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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[20/40]  HUMANITIES [40/10 - Ord. 2008]  CLASSICAL LITERATURE 12 60


The course (Mod. A) aims to provide a well-defined chronological framework of the history of ancient Greek literature, from the archaic period to the imperial age, with a choice of critical essays. It will also introduce some problems related to the transmission of ancient texts (from the archaic period to the first printed editions).
The student will also be initiated to confront himself (in original language) with a complete tragic text (Mod. B). In the course of the A. A. 2020-21 we will read a satyric drama, the Cyclops of Euripides.
At the end of the course, the student will be able to place the texts in their cultural, historical, social frame; to recognize the origins and roots of theories, techniques, behaviors in the contemporary world; to establish intertextual connections between the Greek Literature and various ancient and modern literatures.
The course can promote: aesthetic sense, critical skills, accuracy and attention to detail, capacities of analysis.


Students must be able to read and understand a piece of literary criticism with good knowledge of the terminology; they must also have developed a sufficient aptitude for theoretical reflection.
They must possess a basic knowledge of the Greek language, grammar and syntax - and also notions of Greek prosody and metrics - so as to enable him/her, under the guidance of the teacher, to read a complex text of Greek poetry.


During the lessons some main topics will be comprehensively treated and discussed: epic poetry and the age of orality; monodic lyric poetry and the symposium; choral poetry and the feast, as well as the tyrannic court; the development of prose and the historical and scientific literature (Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius); tragic drama of the fifth century; old and new comedy (Aristophanes, Menander); sophistic thought and rhetoric; philosophy (Plato, Aristotle); Attic oratory between the fifth and fourth centuries; Alexandrian poetry and the spreading of books. Particular attention will be given to papyrological findings and their contribution to our knowledge of Greek literature. During the lessons the teacher could also propose readings of significant ancient texts in order to explain their peculiarities and conventions.
In the second part, the course will approach the study of the Cyclops of Euripides, with attention to literary, textual, linguistic, metrical, literary, theatrical features.
We will also illustrate the transmission of classical texts from antiquity to the early printed editions.

Teaching Methods

Lectures integrated by seminars and lectures given by guest professors on various literary arguments.

Verification of learning

A written test (usually taking place at the end of the course, in January), consisting of 12 proposed questions about Greek literature from the origins to the Roman age, will constitute the only examination for Mod. A students (or, if a student cannot be present that day, he can take the oral examination at the appointed date) and will be followed by a final oral examination for Mod. A + B students. The final oral examination will centre on a number of literary key-themes (treated in the selected essays) and especially on the interpretation and literary and linguistic analysis of the text read during the lessons of the monographic course (Mod. B).
Students will be required to show a reliable knowledge of the linguistic subject-matters concerning Greek phonology, morphology and dialect variety. Alongside a proper knowledge of the relevant topics (exactness and completeness of answers),the comprehensive assessment will consider the student’s command of an appropriate technical terminology.


History of Greek literature (students can choose one among the following handbooks):

- D. Del Corno, Letteratura greca. Dall'età arcaica alla letteratura dell'età imperiale, Milano (Principato) 1992 (e successive ristampe); 

- L.E. Rossi, Letteratura greca, Firenze (Le Monnier) 1995 (e successive ristampe);
- G.A. Privitera - R. Pretagostini, Storia e forme della letteratura greca, Milano (Einaudi) 1997 (e successive ristampe).

Students are required to choose and read six among the following critical contributes (only two for students of Beni Culturali):

AA.VV. , Storia e Civiltà dei Greci, Milano 1977-79,

Tomo 1: L.E. Rossi, I poemi omerici come testimonianza di poesia orale, 73-147;
M.L West, La formazione culturale della polis e la poesia esiodea, 254-290; 

Tomo 2: B. Gentili, Storicità della lirica greca, 383-461;

Tomo 3: E. Degani, M.G. Bonanno, Democrazia ateniese e sviluppo del dramma attico, 254-350; 

Tomo 4 D. Del Corno, Vita cittadina e commedia borghese, 265-298;
L. Canfora, Gli oratori attici, 326-49;
G. Serrao, La cultura ellenistica. Caratteri generali. La poesia bucolica. Realtà campestre e stilizzazione letteraria. La poetica del nuovo stile". Dalla mimesi aristotelica alla poetica della verità, 171-242;
L. Canfora, Sorti della storiografia ellenistica Polibio, Posidonio, 313-340.

AA.VV., Lo spazio letterario in Grecia, Roma 1992:

Tomo 1: Francesco Bertolini, Il palazzo: l'epica, 109-141;
G. F. Gianotti, La festa: la poesia corale, 143-175;
M. Vetta, Il simposio: la monodia e il canto, 177-218;
D. Lanza: La poesia drammatica; i caratteri generali, il dramma satiresco, 279-300;
G. Cerri, La tragedia, 301-334;
G.Mastromarco, La commedia, 335-377;
L. Canfora, L'agorà: il discorso suasorio, 379-395;
G. Avezzù, L'oratore giudiziario, 397-417;
L. Canfora, A. Corcella, La letteratura politica e storiografica, 433-471;
G.F. Nieddu, Il ginnasio e la scuola: scrittura e mimesi del parlato, 555-585;
Tomo 2: E. Degani, L'epigramma, 197-233;
F. Montanari, L'erudizione, la filologia e la grammatica, 235-264;
D. Lanza, Menandro, 501-526;
G. Cambiano, L. Repici, Atene: le scuole dei filosofi, 527-551;
G. Cortassa, Lo stoicismo dei ceti dirigenti, 61-83;
S. Nicosia, La seconda sofistica, 85-116;
M. Fusillo, Letteratura di consumo e romanzesca, 233-273.

The reading of Euripides' Cyclops will mostly follow the critical text established by R. Hunter-R. Laemmle, Euripides Cyclops, Cambridge 2020.
Recommended translations and commentaries: M. Napolitano, Euripide. Ciclope, Venezia, Marsilio, 2003; R. Seaford, Euripides Cyclops, Oxford 1984; R. Hunter-R. Laemmle, Euripides Cyclops, Cambridge 2020; O. Pozzoli, in Eschilo, Sofocle, Euripide, Drammi satireschi, Milano, BUR, 2004.

More Information

Other essential or useful materials will be provided (xerox) during the lessons.
The teacher's office hours will be made known together with the class schedules.
E-mail: (or
Skype: tristanoga.
Students are warmly invited to attend the lectures given during the year by guest scholars.
Non-attending students are required to discuss the syllabus with the teacher.

Questionnaire and social

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