75957 - Greek and Roman Theatre

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Alessandro Iannucci

  • Credits 12

  • SSD L-FIL-LET/05

  • Teaching Mode Blended Learning

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Cultural Heritage (cod. 9076)

  • Course Timetable from Feb 06, 2023 to May 11, 2023


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

Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course will teach the main features of classical literary civilisation. The student will learn the main features of classical literary civilisation, will be able to read in translation and to contextualise the main ancient literary works, esp. theatrical plays, and will hold the critical tools to interpret the literary, visual and performative European culture, as well as its reception.

Course contents

The course focuses on the main classical dramatic genres, tragedy and comedy, as well as on their persistence in modern and contemporary culture. No prerequisite knowledges (not even of classical languages and literature) are required to access the course

After a general introduction to Greek drama (origins, functions, production, performance, themes), the course will read and analyse selected plays (tragedies and comedies).

The course will deal with (minor adjustments as required might occur):

1) General Part

  1. The origins of Greek theatre; the dramatic festivals at Athens
  2. The main developments of the Greek tragedy (with the study of Aristotle, Poetics)
  3. Autors and Texts: reading from Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides
  4. Greek comedy from Aristophanes to Menandre

2) Monographical section

This section of the course is focused on reading of Euripides, Medea and its reception in literature, theatre and cinema.


(1) General Part

The student must study both: G. Mastromarco - P. Totaro, Storia del teatro greco, Milano: Mondadori Education, 2008 and A. Rodighiero, La tragedia greca, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013.

Texts of classical dramas and other teaching material from the course website are mandatory.

(2) Monographic part

It is required to read in full of Euripides, Medea, edited by E. Cerbo, Milano: Bur, 2013 and the study of G. Pucci, Il mito di Medea. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi, Torino: Einaudi, 2017.

Students not attending are required to prepare at least one of the following essays:

G. Avezzù, Il mito sulla scena. La tragedia ad Atene, Venezia: Marsilio, 2003; V. Di Benedetto-E. Medda, La tragedia sulla scena. La tragedia greca in quanto spettacolo teatrale, Torino: Einaudi, 2002; M. Di Marco, La tragedia greca. Forma, gioco scenico, tecniche drammatiche, Roma: Carocci, 2009; G. Ieranò, La tragedia greca: origini, storia, rinascite, Roma: Salerno, 2010; D. Lanza, La disciplina dell'emozione, Milano: Il Saggiatore, 1997; B. Zimmermann, La commedia greca dalle origini all'età ellenistica, trad. it. Roma: Carocci, 2016.


Teaching methods

The course will be carried out in an experimental mode as part of the University's teaching innovation project and will be done through 40 hours of in-presence lectures and seminars and 20 hours of distance learning.

Through the Virtual platform, there are available traditional blended-learning tools:

  • texts and documents
  • short videos with introductions to the topics of the lectures
  • conceptua maps and links to resources on the WWW;
  • full-text bibliography;
  • repository of the slides used in the lectures;
  • thematic forums where students can interact with each other and with the lecturer and upload, in turn, additional materials.

Assessment methods

Oral examination of the base and critical knowledge of the course topics, related to Greek dramatic civilisation and its reception in contemporary culture. The examination will focus on:

(a) base knowledge of themes, genres and performance of classical dramatic literature;

(b) knowledge of the authors and plays discussed during the lectures;

(c) knowledge of the tragedy analyzed during the lectures, Euripides' Medea, and acquired skills of critical analysis of the text and its reception, with special reference to the ability to rework and discuss the critical essay in the program.

In the first part of the examination, the student will be allowed the choice of a specific topic of classical dramatic culture from which to begin (the origins of Greek  theatre, production and performance, evolution of a specific genre, etc.).

In the second part, the student will be allowed to the play analysed, present it and discuss its critical features also on the basis of the selected essays.

The third  part of the exam will  be focused on Euripides' Medea.

Marking will be based on the following criteria:

  • Fail: insufficient knowledge in all 3 sections.
  • Pass: adequate knowledge in at least 2 out of 3 sections (mark between 18/30 and 23/30).
  • Merit: adequate knowledge in all 3 sections (mark between 24/30 and 27/30).
  • Distinction: excellent knowledge in all 3 sections, and evidence of remarkable skills in the critical evaluation of the course contents (mark between 28/30 and 30/30).

Teaching tools

On the course web site will be available texts of tragedies, essays and other teaching material.
The course will be supported by a educational travel to Siracusa in May, to attend the performances organized by the INDA (Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico)

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Iannucci