Theatrical literature of ancient Greece

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Learning goal of this course is to provide the students a comprehensive overview of the history of Greek theatre, with particular focus on the Attic theatre of 5th and 4th Century, through a selection of texts.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: students are expected to gain a good knowledge of the texts, of the playwrights, of the formal and structural development of Greek tragedy and Greek comedy, of the theatrical organisation and production (performances, dramatic festivals, audience).
Ability: students will be able to read the theatrical texts in Greek, to recognise their intertextual connections, to place them in their historical, literary and cultural contexts by analysing significant historical events and literary and cultural developments that influenced them, to use the most important bibliographic databases and the most useful tools of humanistic informatics.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021 / 22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The course will focus on the following topics: Unit A) Euripides' Medea, with a focus on the staging of the violence in the Greek theatre; Unit B) Aristophanes' Lysistrata in the contemporary translations and performances; Unit C) Menander's Epitrepontes.
Prerequisites for admission
A good knowledge of Greek is required (texts are read and discussed in Greek).
Teaching methods
Teaching activity will be, as far as possible, in presence. The goal is to present to the students different approaches to the Attic drama: in Unit A a discussion of the dramaturgical aspects of the Medea (interplay between scenic, retro-scenic and extra-scenic space; staging of the infanticide); in Unit B the survival of the Lysistrata on the modern stage (with focus on same influential translations and performances) ; in Unit C a literary and theatrical interpretation of the Epitrepontes (plot, treatment of the characters, message, comparison with the other plays of Menander). In the Units A and C the teacher will read, translate and discuss a selection of lines (about 500 lines for each play); he will try to stimulate the interests of the students by asking questions, which they will answer either directly during the lesson or by posting their reactions in the Forum of the platform Ariel. Unit B will be organised as a laboratory: students will be invited to translate passages of the Lysistrata and, in turn, to discuss the translations presented by their classmates. On the platform Ariel the students will find useful preparation material for the exam: the Greek texts with Italian translation, lecture notes.
Teaching Resources
History of the Attic theatre: D. Susanetti, Il teatro dei Greci, Roma (Carocci) 2003; G. Ieranò, La tragedia greca. Origini, storia, rinascite, Roma (Salerno Editrice) 2010; G. Zanetto, Miti di ieri, storie di oggi, Milano (Feltrinelli) 2020; B. Zimmermann, La commedia greca. Dalle origini all'età ellenistica, Roma (Carocci) 2006.
The students are invited to use following editions:
Unit A) Euripide, Medea, a cura di E. Cerbo, Milano (BUR Rizzoli) 1997.
Unit B) Aristofane, Lisistrata, a cura di F. Perusino, Milano (Fondazione Lorenzo Valla / Mondadori) 2020; Aristofane, Lisistrata, a cura di G. Paduano, Milano (BUR Rizzoli) 1981.
Unit C) Menandro, Commedie, a cura di G. Paduano, Milano (Mondadori) 1980; Menandro e la Commedia Nuova, edizione con testo a fronte a cura di F. Ferrari, Torino (Einaudi) 2001; Menander, Epitrepontes, edited by W.D. Furley, London (Institute of Classical Studies) 2009.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The quality of the learning outcomes is assessed with an oral exam at the end of the course. At the exam the students will be asked to read, translate and comment on some passages (chosen by the teacher) of the texts which have been discussed in class. The exam is intended to evaluate the quality of their knowledge (comprehension of Greek, precision in translating, command of the history of Attic theatre) and their ability in discussing problems through an appropriate use of categories and methodology of literary and theatrical interpretation. Evaluation criteria: linguistic skills account for 40% of the final grade; literary knowledge for 20%; discussion skills (information, precision, clarity) for 40%. Assessment is expressed in numerical marks out of thirty (from 0 to 30); a mark equal or higher than 18/30 means a sufficient attainment of the expected learning objectives; a mark lower than 18/30 means that the attainment of the learning targets is, at least partially, lacking; in this case students must repeat the exam, after improving their preparation (the teacher is of course available for suggestions and assistance).
Unita' didattica A
L-FIL-LET/02 - GREEK LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-FIL-LET/02 - GREEK LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-FIL-LET/02 - GREEK LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours