Paleography II - LM [Sede TN] (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Donatella Frioli
Donatella Frioli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre - sede Trento dal Sep 18, 2017 al Dec 22, 2017.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course (30 hours 6 credits) aims to introduce to the study of : 1) the methodology of the palaeographical expertise, to gain a critical approach to the ancient script; 2) the abbreviation system of the antiquity and medieval age; 3) the ‘Carolina’ script (important to understand also our graphic system) and its historical development.
At the end of the course the student will be able: a) to understand the abbreviation system; 2) to read the graphic specimina of the Carolingian age; 3) to give a critical interpretation of the handwriting’s changes during the four centuries of its use.


Prerequisites: The knowledge of Latin is preferable (it is important to attend a basilar course of Latin).

Syllabus: The course includes a discussion of the following subjects: a) the different aspects of the palaeographical analysis; b) the different abbreviation systems and their abbreviation marks; c) the features of the ‘carolina’ script and the development of the letters’ morphology during the four centuries (IX-XII) of its use.

Theaching maehods: Frontal lessons and workshops/exercises with reading and critical comment of graphic specimina (30 hours). Visits to library or archive are planned.

A. Petrucci, Prima lezione di paleografia, Roma –Bari 2002; Id., Breve storia della scrittura latina [Roma] 1992 (capp..1-3; 13; 21-22); N. Giovè, Per una storia delle abbreviature latine: una prima ricognizione (I secolo a.C.-IV secolo d.C.), Messina 1993; M. Palma, Tecniche, tendenze e prospettive nuove negli studi paleografici, «Archiv für Diplomatik», 50 (2004), pp. 527-545; A. Pratesi, Le ambizioni di una cultura unitaria: la riforma della scrittura, in Nascita dell’Europa ed Europa carolingia: un’equazione da verificare. Atti del Convegno Spoleto 19-25 aprile 1979, I, Spoleto 1981, pp. 507-523; A. Petrucci, Libro, scrittura e scuola, in La scuola nell’Occidente latino dell’Alto Medioevo. Atti del Convegno Spoleto, 15-21 aprile 1971, I, Spoleto 1972, pp. 313-337
Additional essays will be supplied during the course.

Non-attendant students will have to read additional essays in accordance with the professor.

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral exam includes:1) reading of graphical specimina (examined and critically commented during the lessons); 2) critical knowledge of the basilar palaeographical expertise and especially of the historical development of the ‘Carolina’ script; 3) deep knowledge and critical exposition of the requested lectures.