Textual Criticism and Tradition of Ancient and Medieval Germanic Literatures

L-FIL-LET/15 - 6 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

General aims of the course: 1) Knowledge of the main literary genres and of the most important works and authors of Middle High German literature; 2) Analysis and interpretation of poetic texts from the so-called Golden Age (12th-13th centuries) of medieval German literature.

Detailed Course Content

[A] General Part (3 CFU)

  1. Periods of the history of the German language with particular reference to Old and Middle High German;
  2. Phonologic development from Germanic to Old High German;
  3. Main linguistic changes in Middle High German;
  4. Morphologic and syntactic features of Old and Middle High German;
  5. Medieval German dialects;
  6. Outline of Middle High German history and culture.


“Violence and gender representation in the Nibelungenlied and Minnesang.”

- Analysis and interpretation of selected passages from the Nibelungenlied, Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, and of early courtly (Der von Kürenberg) and high courtly lyrics (Walther von der Vogelweide).

Textbook Information

[A] 1.-5.: Study materials about linguistics available on Studium;

supplementary handbook: J. Salmons, A History of German. What the past reveals about today’s language. Oxford [Oxford University Press] 2013, pp. 101-226 (supplied by the teacher).

[A] 6.: M. Foschi Albert / M- Hepp, Manuale di storia della lingua tedesca, Napoli [Liguori] 2003, pp. 45-71 (copy shop).


[B] P. Salmon, Literature in Medieval Germany. London [Cresset] 1967, pp. 40-131 (copy shop).

Alternative handbook: H. Brunner, Geschichte der deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters im Überblick. Stuttgart [Reclam] 2003, pp. 103-230.

Text anthology and critical essays available on Studium.


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