Medieval and Humanistic Philology (m) (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Paolo Pellegrini
Paolo Pellegrini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IB dal Nov 9, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to study the textual tradition of some exemplary works, with special regard to the works of Dante Alighieri.
The course will teach the basic principles of textual criticism and Lachmann's method. Students will analyze the critical editions of some works by Dante Alighieri. Exercises will be conducted directly on handwritten witnesses working on the classification of manuscripts and on the constitution of the text in its individual stages.
At the end of the course, the student will learn: 1) how to transcribe a manuscript and produce a diplomatic edition; 2) how to distinguish between errors and variants and to classify witnesses on these bases; 3) how to read a critical edition and to understand its apparatus with special regard to the main textual problems; 4) how to acquire autonomy in understanding and interpreting the text.


The course is divided into three steps:
1) Lachmann method
2) The textual tradition of Dante's works (Epistles)
3) Transcription and edition of Dante's epistles
The course will consist of lectures during which students will work directly on the reproductions of manuscripts of Dante's works, learning how to: (1) transcribe them; (2) recognize errors; (3) prepare a critical text.
Students will be stimulated by the teacher to intervene in the first person and to face directly the problems connected with the preparation of the text.

Bibliography must be integrated with the essay by Giorgio Padoan, Introduction to Dante, Florence, Sansoni, 1975 (or 1981), available on the e-learning platform in PDF format.
Non-attending students are also required to prepare the essay by Gianfranco Folena, The tradition of Dante Alighieri's works. In Proceedings of the International Congress of Dante Studies, Florence – Verona – Ravenna, 20–27 April 1965. Florence: Sansoni, 1965, 1–78 available on the e-learning platform in PDF format

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
M. Bertè-M. Petoletti ‘La filologia medievale e umanistica’ Il Mulino 2017 9788815265432

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is oral and consists of two questions:
1. Discussion of a general issue concerning the philological method.
2. Discussion of a particular issue concerning the textual tradition of Dante's works. Students must explain the proposed issue by showing that they can apply the knowledge they acquired.
Non-attending students must also illustrate the content of one of the articles agreed with the teacher.
Each of the two questions weighs 15/30 on the final evaluation (with possible honors). For non-attending students, each of the three questions weighs 10/30 on the final evaluation.