L-FIL-LET/15 - 6 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Acquisition of basic competences in order to describe and interpret the main features of Germanic linguistics and typical aspects of the ancient Germanic culture. Students will be able to understand the main features of the Germanic culture and languages in the late antiquity and the Middle Ages, correctly collocating the historical events and their geographical setting and focussing on the relationship of Germanic culture with the classical and Christian world and the beginning of Germanic written culture. They will be able to use the knowledge acquired in the interpretation of new texts, by examining the main features of these texts on linguistic, historical and cultural level. They will acquire the specialised vocabulary of Germanic philology and linguistics and learn how to use it properly, with the possibility to critically re-use their knowledge in new (historical, cultural and linguistic) contexts.

Course Structure

Frontal lessons, seminars

Detailed Course Content

Historical, cultural and linguistic aspects relating to the ancient Germanic peoples (with special consideration of the influence of classical and Christian culture). Introduction to the Old Norse language and literature: reading, analysis and translation of a brief passage from Snorri Sturluson’s Edda.

Textbook Information

1) Nicoletta Francovich Onesti, Filologia germanica. Lingue e culture dei Germani antichi, Roma 2002 (and more recent reprints)

2) Marco Battaglia, Tradizioni letterarie della Scandinavia medievale, in Marco Battaglia (a cura di), Le civiltà letterarie del Medioevo germanico, Roma 2017, pp. 345-513: Poetic Edda and Eddic poetry, Skaldic poetry, Snorri Sturluson, Snorris Edda (Prose Edda), sagas, Icelandic and Norwegian historiographical and juridical texts, literature in translation in West-Scandinavian area, grammatical literature, runic poems

3) Reading, translation and analysis of a passage from the Prose Edda (see 6)

4) Reference grammar: Michael Barnes, A New Introduction to Old Norse. Part I: Grammar, London 20083, (alternatively: E.V. Gordon, An Introduction to Old Norse, second edition revised by A.R. Taylor, Oxford 1957 or Yvonne S. Bonnetain, Breve grammatica dell’islandese antico, trad. it. a cura di Paolo Marelli, Trieste 2001, both to be found at the library of the Struttura didattica speciale di lingue e letterature straniere)

5) Reference dictionary: Richard Cleasby, Gudbrand Vigfusson, An Icelandic-English Dictionary, Oxford 1874,

6) Further materials (students can download the materials from the Filologia germanica Studium webpage; registration required).

7) Further reading: Alessandro Barbero, 9 agosto 378. Il giorno dei barbari, Roma/Bari, 2007.

N.B. Grammar texts and dictionaries are consultation works.

Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano