Germanic Philology (Manuscript and Textual Studies) (2017/2018)

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
Semester 1 dal Oct 2, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The MA course Manuscript and Textual Studies covers methodologies and cultural contents of Germanic Philology, that is textual criticism and digital philology, paleography and codicology, historical linguistics and cultural history (all referred to Germanic languages and their traditions)

Expected Outcomes
- Advanced knowledge on methodologies and cultural contents which are necessary to analyse and interpret Germanic linguistic and literary traditions.
- Delve into the main multidisciplinari aspects of Germanic Phiology and reinforce the mastery of a correct and accurate specialistic terminology.
- Delve into the different specialistic fields of Germanic Philology, mainly focussing on textual criticism and digital philology applied to the Germanic literary texts of the Middle Ages, to their creation and reception, and to their cultural background, in compliance with the learning outcomes of the Master Degree


Course Title - Classics in Old Norse: 'Trójumanna Saga'

The course will be divided into two main parts, according to the schedule here below:
- Part A (12 hours) will consist in a survey of the interdisciplinary aspects of Germanic Philology (texual criticism, historical linguistics, the growth of literacy in the Germanic speaking countries);
- Part B (30 hours) will consist in an introduction to themes and models of Classical origins in the European literatures of the Middle Ages and to the spread of the matter of Troy in the Germanic languages (particularly in Old Icelandic); it will also cover a survey of the manuscript tradition, the narrative structure and the sources of ‘Trójumanna saga’ (‘the Saga of the men of Troy’). During the course, the ‘Trójumanna saga’ will be read through the digital facsimile of one of its manuscript witnesses; students will be taught to transcribe the manuscript in diplomatic and normalized form.

Part A - as a survey of the history of textual criticism:

David Greetham, "A history of textual scholarship", in The Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship, ed. by N. Fraistat and J. Flanders, Cambridge: University Press, 2013;

As a survey of Germanic historical linguistics :

Robinson, Orrin W., Old English and its closest relatives: a survey of the earliest Germanic languages. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1992.

Part B - as a survey of the spread of the Matter of Troy in the Middle Ages:

Alfonso D’Agostino, Le gocce d’acqua non hanno consumato i sassi di Troia. Materia troiana e letterature medievali, CUEM 2006 (pp. 1-43)

As a survey of the characteristic features of Old Icelandic literacy:

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Old Icelandic Literature and Society, Cambridge 2000: Introduction + chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11
Introduction (Margaret Clunies Ross); 1. Social institutions and belief systems of medieval Iceland (ca. 870–1400) and their relation to literary production (Preben Meulengracht Sørensen); 2. From orality to literacy in medieval Iceland (Judy Quinn); 3. Poetry and its changing importance in medieval Icelandic culture (Kari Ellen Gade); 5. The conservation and reinterpretation of myth in medieval Icelandic writings (Margaret Clunies Ross); 7. A useful past: historical writing in medieval Iceland (Diana Whaley); 10. The matter of the north: fiction and uncertain identities in thirteenth-century Iceland (Torfi H. Tulinius); 11. Romance in Iceland (Geraldine Barnes)

As an introduction to Old Icelandic:

Barnes, Michael, Anthony Faulkes, A new introduction to Old Norse, 3 volumes. 1. Grammar. 2. Reader. 3. Glossary and Index of Names, London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2008

As an introduction to Old Norse and Old Scandinavian manuscript traditions:

Odd Einar Haugen et al. (ed.), Le lingue nordiche nel Medioevo, 2017

The considered critical edition of ‘Trójumanna saga’ is:

Jonna Louis-Jensen (ed.), Trójumanna saga, Copenhagen, Munksgaard 1963

Teaching modalities are different for attendees and non-attendees. Only for attendees: ongoing self-evaluation test (it will be scheduled during the course).
Throughout the entire academic year, the instructor is available weekly during her visiting hours (schedule available on this webpage, but can be subject to variations), generally with no need to arrange an appointment, unless there are specific announcements.

At the beginning of the course attendees will receive a complete schedule of the teaching activities (including class dates and place). Possible postponements of the classes will be announced via the e-learning platform.
Non-attendees are kindly requested to contact the instructor. Possible updates will be made available in good time also by means of dedicated posts on the e-learning platform. Therefore everybody is supposed to subscribe to it.
Content of textbooks, as well as of classes and exercise held during the course comply with the programme. Further materials is available on the e-learning.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
David Greetham "A history of textual scholarship", in The Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship, ed. by N. Fraistat and J. Flanders Cambridge University Press 2013 pp. 16-41
Barnes Michael A new introduction to Old Norse, 3 volumes. 1. Grammar. 2. Reader. 3. Glossary and Index of Names Viking Society for Northern Research 2008 9780903521741
Alfonso D'Agostino Le gocce d’acque non hanno consumato i sassi di Troia. Materia troiana e letterature medievali CUEM 2006
Haugen, Odd Einar, et al. Le lingue nordiche nel medioevo (vol. 1) Novus Press 2018 978-82-8390-002-6
Robinson, Orrin W. Old English and its closest relatives: a survey of the earliest Germanic languages. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press 1992
Margaret Clunies Ross Old Icelandic literature and society Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2000
Jonna Louis-Jensen Trójumanna saga Munksgaard 1963

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exams during the official exam sessions scheduled and published by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Assessment will include:
ATTENDEES--> ongoing preliminary test referring to the 2nd part of the programme / transcription of a brief quotations of the saga from an Old Norse manuscript (intermediate written exam) + oral exam on the other part of the programme.
NON-ATTENDEES--> oral exam on the whole programme.

Objective of assessment
In the middle of the course (after the 5th week), students can take written test (which will be corrected and discussed within the class with self-evaluation), aimed at evaluating students' knowledge on the introductory parts of the programme (it will deal with the first 5 weeks of classes) and the corresponding bibliography.

The oral exam will deal with the development of issues related to the written test and to report on it (related to the 2nd part of the programme).
The oral exam will assess:
- depth and extent of acquired knowledge
- accuracy of acquired vocabulary
- ability to link aspects concerning both parts of the programme

The intermediate written exam will be structured according to groups of questions related to the main themes of the course; the preparation of the exam will be supported by learning materials which will be prepared ad hoc. The evaluation is expressed in 30/30. The written exam will be subject to an evaluation which the student will integrate with the oral exam.
To foster the correct understanding of the contents and of the modalities of the ongoing written test during the classes the test of last year will be discussed (it is already available on the e-learning).

The oral exam will be on the entire programme. The final evaluation is expressed in 30/30.

Erasmus students are kindly requested to contact the instructor at the beginning of the course to arrange both learning and assessment modalities.