L-LIN/05 - 6 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

With reference to the Dublin descriptors (First Cycle), this course aims at building a knowledge of Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture upon the student’s general secondary education, at a level that, whilst supported by advanced textbooks and original sources, includes some aspects that will be informed by knowledge of the forefront of the field of study; in particular through the close reading and analysis of some of the Great Books of Spanish Culture the student will be able to know and understand the cultural richness of the Iberian peninsula in connection with the co-presence of at least four cultures and languages (Latin, Vernacular Romance, Arabic and Hebrew), in order to be able to transfer this knowledge to new and different topics, for e.g. contemporary multiculturalism that requires mediation skills.

The student will be able to use his/her knowledge and understanding in devising and sustaining arguments and solving problems such as coexistence/convivence/conflict among groups, cultural diversity, mediation in original contexts, and to transfer what he has learnt to questions such as, e.g.: How peaceful was the coexistence among different communities in Medieval Spain? Is the myth of Andalusian peaceful coexistence true? Is it possible to challenge it? What can it teach to us in reference with contemporary hot topics such as the convivence of Arabs and Hebrews in Palestine? The student will be trained to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non specialist audiences, and will developed those learning skills that are necessary for him/her to continue to undertake further study with a high degree of autonomy.

Course Structure

Lectures, close readings.

Detailed Course Content

Linguistic history of the Iberian Peninsula till 1492 – Linguistic complexity: Latin, Visigothic, Arabic, Hebrew - First written documents - Primitive lyric - primitive epic – encounters with Oriental tales – encounters and clashes among cultures – the “school” of the translators of Toledo - The mester de clerecía - the prose - the chronicles - the picaresque novel – The ‘discovery’ of America, reports and narrations.

Textbook Information

1) Literary and cultural history of medieval and early modern Spain

Elisabetta Paltrineri, La Spagna letteraria, Dalle origini al XIV secolo, Carocci, Roma 2002 or Stefano Rapisarda, “Cosas de Espanna”. Introduzione alla cultura spagnola medievale, typescript provided by the teacher (1 CFU)


2) Close reading. The student will read the following texts, in original or translation, in whatever critical edition of his choice:

El Cid

Ibn Hazm, Il collare della colomba

Calila e Dimna

Sem Tob, Proverbios

Arcipreste de Hita, El libro de Buen Amor

Juan Manuel, El Conde Lucanor

Anonimo, Lazzarillo da Tormes

Bartolomé de Las Casas, Brevissima relazione della conquista delle Indie


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.

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