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CODE 61363
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The course consists in a first approach to Byzantine literary Civilization in a twofold perspective: (a) continuity with ancient Greek literature (mostly preserved/transmitted via Byzantium) and (b) change.





In the frame of the three-year degree course no. 10, this course aims at the following: (a) understanding essential development(s) of Byzantine Literature and literary genres via relevant texts to be read in Greek; (b) understanding linguistic evolution of Byzantine Greek, especially as regards diglossia; (c) interpreting/analyzing essential features of relevant texts, discerning continuity with and change from ancient Greek civilization.



  • To remember continuity and change features of Byzantine Greek with/from Classical Greek (lexicon and style).
  • To understand different meanings of the texts presented during classes (polysemy).
  • To recognize different literary genres and their ‘codes’.
  • To analyze the essential features of Byzantine civilization in the texts presented during classes: paideia (‘education’) & basileia (‘imperial polity’).


  • To be able to put in their contexts the authors & texts presented during classes (historical period & literary genre);
  • To be able to translate in English (or Italian) the Greek texts presented in class and their lexical, morphological, stylistic, rhetoric and metric features;
  • To be able to recognize essential themes, especially as regards the μίμησις (‘literary imitation’) of ancient authors and, vice versa, the innovative aspects;
  • To be able to follow an argumentation in an essay/article/scholarly contribution and to produce a written text in English (or Italian) accurately reporting it.

SOFT SKILLS for the report:

  • functional literacy competence – basic level;
  • personal competence – basic level

SOFT SKILLS for the flipped classroom::

  • functional literacy competence – advanced level;
  • personal competence – advanced level;
  • learning-to-learn competence – advanced level.

​Soft skills can be certified with an OPENBADGE.


Sufficient knowledge of ancient Greek is necessary to take the course.


The teaching activity takes place in a classroom in via Balbi, Genoa. Attending the lessons is strongly recommended.

Lessons will be delivered along with Power Point/pdf presentations, dialogues, interactive platforms, polls; every text proposed in Greek will be translated, via online lexica (GI, LSJ, LBG) as well.

In the event of a weather alert, classes will be held online for everybody. Furthermore, classes will be recorded for those students who will ask for them via email.

Flipped classroom: students who regularly attend classes in person may present an oral report about an article/essay related with the content of the course.

Otherwise, every student has to deliver a written report on an article/essay. Both methodologies can develop Soft Skills to be certified with an OpenBadge.

It is requested to subscribe on Aulaweb ( as well, in order to get information, didactic material, notices, bibliography and so on.


Ancient Greece, Rome and Constantinople in late-Renaissance manuscripts.

Although the vast majority of ancient Greek texts reach us through Byzantine manuscripts produced by the mid-15th century, no little contribution comes from 16th century codices. These were special materials in terms of production, provenance and circulation, at a time when the manuscript book was giving way to the printing press. Precisely for this reason, the study of the recentiores holds interesting surprises in terms of materials, texts, scribes and owners, as well as the circulation of ideas.

Starting from historiography, we will examine passages that differ widely in literary genre, language, style and historical period, without neglecting their philological contextualisation in the sources.

Non-attending students may ask for a different syllabus/content. They are required to email the professor as soon as possible.

Dr. Martina Biamino (UniGe PhD candidate) will offer a seminar in Italian about in Italian about Medicine and Lives of the Saints (Medicina e agiografia, 6 hours, i.e., 3 lessons)


Greek texts to be read and translated during classes will be available in pdf format (limited number of selected pages) for all those students who regularly attend classes in person.

Students who want to choose a whole English bibliography are kindly requested to contact the professor as soon as possible via email (

Bibliography for all English students:

A.KAMBYLIS, Compendio della letteratura bizantina, in H.-G. NESSELRATH, Introduzione alla filologia greca, trad. it., Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2004, pp. 446-478. Please consider that regularly attending students (in person) have to explain the evolution of one literary genre of their choice; non-regularly/remotely attending students have to know two literary genres, one in prose, one in poetry. 

Procopius, The Anecdota or Secret History, transl. By H.B. Dewing, (Loeb Classical Library 290) Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935.

P. Carolla, John Malalas in the Excerpta Constantiniana de Insidiis (EI): a philological and literary perspective, in: M. Meier - Chr. Radtki - F. Schulz (eds.), Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas. Autor - Werk - Überlieferung, (Malalas Studien 1), Stuttgart Franz Steiner Verlag 2016, pp. 239-252.

Non-attending students must add the following two books:

R. BROWNING, Medieval and Modern Greek, London-Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969.

St. COLVIN, A Brief History of Ancient Greek, Chichester (UK) 2014, pp. 168-194.




In the week of 23rd September 2024

Class schedule




Oral exam in Italian.

Erasmus students not proficient in Italian may request a substitutive bibliography, and take the examination in English (or German).


Oral exam: reading, translation and historical-literary, philological, linguistic commentary of texts presented in lectures to assess students’ knowledge and abilities to identify literary genres, the diachronic development of language and dialectical imitation/innovation in Byzantine to ancient Greek literature.

Before the oral exam, each student sends (via email) a written report on an article/essay (to be chosen among those proposed during classes) to let the professor assess his/her ability to analyse and synthesise. The student presents the report at the end of the oral exam as well, in order to integrate it into the final evaluation (max 1/30).

The final report can develop SOFT SKILLS:

functional literacy competence – basic level;

personal competence – basic level;

Regularly attending students  may ask for an oral report instead of the written one. In this case, the methodology of Flipped Classroom can develop the Soft Skills as follows

  • functional literacy competence – advanced level;
  • personal competence – advanced level;
  • learning-to-learn competence – advanced level.

The method of assessing the degree of learning achieved takes into account the following scale of values:


1. the student demonstrates a deep understanding of the texts proposed, both for the linguistic-stylistic aspects and for the rhetorical-literary and philological ones, arriving at an organic overview of the literary periods and genres analysed in class: very good-excellent grade (from 28 to 30 with honours);

2. the student reveals only mnemonic knowledge and therefore has not yet fully understood the texts analysed in the lecture, which he/she analyses superficially even though with correct language: good grade (25-27)

3. the student reveals only mnemonic knowledge, has not understood the texts analysed in class, analyses them superficially and with language that is not always correct: satisfactory grade (23-24);

3. approximate knowledge, superficial understanding and not entirely appropriate modes of expression may be considered sufficient (18-22);

4. formative gaps in understanding the texts, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliographical materials and topics presented in the lecture will be assessed negatively.


Please contact the professor for any further information in English.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Quality education
Quality education
Peace, justice and strong institutions
Peace, justice and strong institutions


 PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A