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CODE 106894
  • 6 cfu during the 1st year of 11268 FILOLOGIA E SCIENZE DELL'ANTICHITA' (LM-15) - GENOVA
    LANGUAGE English
  • SEMESTER 2° Semester
    MODULES This unit is a module of:


    This module aims at promoting a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of texts and themes of Latin Literature. Through the looking glass of selected authors and topics, the students will enhance their language skills and their acquaintance with literary issues and interpretative methods.



    The course aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge, through direct and analytical reading of the texts, of the history of Latin literature from the Archaic age to the 5th century. A.D., developing the ability to relate literary production with its historical-cultural context.


    On successful completion of this module, students should:

    • master the main topics, texts and themes of Latin Literature, from the archaic period to the fifth century AD;
    • develop the ability and attitude to discuss literary texts in the light of the historical, socio-political, artistic context;
    • get acquainted with interpretative issues, genre-related topics and inter- (between Greek and Latin literature/culture) and intra- (within Latin literature/culture) comparisons.  
    • be able to translate with no dictionary the prescribed texts (assignments included) and analyse their language, metric, style and themes, with a particular focus on visual terms and actions enacted within those texts;
    • comment in detail on the writers’ use of poetic and rhetorical devices, particularly imbued with visual engagement and communication (e.g. ekphrasis);
    • formulate well-researched views in written assignments (i.e. essays);
    • engage critically with recent scholarship concerning the works under analysis.  


    Frontal lectures. In due course: discussion of the Essays’ lines of approach and outcomes. The class takes place in person twice a week (II Semester), with the possibility of an online attendance for those who require it.

    Aulaweb subscription is compulsory.

    When possible, attendance is recommended to better grasp the lines of approach of both the course and the final assessments. Non-attending students are nevertheless required to check the textual and bibliographical material uploaded on Aulaweb, and discuss their essays in regular basis meetings.

    Team: History of Roman Literature (6 CFU); Team code: q0dzgwu



    Seeing is simultaneously an active and passive condition. Ancient ocular theories reflect this twofold process, describing sight as a force that can be both exercised and endured: looking and being looked at then implies a constant interaction of forces that inevitably shape, as forces normally do, varying roles of dominance and subjection. In a society like Rome’s, founded as it was on systems of patronage and interpersonal hierarchies, the great potential visual dynamics have in defining social roles and power relationships offered unparalleled opportunities for having them persistently spotlighted. Indeed, on the one hand, the Roman republican notables bound themselves to a quasi-theatrical production of values through which they manifested themselves as leading models of common values and simultaneously had their right to lead confirmed by the spectating community.

    This course will focus on Horace’s Epistles 1 as a case-study, evaluating how in the first book of his epistles Horace shows a heightened sensitivity to the visual experience. He lays bare the disturbing role that visual ties play in social life, while himself relying on visual interactions in redefining his social role and, above all, his relationship with Maecenas.

    While we will be tracking and evaluating the visual acts described and enacted in texts under analysis, the course will allow the students to ‘zoom out’ and take a broader overview. On the one hand, we will discuss in class the overall meaning of Horace’s work. On the other hand, the students will be able to evaluate the power of the gaze in different contexts and texts. They will read and translate at home a set of corollary texts (see below) and then select one of the suggested lines of approach in order to write an essay where to further develop their analysis of one (or more) of those texts. The argument selection and essay development will be mentored and monitored: we will arrange regular-based meetings (either in person or online) in due course.


    A good knowledge of Latin language, metrics (hexameter and pentameter) is required.

    For those who have NOT passed the translation exame in their BA (or those who had not been required to do so in the last 4 years): a written examination in translation is required. Please write me an email to arrange that.   



    Monographic Course

    Horace’s Epistles 1. Full reading of the text in English translation. Latin reading and analysis of the following: Hor. epist. 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.13, 1.16, 1.19, 1.20.

    Edition: Mayer, Roland. 1994. Horace. Epistles, Book I. Cambridge.

    Further tools: Fedeli, P. 1994-7. Q. Orazio Flacco. Opere. II. 2-4: Le satire, le epistole, l’arte poetica. Rome. Cucchiarelli, A. 2019. Le Epistole. Libro 1. Pisa.

    Translation: Fairclough, H. R. 1929. Horace. Satires, Epistles and Ars poetica. Cambridge, MA.



    Corollary texts (home assignments)


    a) Ovid, Medicamina 1-100, Amores 1.5

    Edition: Kenney, E. 1994. Amores; Medicamina faciei femineae; Ars amatoria; Remedia amoris. Oxford.

    Further tools: Johnson, M. 2016. Ovid on Cosmetics: Medicamina Faciei Femineae and Related Texts. London; McKeown, J. 1987-9. Ovid. Amores : text, prolegomena and commentary in four volumes. Liverpool.

    Translation: Mozley, H. The Art of Love and other Poems. Cambridge, MA.


    b) Propertius 1.3, 1.10

    Edition: Heyworth, S. 2007. Sexti Properti Elegi. Oxford.

    Further tools: Heyworth, S. 2007. Cynthia: A Companion to the Text of Propertius. Cambridge; Giardina, G. 2010. Properzio. Elegie. Pisa.

    Translation: Goold, G. 1990. Propertius. Elegies. Cambridge, MA.


    c) Pliny the Younger, Panegyric 48-49, 51, 63-68

    Edition: Mynors, R. 1964. XII Panegyrici Latini. Oxford.

    Further tools: Soldevila, R. 2010. Plinio el Joven. Panegírico de Trajano. Madrid; Malcovati, E. 1949. Plinio il Giovane. Il Panegirico di Traiano. Firenze.

    Translation: Radice, B. Pliny: Letters, Books 8-10. Panegyricus (vol. 2). Cambridge, MA.


    d) Petronius, Satyricon 27-29, 72, 83

    Edition: Müller, K. 2003 (4th ed. revised). Satyricon Reliquiae. Munich.

    Further tools: Schmeling, G. 2011. A commentary on the Satyrica of Petronius. Oxford; Smith, M. 1975. Petronii Arbitri. Cena Trimalchionis. Oxford.

    Translation: Schmeling, G. 2020. Petronius. Satyricon. Seneca, Apokolokyntosis. Cambridge, MA.


    e) Apuleius, Metamorphoses 2.1-5

    Edition: Zimmerman, M. 2012. Apulei: Metamorphoseon Libri XI. Oxford. Graverini, L. and Nicolini, L. 2019. Apuleius. Metamorphoses 1-3. Milan.

    Further tools: Nicolini, L. 2005. Apuleio, Le Metamorfosi, Milano.

    Translation : Walsh, P. Apuleius: The Golden Ass. Oxford.


    Essays – Lines of approach  

    1. Approach 1 (texts a, b) : GAZE AND GENDER: male and female glances in Roman elegy
    2. Approach 2 (text c) : THE GAZE OF THE EMPEROR: Trajan’s and Domitian’s visual communication
    3. Approach 3 (texts d, e): “TEXTUAL VISIONS”: Ekphrasis, representation, and reality


    Essay-related bibliography

    To be discussed in due course


    Lexical and grammatical tools

    Cassell’s Latin Dictionary (London: Continuum, 2000) - it gives full definitions and examples of usage, and includes English-Latin as well as Latin-English.

    A new Latin Syntax (Mundelein, IL, 2019 newest edition)

    Tarrant, R. 2016. Texts, editors, and readers Methods and problems in Latin textual criticism. Cambridge


    Exam Board

    ALICE BONANDINI (President)


    VALTER LAPINI (President Substitute)

    SILVIA SPERIANI (President Substitute)

    BIAGIO SANTORELLI (Substitute)

    DILETTA VIGNOLA (Substitute)



    Class starts at 1.00 PM on Monday 21st of February 2022 and will take place on regular bases on Mondays and Tuesdays, 1.00-3.00 PM.



    Assessment for this module has two components: ONE ESSAY and ONE ORAL EXAM


    Assessment for this module has two components:

    ESSAY – each student will further investigate one of the suggested lines of approach and the correspondingly selected texts (Approach 1 Texts a and b; Approach 2 Text c; Approach 3 Texts d and e). He/she will develop his/her analysis under the constant supervision and mentoring of the Professor.

    The final version of the essay must be submitted by the end of May 2022. The essay is part of the final assessment.

    ORAL EXAM – the oral exam will assess the student’s knowledge of : 1) Latin language and literature 2) the texts under analysis (Horace Epistles 1 and the corollary texts) 3) poetical and rhetorical devices, interpretative processes and genre-related issues 3) the metrical system of the texts under analysis (and metrical reading) 4) the themes discussed in the monographic course.

    As stated above, both attending and non-attending students must subscribe to Aulaweb, check the material there uploaded and discuss their essays with the Professor on a regular basis.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    03/06/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
    20/06/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
    08/07/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
    25/07/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
    12/09/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale



    Bergmann, Bettina and Christine Kondoleon, eds. 1999. The Art of Ancient Spectacle. Washington.

    Bowditch, L. 2001. Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage. Berkeley

    Ferri, R. 1993. I dspiaceri di un Epicureo. Uno studio sulla poetica oraziana delle Epistole. Pisa.

    Fredrick, David. 2002. The Roman Gaze:Vision, Power, and the Body. BaltimorE

    Oliensis, Ellen. 1998. Horace and the Rhetoric of Authority. Cambridge.