28482 - Romance Philology (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will acquire knowledge of the romance languages and literatures of the Middle Ages and their formation, with particular regard to French and Provencal. The student will understand relations between poetry and music and he/she will acquire the skills for reading and translating from the original language.

Course contents

The course is divided into two modules for a total of 60 hours and of 12 credits.

• Classes will start on September 20, 2021.

Course timetable: Monday, 11:00-13:00, via Zamboni 32, aula I; Tuesday, 11:00-13:00, via Zamboni 32, aula I; Wednesday, 11:00-13:00, via Zamboni 32, aula I.

Students who choose the 6 credits course and the students of LM in Filologia, letteratura e tradizione classica can attend the first part of the classes, Module 1 (September 20-October 20, 2021). The course will be like a seminar.

• Syllabus and Course contents:

The course does not require prior knowledge of ancient Romance languages. The texts analysed in class will always be read also in Italian translation; the original French texts will be read with the tutor’s guide and introduced in such a way as to ensure everyone’s understanding. Frequency is strongly recommended.

Module 1.

A1. Classical philology and modern philology compared.

In the first introductory part, students will read and comment literary passages and critical passages, with particular attention to types of editions, types of apparatus, construction of stemmata, new edition methodologies in the field of Romance Philology

B1.Vite antiche’-‘Vite nuove’. The classical texts in the work of Dante.

In the 7th Centenary of Dante’s death, on a suitable selection of literary texts, which will be read and commented philologically, we will study the punctual recovery of classical forms and texts in Dante’s work. The chosen perspective, that of the reception and transmission of the ancient tradition, will also involve the philological investigation of the genesis and survival of themes that will then reach the forms of modern and contemporary literature.

Module 2.

A2. Vite antiche’-‘Vite nuove’. The classical and modern texts in the work of Dante.

Students will study the demonstrable textual sources in Dante’s work, with particular regard to the Romance literary art described in the De vulgari eloquentia.

B2. Text transmission problems of medieval texts.

Students will study current themes and methods of text criticism. In particular, they will study the autographed Italian and French texts of the Middle Ages. The specific object of this part will be the observation of how the literary text is formed on its author’s desk and the advantages that study of autographed documents brings to the understanding of the whole work (examples taken, for Italy, from texts by: s. Francesco d’Assisi, Giovanni Boccaccio, Michelangelo, Leopardi, Ungaretti; for France: fr. Angier, Matthew Paris, Jean Gerson; for modern authors: Stendhal, Proust).

It is possible to write and submit a paper on an agreed subject, also for groups of students, to replace a part of the oral exam (it is not mandatory for the examination). At the end of the course students can practice on manuscripts of University Library of Bologna.


Module 1

Attending students

A1. For attending students, the notes of the lessons will be the essential basis for the preparation of the exam. In relation to the parts developed during the course, attending students will study a collection of handouts edited by the Professor available online on Virtuale and: A. Varvaro, Critica dei testi classica e romanza. Problemi comuni ed esperienze diverse, in Rendiconti dell’Accademia di Archeologia, Lettere e Belle Arti di Napoli, XLV (1970), pp. 73-117.

B1. Handouts with selected excerpts from Dante, De Vulgari Eloquentia, a cura di E. Fenzi, Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2012 and Dante, Monarchia, a cura di P. Chiesa e A. Tabarroni, Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2013. The texts in Old French will be read with the aid of A. Roncaglia, La lingua d’oïl. Profilo di grammatica storica, Roma; finally, one of the recent biographical profiles:

- G. Inglese, Vita di Dante. Una biografia possibile, Carocci editore, 2021 (3a rist.);

- P. Pellegrini, Dante Alighieri. Una vita, Torino, Einaudi, 2021;

- G. Milani-E. Brilli, Vite nuove. Biografia e autobiografia di Dante, Roma, Carocci, 2021.

Module 2.

Attending students

A2. Handouts (monograph and text critique) by the Professor, available from the beginning of the course online on the Virtuale platform.

B2. Three essays/book chapters of your choice from those listed in the handouts.

Non-attending students

Non-attending students will prepare the final exam following the previous bibliography with the support of these additional readings:

- P. G. Beltrami, La filologia romanza, Bologna, il Mulino, 2017 otherwise M. Barbato, Le lingue romanze. Profilo storico-comparativo, Bari, Laterza, 2017 otherwise L. Renzi-A. Andreose, Manuale di linguistica e filologia romanza, Bologna, il Mulino, 2015.

- P. G. Beltrami, A che serve un'edizione critica? Leggere i testi della letteratura romanza medievale, Bologna, il Mulino, 2010.

Classes will start on September 20, 2021

Place and course timetable:

Monday, 11:00-13:00, Via Zamboni 32, aula I

Tuesday, 11:00-13:00, Via Zamboni 32, aula I

Wednesday 11:00-13:00, Via Zamboni 32, aula I

Teaching methods

- Lectures and seminars;

- Philological reading and commentary of texts, investigated in their historical genesis and transmission;

- Discussion of the methods, assumptions and different interpretations of the main critical lines;

- Students can apply for specific bibliographies and specially set up laboratories. There will be individual tutoring.

Assessment methods

    • Oral examination.
    • The student must demonstrate, with correctness and linguistic properties, that he has studied all parts of the program.
    • In the interview, the Professor will assess the learning outcomes and the critical capacity of the student. The student has to be able to read, comment philologically and interpret literary texts in the program, with clarity and relevance. The student will be provided with at least two textual examples among those examined during classes.
    • Along with the historical understanding of the text and in particular of the literary genre studied, the student will have to demonstrate competence in methods and problems of romance philology, comparative argumentation skills, and good command of the specific vocabulary of modern editorial practice.
    • If the student has decided to submit a written essay, evaluation will include oral presentation in front of his mates. The Professor will judge the ability of synthesis, the correct use of language, coherence of argument, as well as contents and form of the paper (submitted ten days before the oral presentation)

    The oral exam will be divided in:

    • 1. Development of a topic covered in the A sections (Fundamentals of Romance Philology); 2. Reading and commenting of one or two texts studied in class; 3. Development of a topic covered in B sections (Textual Criticism with discussion of the chosen essays).

    Evaluation parameters:

    • Insufficient vote: absence or strong lack of basic knowledge and lack of the ability to read and analyse texts;
    • Sufficient vote (18): possession of basic notions and sufficient understanding of the texts;
    • Positive vote (from 19 to 25): possession of intermediate level of knowledge; correct but not thorough ability in reading texts, sufficient capacity of connection between the different contents, essentially correct expression but with some imprecisions;
    • More than positive vote (from 26 to 28): possessing good and articulated knowledge; correct language; discrete critical ability;
    • Excellent vote (from 29 to 30L): possessing more than good knowledge; precision, maturity of expression and in-depth analysis; great autonomy in data re-elaboration and the ability to connect content; critical ability and mastery in reading, translation and philological commentary texts. Honours will be given only to students who will demonstrate a complete and solid knowledge of the program, critical ability, autonomy and brilliant and organic exposure of acquired knowledge.

Teaching tools

Facsimiles of manuscripts and their digital forms; Linguistic and textual databases in the sector; books and paper materials; etymological cocabulars, lexicons etc., libraries, powerpoints; filmed documents.

Office hours

See the website of Giuseppina Brunetti