The course, entitled «Enchanted words. Writings and representations of magic in medieval Romance literature», consists of the following three parts, which will be addressed in sequence: A) Problems and methods of Romance Linguistics (20 hours, 3 credits); B) The origins of medieval Romance literature (20 hours, 3 credits); C) Tales, masters, books of magic: selected pages (20 hours, 3 credits).
The first part (A) will be aimed at describing the variety of Romance languages, tracing how every one of them evolve from latin and are in contact with each other. the second part (B) will offer a synthetic overview of the literary origins of the Romance Middle Ages, from the first written documents of the French, Occitan, Iberian and Italian area, to the foundation of the first literary genres of great success: epics and lyrics. The third part (C) will explore how magic becomes the object of writing in medieval Romance literature: a journey through various genres and different languages reveals the inexhaustible seduction of occult knowledge, capable of subverting the laws of nature and men; it will thus be seen from time to time projected into fantastic events and immersed in the heart of history, celebrated, severely condemned or transmitted in unexpected ways, but always intimately connected to the subtle use of the word.
The course programme is valid until February 2022.
Prerequisites for admission
The course, which is held entirely in Italian, the materials and the exam bibliography requires Linguistics skills.
Students will associate their notes with the manual of P. Gresti, «Introduzione alla linguistica romanza», Bologna, Pàtron, 2016, pp. 17-29, 32-33, 35-39, 41-45, 47-57, 63-67, 72-78, 86-89, 91-97, 102-113, 116, 119-20, 125-127, 138-140, 142-149, 151-171. Students should also know and be able to comment on the geolinguistic maps in the volume. Other useful materials are available in the in the course website on Ariel 2.0.
Students will associate their notes with M.L. Meneghetti, «Le origini delle letterature medievali romanze», Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2009, pp. 3-17, 37-62, 70-74, 77-92, 125-129, 132-193, 195-205, 207-215, 217-218, 227-233 (and informative reading of the rest); A. Limentani, M. Infurna, «L'epica romanza del Medioevo», Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007, pp. 7-45, 53-66, 69-74; U. Mölk, «La lirica dei trovatori», Bologna, Il Mulino, 1996, pp. 23-53, 67-110; to deepen the study of lyric poetry in French and Iberian languages see Luciano Formisano, «La lirica romanza del medioevo», Bologna, Il Mulino, 2012, pp. 49-70, 81-92.
A handout whith the extracts from the works read, translated and commented in class will be available in the course website on Ariel 2.0, as well as other useful materials. To support the translation and comment on the Old French Italian and Spanish texts we suggest to use the historical grammars of A. Roncaglia, «La lingua d'oïl. Profilo di grammatica storica del francese antico», Pisa, Istituti editoriali e poligrafici internazionali, 2005, usefully associated with A. Varvaro, «Avviamento alla filologia francese medievale, Roma, Carocci, 2003 (Introduction and Glossary) and A. D'Agostino, «Lo spagnolo antico. Sintesi storico-descrittiva», Milano, LED, 2001.
The programme for non-attending students is identical to the programme for attending students.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam, which is held in Italian, is individual; its duration depends upon the teaching units prepared by the student; it aims to verify the knowledge of the program contents, evaluating both the familiarity with linguistic problems (part A) and with the dynamics of literary history (part B and C) as well as the ability to translate, comment and contextualize the first documents of the Romance languages (part B) and the excerpts of the texts presented in the handout (part C) . The final grade is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to refuse it (in this case it will be verbalized as «withdrawn»).
It is also possible to run an optional written test of Romance Linguistics (part A), which lasts three hours, and consists of three open-ended questions on the exam programme; if the written test is passed the student will take only the remaining units (B and C) to the oral exam. This test is hold three times a year (in december, may and september); the mark obtained, expressed in thirtieths, averages with the votes obtained on the B and C units of the program, and remains valid for one year.
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to contact the teacher early. The assessment procedures for students with disabilities and / or with DSA must be discussed with the teacher, in agreement with the competent Office.