module 2: The reference text for the commentaries by Aelius Donatus and Eugraphius is that established by P. Wessner (ed.), Aeli Donati quod fertum Commentum Terenti. Accedunt Eugraphi Commentum et Scholia Bembina, I, Lipsiae 1902 (Elio Donato); III, Lipsiae 1908 (Eugrafio).

Further bibliographical information will be provided during the course; all texts translated and commented on during the lessons will be available among the course teaching materials.


Essays module 1: at least 1 critical essay for each of the following thematic groups:

Module 1: (1a) Terentius: history of the text, metric, language; (1b) Eunuchus: models, characteristics, problems.

Module 2: (2a) Late-antique readers of Terence; (2b) Aelius Donatus in Terentium.

A detailed list of the critical readings will be provided at the beginning of the course and will be available among the course teaching materials.


Texts module 1 – Ovidio, L'arte di amare. A cura di Emilio Pianezzola. Commento di Emilio Pianezzola, Gianluigi Baldo e Lucio Cristante, Milano 1991.
Texts module 2 – C. Questa, Tre donne dei Cesari. Livia, Agrippina Maggiore, Messalina
, Torino 1971.

Morphology and Syntax: the student will be expected to master Latin morphology and syntax, based on university-level handbooks (e.g. I. Dionigi-L. Morisi-E. Riganti, Il latino, Bari: Laterza, 2011), as well as to know the aspects of history of the language, metrics and textual criticism contained in A. Traina - G. Bernardi Perini, Propedeutica al latino universitario, Bologna: Pàtron, 2007. For Latin syntax, see also A.Traina-T. Bertotti, Sintassi normativa della lingua latina, Bologna: Pàtron, 2015.

Metrics: in addition to the notions of Terentian metrics discussed during the lessons, the student will be expected to master the scansion and reading of the elegiac couplet (cf. Propedeutica al latino universitario, cap. VII). For further details, see S. Boldrini, La prosodia e la metrica dei Romani, Roma 2017 (3a ed. 2021).

Textual criticism: for a basic knowledge of textual criticism, it is required to study chapter VIII of Propedeutica al latino universitario; furthermore, it is necessary to read P. Chiesa, La trasmissione dei testi latini. Storia e metodo critico, Roma 2019. For more details, see also P. Chiesa, Elementi di critica testuale, Bologna 2012; R. Tarrant, Texts, Editors, and Readers: Methods and Problems in Latin Textual Criticism. Roman Literature and its Contexts, Cambridge 2016; T. Braccini, La scienza dei testi antichi. Introduzione alla filologia classica, Firenze 2017.

Teaching methods

As for A. section, lectures in class; parts B. and C. are supposed to be prepared by the students.

Assessment methods

The examination consists of a viva voce exam and is divided in two parts (students are required to take both parts of the examination on the same date):
1) in the first part, the students will be tested on Latin phonetics, morphology and syntax through the reading and translation of the Latin texts (in section C). Students are required to answer questions about Latin grammar (phonetics, morphology and syntax) from the texts in section C.
2) in the second part (in section A and B), the examination will concernthe Special Focus Course and the critical readings. Students are asked to provide a translation from Latin and a philological and literary commentary on one of the passages analysed in class. Students are required to discuss the chosen critical readings.

n.b. The exam requires a medium-high level of knowledge of the Latin language. Beginner students are recommended to choose a basic course of the three-year degree.

The assessment criteria is thus explained:
failing grades: lack of basic linguistic knowledge and inability to produce a correct translation and interpretation of the text.
passing grades: language proficiency at an intermediate level; translation and literary interpretation of the texts are mostly correct, but inaccurate and lacking in autonomy.
excellent grades: language proficiency at an upper-mid level; translation and interpretation of the texts are not only correct, but carried out with autonomy and precision. Good knowledge of Latin prosody and metrics.

Teaching tools

Slides and other materials will be available online on the course website.

Office hours

See the website of Luigi Pirovano