Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding: Specifically designed for students with a background in history of art and theatre, this course provides them with a sketch of Latin literature in a historical perspective.
Applying knowledge and understanding: Students should be able to read other texts by the same author or other author, applying the methods discussed in class. Pupils are requested to outline the context and be able to read some simple scientific essays.
Making judgements: Students should be able to assess whether the information provided by a text is sufficient to support a hypothesis or a statement.
Communication skills:Students should be able to describe the main features of Latin literature and outline the texts they have read.
Learning skills: Latin literature helps to develop those learning skills (e.g. analysis, synthesis, etc.), necessary both for an increasing specialization and for the job market.
Course contents summary
Reading and understanding myth
The course of Latin literature is divided in to two modules.
The first one aims to offer a historical and cultural sketch of Latin literature, different genres, and main authors. As far as the latter are concerned, students are requested to describe and discuss works, main themes, linguistic and stilistic characteristics within the context of the literary tradition. These topics will be outline drather briefly, mostly with reference to the monographic module. The remaining topics will be assigned to the pupils as an independent study.
The second module will deal with various poetic genres in Latin literature, focusing on epic works. After a short excursus on literary genres and after setting within the epic genre in the Roman world the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses will be read in translation.We will highlight the special nature of ovidian epics (in comparison with the epics of his models), the function of myth in ancient culture, the expressive strategies employed by the author to make his message effective.We will also stress some aspects of the Metamprphoses' fortune mainly in painting and sculpting until the twentieth century.
-Storia della letteratura latina (in one of the following editions: G.B. Conte, Letteratura latina, Firenze 2002; G. Garbarino, Storia e testi della letteratura latina, Torino 2001; A. Cavarzere, A. De Vivo, P. Mastrandrea, Letteratura latina, Roma 2003.
Ovidius, Metamorphoses, liber I
Teaching methods:Lessons will always start with a reading of Ovidius’ text in translation. Difficult passages will be explained and commented upon. 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 and seminars.
Assessment methods and criteria
Examination: Participation in class helps students to learn little 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 literature;
- Comprehension and comments on the texts read;
- How pertinent answers given are;
- Clarity and precision of language.
Students will pass the exam only if they meet the first two criteria and answer correctly to at least 60% of the answers, in accordance with the other criteria.