28952 - Tradition and Permanence of Classics (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students master the most important philological tools for working with Greek texts, with special focus on the history of their transmission and reception. They also know elements of ancient Greek and Latin culture that are necessary for understanding modern European literatures.

Course contents

The myth of Narcissus, between Literature and Visual Arts

After an introduction based on the notions of intertextuality and intervisuality, the course will focus on the myth of Narcissus, with readings ranging from Conon, Ovid, Pausanias, Ausonius, Giovanni Boccaccio, Giambattista Marino, Oscar Wilde, Umberto Saba.

Visual renditions of the story, from classical antiquity until the present day, will also be analysed.

Latin texts must be studied in Latin. Students in Classics will be also required to read the Greek texts in Greek.


1. Texts:

Conon, Diegeseis 24; Pausanias 1.30.1 e 9.31.7-8; Ovid, Met. 3.339-510; Ausonius, Epigrams 108-110 Green; Giovanni Boccaccio, De genealogia deorum gentilium 59; Giambattista Marino, La Galeria (Narciso di Bernardo Castello I e II, Narciso di Francesco Maria Vanni), Adone, canto 5, str. 6 ff.; Oscar Wilde, Short Stories. The Disciple; Umberto Saba, Narciso al fonte.

The texts read during the lessons will be available among the online teaching materials. Latin texts must be studied in Latin. Students in Classics will be required to read the Greek Texts in Greek.

2. General bibliography:

Ovid and Narcissus

  • Ovidio. Metamorfosi, vol. II, libri III-IV, a cura di A. Barchiesi e G. Rosati; traduzione di L. Kock, Milano, Mondadori 2007, pp. 175-207

One of the following books:

  • M. Bettini – E. Pellizer, Il mito di Narciso. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi, Torino 2003;
  • G. Rosati, Narciso e Pigmalione. Illusione e spettacolo nelle Metamorfosi di Ovidio, Pisa 2016 (II ed.).


One of the following books:

  • G. Genette, Palinsesti. La letteratura al secondo grado, Torino, Einaudi 1997;
  • G.B. Conte, Memoria dei poeti e sistema letterario. Catullo, Virgilio, Ovidio e Orazio, Palermo 2012 (II ed.).

Suggested anthology of texts:

  • Narciso. La passione dello sguardo. Variazioni sul mito, a cura di Sonia Macrì, Marsilio 2020.

An additional specific bibliography, concerning things mentioned in the lectures, will be provided during the course.

Non-attending students are requested to read the texts at point 1,

and all the readings at point 2 (anthology of the texts included).


Teaching methods

Lectures in class.

Assessment methods

Viva voce examination, which will test the ability of:
- understanding texts in their historical and literary environment

- understanding and translating Latin texts (students of Classics are expected to also read the Greek texts in their original Language; of course, the number of Latin texts to be read will be reduced: a detailed list of the texts will be available before the end of the course)

- discussing and evaluating the critical readings proposed in the bibliography of the course.

Assessment guidelines:
Failing grades: lack of basic linguistic knowledge and inability to produce a correct interpretation of the text.
Passing grades: linguistic and philological proficiency at an intermediate level; mostly correct interpretation of the texts, yet inaccurate and lacking autonomy.
Excellent grades: linguistic and philological proficiency at an upper-mid level; correct, autonomous, and precise interpretation of the texts.

Teaching tools

The texts and the images analysed during the course will be made available online.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Floridi