German Literature of the Early and High Middle Ages

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to: - introduce students to the use of basic tools for linguistic and philological study of texts in Ancient and Middle High German; - introduce students to emblematic works of different genres of Medieval German literature; - introduce students to reading, translating and analyzing parts of one of the most important works of the German Middle Ages.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: - to know the key stages of the literary and cultural evolution of German Middle Ages - to know key literary genres, the main authors and works of the Medieval German literature; Skills: - to be able to read, analyze critically and understand the original texts read in class and to elaborate on their literary and cultural value.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods
Distance learning will be carried out in synchronous mode, on Microsoft Teams, following the official teaching schedule. However, materials and content will be made available in asynchronous mode, ensuring that all students can access them at any time.
The programme and reference material will not be changed.
Learning verification and evaluation criteria
The examination will take place in oral form using the Microsoft Teams platform or, where regulations permit, in presence, always in oral form.
Course syllabus
The course is entitled Hartmann von Aue's Iwein and consists of the following two teaching units, which will be teached in sequence, and a third didactic unit (C) which will take place in parallel:
A: Old High German and Middle High German literature
B: Hartmann von Aue's Erec
C: The Minnesang and the Tagelieder

Students who intend to acquire 6 CFUs will follow the programme of units A and B; all students who intend to acquire 9 CFUs will follow the complete programme (units A, B, C) .

Unit A introduces the main aspects of medieval German literature through the presentation of genres and the anthological reading of particularly significant works and passages. Unit B is dedicated to Hartmann von Aue's Iwein, one of the first Arthurian novels in German, a re-elaboration of Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain. The protagonist, through a double series of trials and a moment of crisis in which he loses himself, will come to harmonise love, marriage and government responsibility. The text has to be read in its entirety in a modern German version; the course will focus on the most significant passages, also proposed in the original language. Unit C will focus on Minnesang and in particular on the Tagelieder.
The course program is valid until February 2021.
Prerequisites for admission
The course, which is held in German, the materials and the bibliography require solid language skills. Students of Degree Courses other than Languages who do not know German or are beginners will not always be able to count on translations into Italian; therefore, if interested in the course, they should contact the teacher in advance to assess any adaptations of the program.
Erasmus and other forms of mobility students are admitted, provided they have solid German language skills.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: frontal lessons; reading and commenting on passages from the works in the program.
Teaching Resources
The course has a website on the online platform for teaching Ariel (, to which you can refer for materials provided by the teacher.
Unit A: Heinz Sieburg, Literatur des Mittelalters. Berlin 2012
Thomas Bein, Deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters. Eine Einführung in die Germanistische Mediävistik. Berlin 2020.
Unit B: Hartmann von Aue, Iwein, mittelhochdeutsch/neuhochdeutsch, herausgegeben und übersetzt von Rüdiger Krohn, kommentiert von Mireille Schnyder. Stuttgart 2012
Unit C: Thomas Bein, Deutschsprachige Lyrik des Mittelalters. Berlin 2017, chapters A4 and B3.

Unit B: V
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the teacher, interactions between teacher and student and the analysis and commentary of one or more excerpts from the works in the program. The duration of the interview varies according to the number of the teaching units attended by the student.
The interview aims to verify the knowledge of the texts read, the ability to analyze the works, the ability to present them, the precision in the use of specific terminology, the ability to reflect critically and personally on the proposed issues. The final grade is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to refuse it (in which case it will be recorded as "ritirato", "withdrawn").
International students or incoming Erasmus students are invited to contact the teacher as soon as possible. Examination procedures for students with disabilities and/or DSA must be agreed with the teacher, in agreement with the competent office.
Unita' didattica A
L-FIL-LET/15 - GERMANIC PHILOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-FIL-LET/15 - GERMANIC PHILOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-FIL-LET/15 - GERMANIC PHILOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours