The aim of the course is the acquisition of knowledge of Greek literature, considered in its historical development, in its articulation in literary genres, against the background of economic and political evolution as well as in relation to the progressive transformations of the communication system. Furthermore, through the study and translation of a short text or a circumscribed anthological selection of various texts in the original language, the student will be able to acquire hermeneutic skills, especially from a linguistic point of view, but also fundamental notions of a historical-literary nature.
teacher profile | teaching materials



The course 'Greek Language and Literature I' offers a cultural-historical synthesis of the literary phenomenon in the ancient Greek world grounded in linguistic and hermeneutic skills. The course comprises:
(I) a cycle of lectures with a historical-literary character, which students will have to supplement with the systematic study of the textbook. In each lesson, historical contexts, literary genres and authors will be illustrated, with a focus on trends in recent criticism and the more specific aspects of literary analysis, especially from the point of view of the complex interaction between orality and literacy;
(II) an overview of the principles guiding the interpretation of the literary text, with particular attention to its linguistic and cognitive dimensions;
(III) the reading, translation and commentary of a selection of passages from Homer's Iliad (to be prepared in full).
Attendance at the course, although optional, is strongly encouraged. For attending students, a reduced bibliographic load and examination paper will be provided (see below). Attending students must guarantee attendance at least two thirds of the lessons (27 out of 40 hours).

Core Documentation

(A) It is essential to study a comprehensive textbook on the history of Greek literature from among those on the market; (B) a specific bibliography on Homer will be provided during the course; (C) a translation of the Iliad with the Greek text is necessary; (D) B. Gentili, Poesia e pubblico in Grecia antica. Da Omero al V secolo (Feltrinelli: Milan 2006).

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures, workshops, seminars.

Type of evaluation

The examination is oral and consists of two parts. The first part consists of several questions on the topics dealt with in sections I and II of the course, supplemented by the history of literature textbook (point A of the Bibliography) and the volume indicated in point D of the Bibliography (from which attending students are exempt). This first part of the examination may be taken as a written exemption on a reduced number of questions, to be completed in a maximum time of 2 hours (maximum mark 20/30). The papers will be assessed, in addition to the general correctness of the answers, for clarity of exposition and mastery of critical language. The examination is deemed passed if the mark reaches 12/30. The second part of the examination consists of an essay on translation and analysis (linguistic, literary, historical) of the text read and illustrated in section III of the course (maximum mark 10/30). There are both exercises and in itinere tests, the result of which will not affect the final assessment. Erasmus students may also take the examination in English, French or German.