German Philology (2014/2015)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Adele Cipolla
Maria Adele Cipolla
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2014 al Jan 10, 2015.

Lesson timetable

I semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM lesson Lecture Hall 2.5  
Thursday 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.6  

Learning outcomes

Manuscript books and narrative traditions in Britain and Germany:
‘Auchinleck Manuscript’ and ‘Ambraser Heldenbuch’

The course aims at shedding light on the emergence of vernacular books with narrative contents in Britain and Germany, sketching this history on the instance of two luxury manuscripts, the first, the Auchinleck Manuscript, produced around 1340, most likely in London for an unidentified purchaser (a rich merchant or a noble family involved in crusading) [point 2.a in the Bibliography]; the other, the Ambraser Heldenbuch, produced in Tirol at the opening of the 16th century, on commission for the emperor Maximilian I [point 2.b in the Bibliography]: both manuscripts are mainly concerned with chivalric themes and are the unique witnesses of remarkable literary works, as the Middle-English Sir Tristrem (published for the first time by Walter Scott in 1804) and the Middle-High-German epic of Kudrun.
The inquiry will be opened by discussing some preliminary issues: Firstly, a short overview of the history and common features of the languages included in the Germanic group [point 1.a in the Bibliography], and of the growth of literacy and written traditions, from the early Middle Age to the modern epoch [point 1.b in the Bibliography]; secondly an outline of the trends within medieval text publishing (touching the topics of textual criticism, paleography, codicology, book-production history, library history) [point 1.b in the Bibliography]. The selected manuscript instances [point 2.a and 2.b in the Bibliography] are devoted to illustrate the interplay between literary genres and audience; a specific section of the course will consider the introduction of writing and the resulting book production and diffusion from the point of view of the communication science, touching some aspects concerning the digital editing .


Bibliography and sitography
1. Introduction
1.a. Historical linguistics

- CIPOLLA, Adele, Lezioni di Filologia germanica: Linguistica anglisti/tedeschisti: Schede per i corsi di Filologia germanica delle lauree triennali (pdf: elearning)
- LEONARDI, Simona, and Elda MORLICCHIO, La filologia germanica e le lingue moderne, Bologna: Il mulino 2009 (cap. 1.1.1-4., 1.3.1-2.; cap. 2; cap. 8. 1.1.-3.; 8.2.1.-3)
- MOLINARI, Maria Vittoria, La filologia germanica, Bologna: Zanichelli (pp. 1-23, 91-145)

1.b. Textual criticism, paleography, codicology; history of the book and library; modern literary genres in manuscripts

- BEIN, Thomas, Introduzione alla critica dei testi tedeschi medievali, Pisa: ETS (pp. 13-27)
- CIPOLLA, Adele, Produzione, conservazione e stampe moderne del libro manoscritto medievale in Inghilterra e Germania: Schede per il corso di Editoria 2013-14 (pdf: elearning)
- LUISELLI FADDA, Anna Maria, Tradizioni manoscritte e critica del testo nel Medioevo germanico, Roma-Bari, Laterza (pp. 21-83, 113-179, 243-253)

2. History of the manuscript book and of its production
2. a. Auchinleck Manuscript

- The Auchinleck Manuscript, eds Burnley, David and Alison Wiggins <>

and either

- CROFTS, Thomas H., and Robert ROUSE, Middle English popular romance and national identity, in RADULESCU, Raluca, and Cory James RUSHTON, eds, A companion to Medieval Popular Romance, Cambridge, Brewer 2009, pp. 79-95


- TAYLOR, Andrew, ‘Manual to miscellany: stages in the commercial copying of vernacular literature in England’, Yearbook of English Studies 33 (2003), pp. 1-17

2. b. Ambraser Heldenbuch

- Handschriftencensus. Eine Bestandsaufnahme der handschriftlichen Überlieferung deutschsprachiger Texte des Mittelalters:
Wien, Österr. Nationalbibl., Cod. Ser. nova 2663

and either

- HAUB, Horst, Ambraser Heldenbuch und Kaiser Maximilian I.: Zu Konzeption und Anfang der Handschrift mit dem Frauenehre-Fragment des Stricker, München: GRIN-Verlag, 2010, pp. 1-23.


- JANOTA, Johannes, ‘Ambraser Heldenbuch’, in: Die deutsche Literature des Mittelaters. Verfasserlexikon, Berlin-New York, de Gruyter, Bd. 1 (1978), Sp. 323-327.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam; midterm test on point 1 of the bibliography.
Suggestions for further readings and other bibliographical materials will be published on the e-learning page