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CODE 90349
SEMESTER 1° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


The process by which Latin literature has been saved, the way the books we read today have come down to us, the methods of copying, all this is the subject of the Latin philology module, and more generally of the very subject of 'textual criticism'. The module will expose the problems related to the tradition of texts and the crucial questions of method that scholars have faced fin view of their preservation, reconstruction and correct reading.



The teaching of Latin Philology aims to make students acquire a good knowledge of the history of the manuscript tradition and of textual criticism (from antiquity to the modern age) and, consequently, of all the tools of investigation useful to face in general Ecdotic traditions and problems of Latin texts. At the end of the course the student will be able to read and analyze any critical apparatus, autonomously judging the publisher's choices, and to present a textual problem in a scientific and clear manner, describing and evaluating the solutions proposed for it (and possibly suggesting new ones). More specifically, they will be able to read and comment on the text and the apparatus of a series of famous passages addressed in class, and to apply the analysis and the appropriate critical-textual and exegetical methodology to them. They will also be able to deal with and describe a selection of the most famous loci vexati in Latin literature, to present the brilliant solutions offered for them by the great philologists of the past and to justify his choices among one or more speculations.



Students must acquire the methodologies and tools to autonomously interpret and analyse any given Latin text from the point of view of its tradition, and with special attention to all the problems related to the transmission. Students must therefore be familiar not only with issues of grammar, syntax and metrics, but also with the peculiar lexicon of textual criticism

The course particularly aims at providing students with the skills to analyze both the problems in the literary texts selected by the lecturer and the best textual solutions given to them; students will be able to apply the tools of textual criticism along with literary history, and will acquire skills to deal with any other manuscript traditions and to examine any kind of textual problems. At the end, the students will acquire:

-       Knowledge of the pre- and post-Lachmannian practice of textual criticism, of the  critique rules and precepts to emend ancient texts;

-       knowledge of the tradition and ecdotical history of a series of latin texts;

-       Ability to apply the learned methodology to any other Latin texts. 

-       Ability to read a latin text and to identify and explain the main textual problems / loci vexati contained in it, as well as to describe the different solutions for them.

-        Ability to analyze and comment text and apparatus of any given literary edition (among the main modern critical editions such as OCT, Teubner, Budé, etc.).



Lectures in classroom; each lecture will last 2 hours; towards the end of the course, some lectures may take the form of seminars (depending on the students' ability). Participation to the classes is strongly encouraged, though attendance at the course is not mandatory in order to take the exam. During the lessons, students will be given advices and suggestions to prepare the exam and will take advantage of some hints and test simulation. See also italian section.

NB Lessons will be held in presence. Attendance, although not compulsory, is recommended. Only those who attend lessons in presence will be deemed attending students. The syllabus, however, will be the same for both attending and non attending students. Non-attending students will not be required to do any supplementary readings.



Intertextuality, textual and interpretative problems in the poem Aegritudo Perdicae.
The lecturer will propose a reading of the poem Aegritudo Perdicae, a text that has recently been the focus of renewed interest and many studies, including an edition to be published in 2023. The mysterious conditions under which it was handed down, but also the fortune of the most scabrous theme analysed in ancient literature, incest, have ensured the poem great success among philologists of the professions as well as amateurs of philology. The module proposes an annotated reading of the poem, with detailed analysis of the most important textual problems that plague it, due to its peculiar tradition. In this presentation, much importance will be given to finding stylistic features, topoi, allusions and direct quotations from the great classical literature of the Golden Age (from Lucretius to Virgil, Ovid, Lucan and Seneca) in the text, so as to educate students also on the crucial theme of intertextuality.

      Please, note: the course will be held in italian. The lecturer will discuss some aspects of the subject and/or some textual problems  in english, if necessary.

After a first part introducing the study of textual critic, manuscript tradition, ecdotical history, the course will focus on the special cases mentioned above. The most part of the lectures will be dedicated to the reading, translation and critical analysis of the epyllion.

NB Other texts are meant to be read, translated and analyzed (see Texts/Bibliography). 



Aegritudo Perdicae

Recommended Bibliography:   L. Zurli, Aegritudo Perdicae, Leipzig 1987 + L. Nicolini, La malattia di Perdicca, Padova 2023.

(the Teubneriana is already available at the library of Balbi 4, please ask our librarian Mirko Cannistrà for info about it)



1)  Catullus, Poems.

 (text recommended: Catullo. Il liber, a cura di Laura Micozzi, Oscar Cult Mondadori, Milano 2023).


2. Apuleius Metamorphoses II or II (at the choice of the student).

(text recommended: Apuleio. Metamorfosi. ediz. Mondadori, Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, Milano 2023).


 3) an introduction to textual critic to be chosen among:

-T. Braccini, La scienza dei testi antichi. Introduzione alla filologia classica, Firenze, 2017

- Sebastiano Timpanaro, La genesi del metodo del Lachmann, Torino, 2003



Exam Board

LARA PAGANI (President)


LARA NICOLINI (President Substitute)


LISA LONGONI (Substitute)






Classes will begin  in the week from 18/09/2023


The first lesson will be held on Wednesday 20 Sept at 3:00 p.m  (ROOM 3-BALBI 2

All the lessons will take place in the same classroom WITH THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE :

Wednesday 3:00 p.m -5:00 p.m  AULA 3-BALBI 2

Thursday 9:00 p.m -11:00 p.m. AULA P - BALBI  4


Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The examination will consist of an oral interview with the professor which aims to assess students' critical understanding of the course content and their individual reflection on the assigned bibliography. It will take place in scheduled calls at the end of the course. Grading will be based on students' ability to master the course content.

Other skills will be assesed such as simple expository skills, competence in recognizing and explaining in detail a textual problem, and the proficiency in translation that underlies these specific abilities. 



The exam aims to assess students' critical understanding of the course content and their individual reflection on the assigned bibliography. It will take place in scheduled calls at the end of the course. Grading will be based on students' ability to master the course content, understand philological concepts, undertake critical analysis, read a text with apparartus and and present basic and more complicated textual problems concisely and in the appropriate language.

Students who meet these demands proficiently will have an excellent grade. Students who merely repeat the information mnemonically and in language that is not fully adequate will have a fair grade. Students who show a superficial and deficient knowledge of the topics and who use inappropriate language will have a failing grade.



Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
18/12/2023 12:00 GENOVA Orale
17/01/2024 12:00 GENOVA Orale
12/02/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
10/05/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
27/05/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
10/06/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
03/07/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
13/09/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale