Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0486 (AF:354018 AR:191128)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
3rd Term
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The course of LATIN LITERATURE is a training activity of the study plan of the Bachelor's Degree in "Humanities": it is among the "Core educational activities" of the curriculum "Antiquities" and among the "Interdisciplinary" activities of the curriculum "Science of the literary text and communication". It represents a more advanced step in the didactic path concerning the Latin language and literature, after the course of LATIN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE (FT0435), whose examination is presupposed as a requirement for access.
The course is part of the educational activities intended to provide students with a general knowledge of the languages and literatures of classical antiquity and proposes a more in-depth approach to the Latin literature through the reading, translation, interpretation and historical and literary analysis of a work or a significant sample of texts in the original language. The aim of the course is to enrich and refine the knowledge of the Latin language and literature, and at the same time to put students in contact with the critical problems and current methodologies of historical-literary research and interpretation of texts, with the scientific bibiliography and critical tools of literary and philological research, also as pertains the knowledge and use of the main IT tools.
The outcome of this training activity is the knowledge of a work or a selection of latin literary texts in the original language and of their main historical and interpretative problems. Students should then be able to read, understand, translate into Italian and comment on the historical-literary and stylistic plan the text or texts treated by the teacher during the course, and to discuss on them in light of the proposed explanation and the bibliography.
Students should then be able to repeat the same approach, applying the methods of analysis learned during the course, on a further sample of texts not treated by the teacher but left to their autonomous and personal reading.
Already equipped with linguistic skills at least intermediate level, students should also acquire through the course a greater familiarity with the Latin literary language of the classical era, a broader set of linguistic knowledge and a more secure ability to translate from Latin into Italian; at the same time, the study of the bibliography should refine their knowledge of categories, concepts and critical vocabulary of philological and historical-literary research in Latin and (more widely) humanistic fields, and their ability to display and discuss matters and problems of literary history.
The exam of LATIN LITERATURE requires a general knowledge of the history of Latin language and literature and a linguistic competence of Latin at least intermediate level.
Students who want to take the exam must have already taken the exam of LATIN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE (FT0435) or have already acquired 9/12 credits of Latin Language and Literature (L-FIL-LET/04).
To access the exam students must also certify their knowledge of Latin language by passing the Test of Latin 2 ( ).
Sex and the City: the love life of Rome in the epigrams of Marziale.
In recommending his books of epigrams to the curiosity and appreciation of the reader, Martial constantly claims the centrality of sexual matters, treated without inhibitions and with duly explicit language. Morality, habits and sexual prejudices; imperial laws and their violations; 'normal' practices and perversions; social behaviors; the libertinage of the wealthy classes and the mercenary or servile sex; erotic language and obscenity; gossip, humor and pornography: the entire sexual life of the urban society of the Flavian age is reflected in a sequence of epigrams, sometimes salacious, sometimes moralistic, now laughing like a dirty joke, now personal as pages of a diary or curious like the notes of a voyeur, sometimes engaged in a serious critique of customs, always pervaded by insight and an extreme attention to literary quality.
The course is dedicated to reading a choice of Martial's epigrams focused on the erotic themes, in order to analyze their style and poetic technique, and to define its importance and function within the literary program of the poet, which is aimed to delight the reader through a witty and realistic representation of everyday life.
1) Notes from the lessons.
2) M. CITRONI, Introduzione a: MARCO VALERIO MARZIALE, Epigrammi, I, Milano, BUR, 1996 e ristampe, pp. 5-105.
3) A. LA PENNA, I cento volti dell'eros di Marziale, in: A. LA PENNA, Eros dai cento volti. Modelli etici ed estetici nell'età dei Flavi, Venezia, Marsilio, 2000, pp. 67-133.
4) J.P. SULLIVAN, Martial, the unexpected classic: A literary and historical study, Cambridge University Press 1991 (= 2004), Ch. 5: "Martial's sexual attitudes", pp. 185-210.
5) B. MULLIGAN, Obscenity in Epigram, in: CHR. HENRIKSÉN (ed.), A Companion to Ancient Epigram, Wiley, Hoboken NJ, 2019, pp. 111-126.
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 stylistic and historical-literary level some passages of the work or selection of texts which has been read by the teacher or assigned as personal reading; students must also be able to discuss the bibliography and to use it in the interpretation of texts.
Frontal lessons, mainly based on reading, translation, and linguistic, stylistic, historical-literary commentary of the work or selection of texts treated during the course. The use of some computer aids (lexicons and online databases, specialized sites, etc.) to support the explanation is intended to offer students an overview of the main IT scientific tools currently available for philological research on ancient Latin literature.
This programme is provisional and there could still be changes in its contents.
Last update of the programme: 01/04/2022