31271 - German Philology 2

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will manage the basic theoretical principles of the philological work, being able to read manuscripts of fairly complexity. He/she will also have examined in depth the main methods aimed at the edition of a text, on an area of investigation concerning the entire Germanic linguistic world, from late antiquity to low Middle Ages. The student will gain knowledge of some key aspects of the broad medieval Germanic tradition and will be able to recognize the main literary genres - also through the direct reading of texts in their original language - comparing them with the European literary context, together with the knowledge of the reception of medieval texts in the modern and contemporary age.

Course contents

Module 1 - 30 hours (Alessandro Zironi): From the manuscript to the edition.

The module will examine the philological activity, from the manuscript to its edition. Lessons will have a practical approach, in which some easy folios will be transcribed in and then edited. The manuscripts excerpts will come from the main Germanic languages.

Module 2 - 30 hours (Davide Bertagnolli): The Germanic World and its Genres

The module will offer an overview of some literary genres widespread in the Germanic milieu between 800 - 1350 AD. Thanks to a syncronic approach, not dedicated to an isolated cultural and linguistic context, we will take into account religious texts (pagan and Christian) and heroic poetry together with the great chivalric romances and the sagas. After a socio-cultural contextualization of the works in their own culture, we will analyse them in their narratological structure and content.


Module 1:

Thomas Bein, Introduzione alla critica dei testi tedeschi medievali, Pisa, ETS, 1999, pp. 29-35, 37,49, 51-54, 59-60, 65-68.

Paolo Chiesa, Elementi di critica testuale, 2° ediz., Bologna, Patron, 2012, pp. 185-202.

Paolo Cherubini - Alessandro Pratesi, Paleografia latina. L'avventura grafica nel mondo occidentale, Città del Vaticano, Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica, 2010, pp. 171-192, 366-371, 379-384, 434-438, 441-443, 480-485, 535-545.

Module 2:

Massimiliano Bampi / Carolyne Larrington / Sif Rikhardsdottir (eds.), A Critical Companion to Old Norse Literary Genre, Rochester, D.S. Brewer, 2020:

“Genre” 15-30.

Davide Bertagnolli, I Nibelunghi. La leggenda, il mito, Milano, Meltemi, 2020:

“La letteratura di corte” pp. 105-115.

Malcolm Godden / Michael Lapidge (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, 2013, second edition, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press:

“Beowulf”, pp. 137-158; “Biblical Literature”: the Old Testament”, pp. 214-233.

Alessandro Zironi, Il Carme di Ildebrando, Milano, Meltemi, 2019:

“La poesia eroica”; “La rinascenza carolingia e i volgari” pp. 25-30


Teaching methods


Assessment methods

Module 1: Short transcription from a manuscript and written assessment on textual criticism.

Module 2: Oral exam

Teaching tools

Multimedia materials

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Zironi

See the website of Davide Bertagnolli