Academic year
2019/2020 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0193 (AF:308227 AR:170504)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
4th Term
Go to Moodle page
The course of HISTORY OF THE LATIN LANGUAGE (alone = 6 CFU or as part of LATIN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE, 12 CFU) falls within the "Core educational activities" of the study plan of the Master's Degree Programmes in Ancient Civilisations: Literature, History and Archaeology and in Italian Philology and Literature. The course aims to refine the knowledge of linguistic history provided in the Bachelor's Degree both through a more comprehensive overview of the historical development of Latin language from the first documents to the early Romance, and through the analysis of a specific sample of texts examined in detail from a philological and historical-linguistic point of view. It also aims to strengthen students' knowledge of the linguistic history of Europe and of Italian language, the processes of linguistic change as a historical and social phenomenon, the relationship between linguistic history and political and socio-cultural history of a given context, and to increase their awareness of methods, concepts and language of historical linguistics.
The outcome of this training activity is the detailed knowledge of a selection of texts in the original language studied from the historical-linguistic point of view. Students should be able to read, understand, translate into Italian and comment from the historical-linguistic standpoint the texts covered during the course, to discuss on them on the basis of the interpretations provided by the teacher and of the general framework of the linguistic history of Latin provided by the bibliography; they should also be able to place and contextualize the linguistic issues of the texts on the background of the overall diachrony of Latin, and to discuss the documentary quality of texts, intended as linguistic evidence, for the purposes of the reconstruction of the history of Latin language. Already equipped with linguistic skills at least intermediate level, students should also acquire more knowledge of the Latin language, now approached from the point of view of historical grammar, a wider range of general linguistic knowledge and (thanks to personal readings included in the exam program), a more confident ability in translation from Latin into Italian; at the same time, the study of the bibliography should refine students' knowledge of categories, concepts and vocabulary of historical linguistics.
The exam of HISTORY OF THE LATIN LANGUAGE requires a general knowledge of the history of Latin language and literature and a linguistic competence of Latin at least intermediate level.
To access the exam students must also certify their knowledge of Latin language by passing the Test of Latin 2 (http://www.unive.it/data/insegnamento/263176 ).
Writers, passers-by, graffitists etc.: the Latin of informal writings.
A reading and historical-linguistic analysis of occasional Latin texts: graffiti, wall inscriptions, daily writings, etc. A selected sample of documents, especially of the imperial age, will allow to know and describe the linguistic facies of the written Latin of informal and substandard level, and to evaluate their testimonial value both on the socio-cultural and socio-linguistic level, and to reconstruct the linguistic phenomena of spoken Latin.
1) Notes form the lessons. The texts read in class will be provided by the teacher and will be available on the Moodle page of the course.
2) I. MAZZINI, Storia della lingua latina e del suo contesto, vol. I, Linguistica e lingua letteraria, Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2007
3) I. MAZZINI, Storia della lingua latina e del suo contesto, vol. II, Lingue socialmente marcate, cap. I Latino volgare o dei ceti medi e inferiori, Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2010, pp. 63-97; oppure: L.R. PALMER, La lingua latina, trad. it. Torino, Einaudi, 1977 e ristampe, cap. VI Il latino volgare, pp. 184-223.
4) A pleasant reading: A. VARONE, Erotica Pompeiana. Iscrizioni d'amore sui muri di Pompei, Roma, L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1994 (engl. ed.: Erotica Pompeiana : Love Inscriptions on the Walls of Pompeii, Roma, L'Erma di Bretschneider, 2002)
5) Lettura personale: PETRONIO, Satyricon (Cena Trimalchionis), ch. 27-58 in the original text (in any edition with translation).
Non-attending students will read the entire Cena Trimalchionis (Satyricon, ch. 27-78) in the original text (in any edition with translation).
For a better understanding of the text and its linguistic aspects:
- G. SCHMELING, A Commentary on the Satyrica of Petronius; with the collaboration of A. Setaioli, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- E.V. MARMORALE, Petronii Arbitri Cena Trimalchionis. Testo critico e commento, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1969.
- C. PELLEGRINO, Petronii Arbitri Satyricon. Introduzione, edizione critica, commento, Roma, Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1975.

The text of epigraphic and literary documents, work materials, etc. are provided by the teacher in the "Moodle" platform dedicated to the course.
Learning is verified through an oral interview in which the students must demonstrate to be able to read, understand, translate into Italian and comment on the linguistic and historical-linguistic level some of the texts which have been read by the teacher or assigned as personal readings; students must also be able to discuss the bibliography and to use it as an aid in the historical-linguistic interpretation of texts.
Traditional lesson, mainly based on reading, translation, linguistic and historical-linguistic commentary of the a selection of texts, with illustration of the related critical problems and research tools and methods. During the lessons students are involved in the discussion of specific topics or critical problems and of the theses supported in the bibliography, and are invited to propose and explain their own opinions.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 16/09/2019