SCIENZE UMANISTICHEModern PhilologyAcademic Year 2022/2023



Expected Learning Outcomes

1) Development of the necessary skills to read, interpret and translate Latin prose texts and poems into Italian.

2) Improvement of the critical method on which the linguistic, philological, and literary analysis of Latin texts is based on, offering a definition of the main literary genres and movements.

3) Development of the skills for critical thinking to proceed autonomously to collect, select, and evaluate the information that will be used during the analysis, reading, and interpretation of Latin texts.

4) Improvement of the skills to use appropriately subject-specific words and the technical vocabulary.

5) Acquisition of excellent skills for reading and critical analysis of any Latin texts.

Course Structure


If the teaching is given in a mixed or remote mode, the necessary changes may be introduced with respect to what was previously stated, in order to comply with the program envisaged and reported in the Syllabus.

Detailed Course Content

Overall analysis of the Latin literature, with an examination of a specific literary field, through the reading and the translation as well as the philological, historical, and linguistic description of selected prose texts and poems, with prosodic and metric analysis of the poetic language. In particular, the course will focus on the rhetorical coding of the concept of ekphrasis, with an in-depth study of its poetic forms in various literary genres.  

A) Basics (5 ECTS)

Basic knowledge of the History of Latin Literature is required, with special regard to the literary movements, literary genres, and main authors. Students can be use one of the following texts, already adopted in the course of Latin language and literature for Bachelor's Degree in Letters:


-       G. B. Conte, E. Pianezzola, Letteratura e cultura latina, Milano 2016, in 3 volumi: I. L’età arcaica e repubblicana (pp. 2-42; 92-108; 115-123; 165-166; 170-208; 267-270; 276-283; 338-346; 402-414; 474-487); II. L’età augustea (pp. 2-14; 15-32; 131-152; 226-239; 281-300; 360-368; 417-418); III. L’età imperiale (pp. 2-15; 17-19; 26-43; 113-123; 146-159; 189-201; 222-225; 228-231; 238-243; 273-279; 300-310; 319-335; 399-402; 415-426). Total number of pages: 362.

-       F. Ursini, A. Schiesaro, O. Portuese (et alii), Tua vivit imago. Letteratura latina per il triennio, Firenze 2022, in 3 volumi: 1. Età arcaica e repubblicana (pp. 52-63; 78-89; 94-95, 98-100; 105-107; 120-139; 220-235; 302-317; 338-349; 352-353; 362-378; 456-471; 536-572; 692-707; 770-785); 2. Età augustea (pp. 34-42; 46-76; 214-245; 366-375; 404-414; 436-463; 580-594); 3. Età imperiale (pp. 38-44; 47-48; 54-84; 180-189; 216-230; 292-299; 303-305; 308-310; 315-317; 332-343; 370-382; 414-424; 450-459; 488-506; 598-606; 614-626). Total number of pages: 467.


Reading of classical texts:


-       Catullus poem 64, 50-266. Suggested ed.: D. F. S. Thomson, Toronto 1998;

-       Virgil Aeneid 1, 453-493. Suggested ed.: M. Geymonat, Roma 2008;

-       Horace ars 347-418. Suggested ed.: D.R. Shackleton Bailey, Stutgardiae 1991;

-       Quintilian Institutio oratoria 6, 2, 29-33. Suggested ed.: L. Radermacher, II, Lipsiae 1965.



B) Detailed Studies (4 ECTS)


The evolution of the concept of ekphrasis: the multiplicity of rhetorical forms and functions.


-       Ovid Metamorphoses 3, 339-510.  Suggested ed.: R.J. Tarrant, Oxonii 2004;

-       Seneca Agamemnon 460-525. Suggested ed.: R.J. Tarrant, Cambridge 1976;

-       Statius Thebaid 6, 531-549. Suggested ed.: A. Klotz-Th. C. Klinnert, Leipzig 1973;

-       Apuleius Metamorphoses 4, 28-35; 5, 1. Suggested ed.: R.Helm, Leipzig 1992.


·       Prosodic reading of the poetic texts listed in the programme is required. The following reference is recommended (elective/optional):


- S. Boldrini, La prosodia e la metrica dei Romani, Torino 1992 (or Roma 2017), pp. 21-81; 109-114; 122-124.

- L. Ceccarelli, Prosodia e metrica latina classica con cenni di metrica greca, Roma 2008, pp. 1-36; 40-41.


For an overall study of the history of the Latin language, the following book is highly recommended:


- F. Berardi, Le vie del latino. Storia della lingua latina con elementi di grammatica storica, seconda edizione riveduta e aggiornata, Galatina 2022, pp. 11-189.



Critical Essays


Knowledge of one of the following studies is required:


-       Manieri, L’immagine poetica nella teoria degli antichi: phantasia ed enargeia, Pisa 1998, pp. 1-154;

-       Ch. Segal, Ovidio e la poesia del mitoSaggi sulle Metamorfosi, Venezia 1991, pp. 5-100;

-       A. Solbach, Evidentia und Erzähltheorie: die Rhetorik anschaulichen Erzählens in der Frühmoderne und ihre antiken Quellen, München 1994, pp. 1-167.



Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Learning Assessment

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Versione in italiano