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CODE 61746
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


The course intends to introduce  students to an in-depth analysis at a specialistic level of history, themes and texts of Latin literature.



The course intends to introduce students to an in-depth analysis at a specialistic level of history, themes and texts of Latin literature through a direct and analytical reading of the texts, from the Archaic age to the 5th century AD, developing the ability to relate literary production with its historical-cultural context.


The course aims to provide students with in-depth knowledge, through direct 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 the literary fact with its historical, cultural and artistic context; the ability to grasp the elements of continuity and innovation of this literature compared to the great Greek experience that preceded it; the ability to identify the formal and content characteristics of the various literary genres, applying suitable interpretation techniques; the ability to analyze the texts proposed during the course and, more generally, any Latin literary text, on the most varied levels (for the poetic ones, adding to the previous skills on dactylic metrics also those on lyric metrics) .

At the end of the course, the student must have acquired the methodologies and tools to deal directly, at a specialist level, with the interpretation and analysis of Latin texts, on a linguistic, metric, stylistic, rhetorical, thematic and historical-literary level, with particular with regard to the evolution of literary genres in the history of Latin literature.


A sound knowledge of Latin and dactylic metrics (hexameter and pentameter)  and - for those students who intend to acquire more than 12 credits in SSD L-FIL-LET/04, and therefore are preparing to teach  Latin in the school  - the passing of a written preparatory Latin translation test, second level (at a higher level than the three-year test) is required.

Please note that to facilitate the preparation of solid grammatical bases and for the preparation of the Preliminary written Translation Test, second level, during the second semester a Lettorato for Advanced Translation from Latin, open to all students,   will be activated by the CdS in Letters (see more details in the field FURTHER INFORMATION).



Lectures and seminar discussion.

Lessons will take place in person. Attendance, although not compulsory, is highly recommended.

Only those who attend lessons in presence will be deemed attending students.

The teacher, upon specific  e-mail request by single students, could allow them to attend lessons remotely and to access the recordings of the lessons via Teams.


The personification of the book: an investigation into a literary topos

The course will focus on the analysis of a literary motif, the personification of the book, which had great fortune in the Roman world as early as the end of Republic, but which has extraordinary results above all in the Latin poetry of the imperial period. It is the attribution by the author to his literary work, or to the book that contains it, of some of the most characteristic human connotations: the ability to move, walk, think, feel and speak, or even simply, the ability to perceive the words that the author or others address to it. For example, the book can be represented and described as a young man impatient to leave the author's house (that is, to be published), or to whom the author of the literary text entrusts tasks accompanied by recommendations on how to perform them in the best way. In Ovid's Tristia the personification of a book of the work is closely linked to the condition of the poet, relegated to distant Tomi and unable to see Rome again. The book is therefore entrusted with the mission of going there in his place, and the motif is not only declined in the form of the propemptikon, but the 'eyes' of the book are entrusted with the poet's nostalgia for the distant and unreachable city, with its monuments, its palaces and of course its libraries. The author does not hesitate to provide the literary product, just as if it were a child or a loved one, some indications on how to get around, where to go and the dangers to watch out for. In this way certain functions proper to the epistle are summoned, which is also sent as an intermediary with distant recipients, and in turn the bearer of requests, praises, flattery, recommendations, lamentations: but the personified book is a very peculiar alter ego of the author, which will survive him and make him immortal, and which have specific metaliterary functions.

From Ovid onwards, the motif recurs cyclically in Latin literature up to late antiquity and beyond, particularly in the case of books sent to distant friends or patrons. In this case, the description of the place of arrival is often accompanied by a detailed description of the route to be covered: a series of stages in which the book can stop at the author's friends.

A short cycle of 4 lessons will be dedicated to the lyric metrics scheduled for the institutional part


• Testi/Bibliografia:

1) Monographic Course:

a) Catullus, poems  35 and 36 (Catullo, Il Liber. Tutte le poesie, a cura di L. Micozzi, Milano, Mondadori, 2023).

b) Horace, epist. 1, 20 (Orazio, Epistole, libro I, Intr. trad. e commento di Andrea Cucchiarelli, Pisa, ed. Scuola Normale Superiore, 2019)

c) Ovid, Tristia 1, 1 and 3, 1; Ex Ponto 4, 5 (Ovidio, Tristia, Garzanti 2005; Ovidio, Epistulae ex Ponto, a cura di Luigi Galasso, Milano, Mondadori 2008)

d) Martial, epigrams 1,3; 1,70; 2,1; 3,2; 3,4; 3,5; 4,86; 4,89; 5,10; 7,84; 7,97; 8,1; 8,72; 9,99; 10,1; 10,104; 11,1; 12,2; also epigrams in which the motif is declined in a particular form: 1,96 e 7,26; 9,11; 12,5 (Marziale, Epigrammi, a cura di G. Norcio, Torino, UTET 2021).

2) Essays related to the Course:

Mario Citroni, Le raccomandazioni del poeta, apostrofe al libro e contatto con il destinatario, “Maia” 38, 1986, pp. 111-146;

Luciano Landolfi, Lo sguardo dell'esule. Per un' 'immagine mentale' di Roma fra Tristia ed Epistulae ex Ponto, in M. L. Delvigo (cur.), Centro e periferia nella letteratura latina di Roma imperiale, Udine, Pendragon 2021, pp. 329-3

3) Supplementary texts (individual preparation by the students; there will be a series of introductory lessons on lyrical metrics):

a) Catullus, a choice of carmina:

1; 3; 5; 13; 42 = Phalaecian endecasyllable

4 = Iambic trimeters

8 = Choliambs

11; 51 = Sapphic stanza


Catullo, Il Liber. Tutte le poesie, a cura di L. Micozzi, Milano, Mondadori, 2023

b) Horatius, a choice of Odes:

1,1 = Minor Asclepiads

1,11 = Greater Asclepiads

4,1= Glyconic + Asclepiad

2,3; 4,9; 4,15 = Alcaic stanza.

Bibliography: Orazio, Odi ed epodi, intr. di A. Traina, Milano, BUR 1985.

Non-attending students will integrate the program with S. Boldrini, La prosodia e la metrica dei Romani, Roma, Carocci, 1998, and with the material uploaded on Aulaweb.


Exam Board



GABRIELLA MORETTI (President Substitute)



LISA LONGONI (Substitute)

LARA NICOLINI (Substitute)




February 19, 2024





Oral exam possibly preceded by a seminar work presented orally and delivered in written form to the teacher during the course.


The propedeutic test of translation from Latin (second level) requires simple passing (the grade does not make up the average, and is useful for the student's self-assessment).

The exam will first examine the student's competences regarding the Latin language, and will focus in particular on the ascertainment of linguistic, stylistic, metrical, rhetorical and interpretative skills through the translation and exegesis of the Latin texts in the program. Part of the evaluation will also be based on an active partecipation during the course.

The vote will be expressed in THIRTIES. The final grade will be determined by an average (subject to increase at the discretion of the teacher) obtained from the sum of the following factors:

-quality of exposure and ability to use an adequate Italian form (attention: sloppy or incorrect exposure can invalidate the entire exam): 6/30;

- reasoning skills, logical connections and use of the specialized vocabulary: 6/30;

- reading, analysis, contextualization and understanding of the texts: 12/30.

- active attendance, with preparation of the texts addressed during the course 6/30

Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
19/12/2023 10:30 GENOVA Compitino
21/12/2023 10:30 GENOVA Orale
18/01/2024 10:00 GENOVA Compitino
22/01/2024 10:30 GENOVA Orale
02/02/2024 10:00 GENOVA Compitino
07/02/2024 10:30 GENOVA Orale
06/05/2024 10:00 GENOVA Compitino
09/05/2024 10:30 GENOVA Orale
27/05/2024 10:30 GENOVA Orale
28/05/2024 10:00 GENOVA Compitino
07/06/2024 10:00 GENOVA Orale
11/06/2024 10:00 GENOVA Compitino
19/06/2024 10:00 GENOVA Orale
09/09/2024 10:00 GENOVA Compitino
12/09/2024 10:30 GENOVA Orale


Attendance is strongly recommended: active attendance at the lessons, with preparation of the passages addressed during the course, will be evaluated  (see Assessment methods).

Those who cannot attend for serious reasons must MANDATORY contact the teacher within the first month of the course.

Particularly useful for passing the second level propedeutic test of Translation from Latin is the Lettorato  of advanced translation from Latin, organized in the second semester by Prof. Lara Nicolini and Prof. Alice Bonandini.

All students are required to register for Aulaweb and Teams in time for the start of the course.