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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


At the end of the Germanic Philology module, the student will:

- demonstrate familiarity with the main stages of the evolution of the Common Germanic from Indo-European and the development of the Germanic languages from the medieval to the modern phase, i.e. Modern English and German, according to the Dublin Descriptors OF 2 and 16, hereafter DD.
- acquire a basic knowledge of the structures and working of Old Norse (DD - OF 2 and 16)
- gain a core knowledge of the main tools and methods for analysing medieval literary texts (DD - OF 1)
- learn how to apply the methodological tools and framework used throughout the course to the specific subjects discussed throughout the module and, in particular, to Old Norse texts (Eddic poetry) (DD - OF 1, 3, 24)
- develop the essential skills for communicating these contents effectively and for evaluating and critically examining supporting information (DD-OF 25, 28)
- will also be able to independently retrieve additional bibliographic material, use it critically and thus be ready to take an advanced module in Germanic Philology (DD-OF 26, 27, 29-31).


Good knowledge of a modern Germanic language (English and /or German) is necessary.


The topics covered will include:
a) introduction to Germanic languages and their main phonological, morphological and syntactic characteristics, starting from Indo-European and from the features and sources of the comparative method; aspects of Germanic culture and religion (about 6 hours);
b) characteristics of Old Norse/Old Icelandic literature; introduction to the main phonological and morphological aspects of Old Norse/Old Icelandic (about 12 hours);
c) Love, runes and magic: the story of Freyr, a Norse god in love: reading in the original and analysis at various levels of selected passages taken from the Eddic poem Skírnismál (about 12 hours).

Any students who cannot attend lessons are kindly requested to contact the teacher to discuss the exam syllabus.

Teaching Methods

Further activities:
-coursework through in-class exercises for testing the understanding of specific topics and for revision purposes (as for letters a and b of the section Syllabus).

Verification of learning

Assessment involves an oral exam in which the student will be asked to:
1) demonstrate his/her knowledge of standard concepts and information and techniques relevant to the discipline, showing a use of appropriate vocabulary (relationship between the Indo-European, Common Germanic and historical Germanic languages; phonological, morphological and syntactic characteristics of Germanic languages, and their modern outcomes, with reference to English and possibly to German; the comparative method) minimum mark = 6 out of 10;
2) demonstrate knowledge of the main characteristics of Old Norse literature and understanding of the working and structures of Old Norse using appropriate vocabulary (phonological and morphological characteristics; main phonetic changes) minimum mark = 6 out of 10;
3) read in the original, translate and comment on the passages of Old Norse poem analysed during the module (Skírnismál) minimum mark = 6 out of 10;

In order to pass the exam (minimum mark = 18/30), the student is expected to demonstrate that he/she has gained sufficient knowledge of the topics referred to in letters a-c of the section Syllabus.
Full marks (30/30) are awarded to students who are able to demonstrate that he/she has gained an in-depth knowledge of the topics and achieved a very good level in performing the tasks described in letters a-c of the section Syllabus. He/she will also be expected to show a good command of critical terminology.

Students can be awarded 30/30 with honours if they show an excellent level of knowledge of the topics and tasks indicated in letters a-c of the section Syllabus, a logical organisation of contents and an excellent command of critical terminology.


Reading list
A) Reading list with reference to letters a and b of the section Syllabus:
1. N. Francovich Onesti, La Filologia germanica, Carocci, Rome, 2015 (NOT the following sections: 2.4.1-2.4.3; 2.4.6-2.4.9; 2.7.1-2.7.4; 2.8.1-2.8.2);
2. R.I. Page, Norse Myths, British Museum Press, London, 1990
3. G.C. Isnardi, Storia e cultura della Scandinavia. Uomini e mondi del Nord, Milano, Bompiani, pp. 284-308, and M. Battaglia, Medioevo volgare germanico (con il contributo di Maria Rita Digilio), Pisa, Pisa University Press, 2016, pp. 133-162, or le voci Eddic poetry, Snorra Edda e Snorri Sturluson tratte da Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia, ed. Ph. Pulsiano, Garland 1993.

B) Reading list with reference to letter c of the section Syllabus:
1. Gustav Neckel – Hans Kuhn (eds.), Edda. Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. I Text, Carl Winter, Heidelberg 1985;
2. S.A. Mitchell, “Fǫr Scírnis as Mythological Model: frið at kaupa”, Arkiv för nordisk filologi, 98 (1983), pp. 108-122, or, D. Sävborg, “Love among gods and men: Skírnismál and its tradition”, in A. Andrén, K. Jennbert and C. Raudvere (eds.), Old Norse Religion in long-term perspectives: Origins, changes, and interactions, Nordic Academic Press, Lund, 2006, pp. 336-340; or, B. O. Thorvaldsen, “Poetic Curse and and its Relatives”, in S. Rancovic, Along the Oral-Written Continuum: Types of Texts, Relations and their Implications, Brepols, Turnhout, 2010, pp. 253-267, or, R. Cole, “Ęrgi ok œði ok óþola : 'Lust, perversity and unbearable longing' - the threat of induced desire in Skírnismál”, ˂˃

C) PPT presentations will also be used throughout the module and then made available to students on the Elearning Moodle website (

More Information

Further information
Office hours:
Thursdays, 10-12 am
Office: Room 24 (second floor of the main building, Campus Aresu, via San Giorgio, 12)

Any students who cannot attend lessons are kindly requested to contact the teacher to discuss the exam syllabus.

Germanic Philology is an optional module (6 credits) of the First Degree Course in Languages and Culture for Linguistic Mediation: Linguistic-Intercultural Curriculum (third year).
It can be chosen as one of the modules in the “Filologia e linguistica applicata e generale” area or as an optional exam in “esame a scelta dello studente”.

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