HISTORY OF THE LATIN LANGUAGE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding: this course aims to complete the students knowledge of Latin language within a historical perspective. Morphology, lexicon, structures, and linguistic register will constitute the focus of the class.
Applying knowledge and understanding: Students should be able to read and translate some passages from Ovidius or other authors,applying the methods discussed in class. They are requested to outline the main issues concerning the linguistic evolution and to be able to read some scientific essays related to these topics.
Making judgements: Students should be able to recognize the main linguistic features and relate them to the general context of the history of the Latin language.
Communication skills: Students should be able to describe the main features of the history of the Latin language and outline the texts they have read, using a technical language.
Learing skills: Latin literature helps to develop those learnings kills necessary both for an increasing specialization and for the job market.
Prerequisites: 12 CFU in the “SSD” “Language and Latin Literature”. Those who already have 18 CFU in the same “SSD” are required to pass a preliminary written test.
Course contents summary
Myth and metamorphosis: the story of Ovid's world
After a short excursus on literary genres and after setting within the epic genre in the Roman world extracts from the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses will be read.We will highlight the peculiar nature of ovidian epics (in comparison with the epics of his models), the function of myth in ancient culture, and above all we will underline the peculiarities of Ovid's language and the expressive strategies employed by the author for different reasons: aemulatio, irony, desecration.
We will also profit by textual analysis to probe into some textual issues. Starting from Ovid’s reading we will also deal with some general issues about the history of Latin.
Nonetheless, students are expected to support these observations with a textbook. Also, pupils will have to translate autonomously from two Latin texts and to show how Latin changed through time.
Textbook: Stolz-Debrunner-Schmidt, Storia della lingua latina, Bologna 1993; or Palmer, Storia della lingua latina, Torino 2002; or A. Ghiselli, Commento alla sintassi latina, Bologna 2012.
- Ovidius, Metamorphoses, liber I.
- reading of Virgilius, Aeneid. Students can choose among: II, IV, VI (different from the requirements of Latin Literature).
- reading chosen with the professor (Tacitus, Germania or Apuleius, Metamorphoses; students can select another text, on the basis of their interests).
Teaching methods: Lessons will start with a reading of Metamorphoses' liber I. Students will be asked to translate and comment upon some passages. Difficult passages will be explained and commented upon from different perspectives (morphological, syntactical, and stylistic). Readings will be the starting point to discuss several aspects of the ancient civilization and to highlight contacts with the contemporary culture. Students are invited to participate in class: after a general and propedeutic introduction, they are supposed to present their comments on the texts. The module will be taught by lectures, seminars, and tutorials.
Assessment methods and criteria
Examination: Participation in class helps students to learnl ittle by little, and is fundamental to assess the general level of the pupils. Depending on it, some parts of the programme mights lightly vary. The exam is oral and will touch upon each part of the programme. Students will be judged on:
- Comprehension of the general development of Latin language;
- translation and comment of the assigned texts
- How pertinent answers given are;
- Clarity and precisionof language;
- Analysis and interpretation of the text, reelaboration of contents, and interdisciplinary references.
Students will pass the exam only if they meet the first three criteria and answer correctly to at least 60% of the answers, in accordance with the other criteria.