95764 - Fundamentals of Classical Philology (1)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has basic skills and knowledge in the domain of Greek and/or Latin philology; he/she knows the main methods of stemmatics, text criticism and ecdotics. He/she is able to read critical apparatus and has a basic knowldge of the tools of philological research.

Course contents

This recently established course aims to meet a request expressed by the students of the Master's Degree in Philology, Literature and Classical Tradition of the University of Bologna: to be given the opportunity to begin the study of Classical Philology during the first-cycle degree in Humanities.

The basic notions of stemmatics, textual criticism, and ecdotics will be illustrated through a series of examples taken from classical texts (especially Latin, so that the seminar can be attended by non-classicists as well; a basic knowledge of Ancient Greek is welcome, although it is not necessary).

The main topics that will be addressed are the following:

  • text types and writing media;
  • copying and errors;
  • the stemmatic method.

The course will also focus on the reading of critical apparatuses and on the discussion of textual problems of different kinds.


1.Lecture notes, integrated with the slides made available among the online teaching materials.

2.Students are requested to read the following texts:

  • L.D. Reynolds-N.G. Wilson, Copisti e filologi. La tradizione dei classici dall'antichità ai tempi moderni, Roma-Padova, Editrice Antenore 2016
  • T. Braccini, La scienza dei testi antichi. Introduzione alla Filologia Classica, Firenze, Le Monnier 2017

3.Further readings will be suggested during the course. Students will have to read three further scientific articles.

For non-attending students

In addition to the texts at point 2, non-attending students are also requested to read the following texts:

  • P. Chiesa, Elementi di critica testuale, Bologna, Pàtron 20122
  • P. Chiesa, La trasmissione dei testi latini. Storia e metodo critico, Roma, Carocci 2019
  • T. Dorandi, Nell’officina dei classici. Come lavoravano gli autori antichi, Roma, Carocci 2007 + L. Canfora, Il copista come autore, Palermo, Sellerio 2002.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons will be integrated with a series of practical exercises, based on the reading of critical apparatuses and on the discussion of textual problems.

Assessment methods

Viva voce examination, which will test:
(1) the knowledge of the topics covered in class; (2) the acquisition of theoretical knowledge relating to the basic principles of stemmatics, textual criticism and ecdotics; (3) the ability to critically discuss the essays included in the program.

The assessment will be insufficient if the student does not demonstrate adequate preparation, with reference to the three aspects indicated above. In case of sufficient preparation, the grades will range from 18 to 30 cum laude, depending on the level of understanding of the topics and of personal critical insight.

Teaching tools

PC, projector, slides.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Floridi