The Course “Germanic Philology 1 LM” falls within the domain of the Complementary learning activities of the Degree Course in Modern Languages for International Communication, specifically the activities aiming at providing adequate tools for the analysis of texts in the light of their transmission and cultural context.
The course envisages either an introduction (Group B) or, building on the results achieved during the philology courses of the First Cycle (Group A), further study of the content, methodological and analytical domains of the subject, reinforcing the competence previously acquired, and obtaining a solid preparation in the field of the history of medieval languages and literatures also with regard to their transition towards the early modern period.
Expected Learning Outcomes: The student will acquire advanced understanding of the principles and methods of the subject and will acquire solid competence in the history of medieval languages and literatures.


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The significance of landscape in Medieval English Literature
Through the reading of a selection of passages from works of prose and poetry of the Old and Middle English literary tradition (Chaucer and the Gawain’poet), the main features of landscape representations in medieval English literature will be identified. The relevance of naturalistic descriptions and the way they interact with the main characters or situations of the works analysed will be also addressed through references to other works of the Germanic world, mainly German and Norse.

The philological-literary analysis of these texts will be combined with an outline of the fundamental changes of the English language through the centuries.

Core Documentation


- G. Brunetti (ed.), Beowulf, Roma: Carocci, (selection of passages).
- The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry (http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/ascp/)
- L. D. Benson, ed., The Riverside Chaucer, Boston, Houghton Mifflin 1987 (selection of passages) .
- The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English): https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/mect/index.htm
- M. Andrew and R. Waldron, edd., The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript. Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Exeter: Exeter University Press 2007 (selections of passages).
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=cme;idno=Gawain (trad.: http://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/ready.htm)

Texts and essays:

- Ernst R. Curtius, Letteratura europea e medioevo latino, Scandicci (Firenze): La Nuova Italia,1992 , cap. X. Il paesaggio ideale, pp. 207-226.
- Derek Pearsall and Elizabeth Salter, Landscapes and Seasons of the Medieval World, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973.
- Paul Zumthor, La misura del mondo. La rappresentazione dello spazio nel Medio Evo, Bologna, Il mulino, 1995.
- Nicholas Howe,, “The Landscape of Anglo-Saxon England: Inherited, Invented, Imagined.” In Inventing Medieval Landscapes: Senses of Place in Western Europe, edited by John Howe and Michael Wolfe, 91-112. Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 2002.
- Margaret Gelling, The landscape of Beowulf, in AngloSaxon England, 32 (2001), pp. 7-11.
- H. Appleton, The Insular Landscape of the Old English Poem The Phoenix, in Neophilologus 101 (2017), pp. 585–602.
- William F. Woods, 2002. 'Nature and the Inner Man in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight .' Chaucer Review 36, 3 (2002), pp. 209-27.
- Michael W.George, Gawain’s Struggle with Ecology: Attitudes Toward the Natural World in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, in The Journal of Ecocriticism 2, no. 2 (July 2010), pp. 30–44.
- Olson, Paul A., 'Chaucer's Merchant and January's “Hevene in Erthe Heere”, in ELH 28, n. 3 (1961), pp. 203-214.

History of medieval English literature:
- D. Wallace, The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002 (Chapters 1,2,6,21,26)
- P. Boitani, La letteratura del Medioevo inglese, Roma, Carocci 2001.

History of the English language:
- C. Barber, The English Language: a Historical Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2009.

Textual criticism:
- Anna Maria Luiselli Fadda, Tradizioni manoscritte e critica del testo nel Medioevo germanico, Roma-Bari: Laterza 2004 (Parts II e III).

A variety of additional materials (critical editions, glossaries, critical essays etc.) will be provided during the course.

Type of evaluation

Online oral exams; video conference on Microsoft Teams.

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Core Documentation

Nicoletta Francovich Onesti, Filologia Germanica. Lingue e culture dei Germani antichi, Roma: Carocci 2004

Nicoletta Francovich Onesti / Maria Rita Digilio, Breve storia della lingua inglese, Roma: Carocci 2004

David Wallace (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002 - Da integrare con (fino alla riapertura al pubblico della Biblioteca Umanistica: https://discovery.sba.uniroma3.it/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_gutenberg_s37342&context=PC&vid=39CAB_V1&lang=it_IT&search_scope=ALL&adaptor=primo_central_multiple_fe&tab=default_tab&query=any,contains,%20medieval%20english%20literature

(Laura Mancinelli, Da Carlomagno a Lutero, Torino: Bollati Boringhieri 1996) DA SOSTITUIRE CON: Roberta L. Krueger (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance, Cambridge: The Cambridge University Press 2002 - Esclusi i capp. 2, 8, 10, 12, 15.

Laura Mancinelli, I Nibelunghi, Torino: Einaudi 1972

Francesca Gambino, Thomas. Tristano e Isotta, Modena: Mucchi 2014

Claire Fennell (a cura di), Sir Tristrem. La storia di Tristano in Inghilterra, Milano / Trento: Luni 2000

Altri eventuali testi saranno comunicati durante il corso.
I non frequentanti sono tenuti a contattare la docente almeno tre mesi prima dell'appello previsto.