Germanic philology lm (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Adele Cipolla
Maria Adele Cipolla
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IIA, Sem. IIB

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

Old Norse Language, Manuscripts and Editions

After an introduction on Germanic languages, historical linguistics and textual criticism, the course will discuss the relationships between Old Norse manuscripts and their editions, in order to reassess both linguistic evolution in that area and its editorial treatment in the course of time. The analysis will focus on items from Icelandic codices of the Middle Ages and deals with Old Norse romances, that is translations from the European courtly literature, mainly on the manuscript tradition of the Tristrams saga. According to its prologue, Tristrams saga was translated from Old French verse into Old Norse prose in the 13th century, on behalf of the Norwegian king Hakon IV. Its manuscripts however date back to the modern times (few fragments from the 15th century and complete paper manuscripts from the 17th century onwards): the course will discuss tendencies and inconsistencies in editorial approaches toward them in the course of history.


Old Norse Language, Manuscripts and Editions


R. McTurk, A companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture, Malden Mass. [u.a.]: Blackwell, 2005.
4. Jón Karl Helgason, “Continuity? The Icelandic Sagas in Post-Medieval Times” (pp. 64-81)
8. Hegli þorláksson, “Historical Background: Iceland 870-1400” (pp. 136-154)
10. Michael Barnes, “Language” (pp. 173-189)
14. Guðvarður Már Gunnlaugsson, “Manuscripts and Palaeography” (pp. 245-264)
21. Jürg Glauser, “Romance (Translated riddarsögur)” (pp. 372-381)

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
David Greetham A history of textual scholarship, in The Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship, ed. by Neil Fraistat, Julia Flanders, pp. 16-41 Cambridge University Press 2013
Robinson, Orrin W. Old English and its closest relatives: a survey of the earliest Germanic languages. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press 1992

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam; midterm test (after the 5th week of the course) on the first group of lessons and on the related bibliography.
Suggestions for further readings and other bibliographical materials will be published on the e-learning page.