A survey on Latin prose texts is presented, from early to late Latin. In examining the texts, some major aspects of the Latin language are focused on, concerning phonetics (e.g., 'Latin apophony'), morphology (Latin as an inflected language), syntax (word order; grammatical aspect; parataxis vs. hypotaxis).
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: Through close reading of prose Latin texts, students, under the teacher's guidance, get acquainted with some general categories of linguistic analysis; a special focus is on Latin lexicon as a source for Italian words. Skills: The students are able to grasp the linguistic and stylistic features of texts as relating to different times and genres; moreover, they possess a method enabling them to understand prose texts at large.
A diachronic series of Latin prose texts is examined, from archaic to late Latin. Besides reading the texts, the teacher deals with some key-topics concerning the Latin language, with a peculiar focus on the reasons clarifying rules and tendencies. During the classes the following topics are dwelled upon: Latin as a Korpus-Sprache; noun inflection and word order; word formation; verbal aspect; indicative vs. subjunctive mood; parataxis vs. hypotaxis, and the structure of complex sentences; Indoeuropean apophony vs. Latin apophony.
Prerequisites for admission
A good knowledge of Latin literature in its chronological development, and of Latin lexicon, morphology, syntax is required. Moreover, it is compulsory to have passed the written test preliminary to the exam of Latin literature (BA).
The focal point of the teaching method are: 1) on behalf of the teacher, texts' presentation (through loud reading, translation, linguistic analysis); 2) on behalf of the students, an active cooperation is stimulated unceasingly, so that they will be in a position to infer grammar rules from the very texts and to account for some elements and features (such as phonetic and morphological variation, predominance of hypotaxis vs. parataxis, and so on), recognizing their link with diachrony and diastraty.
1) A. Traina - G. Bernardi Perini, Propedeutica al latino universitario, Bologna, Pa'tron, 1998, study of chapters 1-6; 2) translation from Latin of Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes, book II, or Sallust, Bellum Catilinae. 3) translation and detailed linguistic analysis of the texts which are dealt with during classes, published on the course website ( https://pmorettill.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/home/Default.aspx ). Students who do not attend classes must follow the previous instructions as regards points 1-2, and ask the teacher for further readings, replacing the texts referred to at point 3.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral examination, top grade 30/30 'e lode' (sufficiency: 18/30). It focuses on texts (either examined by teacher or studied by the students), and aims to verify: 1) the knowledge of general categories of linguistic analysis; 2) the students' ability both to examine and to compare different texts.