cod. 1006225

Academic year 2017/18
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Paleografia (M-STO/09)
Discipline linguistiche, filologiche e metodologiche
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: -
course unit

Integrated course unit module: Paleography and Archival (Integr.)

Learning objectives

The course aims to introduce students to paleography (with references to classic diplomatics). It wants to encourage the head-on contact with the written sources of the past and to show the essential contribution of paleography to historical and philological studies.
At the end of the course students should be able to recognize, read and describe the various kinds of writing of Latin manuscripts, from the origins to 15th century.



Course unit content

Historical “excursus” about the Latin writings of manuscripts from the ancient times to invention of printing. References to codicology and diplomatics. Reading and analysis of various writing with the help of traditional facsimiles and of digital reproductions of manuscripts now available on-line.

Full programme

Introduction to paleography. Technical terminology. References to codicology. Origin and development of the Latin writing: the earliest examples. Writing and manuscripts in the 1st-8th centuries: capitals; uncial; half-uncial; minuscules. Scribal abbreviations’ system. Writing and manuscripts in the 8th-12th centuries: “pre-Caroline”; Beneventan; Visigothic; Merovingian; Caroline. The writing and the manuscripts in the 13th-14th centuries: Gothic. Writing and manuscripts in the 15th century: humanistic. References to diplomatics.

The non attending students have to contact directly the teacher to take the exam (phone number: +39.0521.90 6693; mail:


1. Manual
Giulio BATTELLI, “Lezioni di paleografia”, IV ed., Città del Vaticano, Libreria editrice Vaticana, 1999, and following reprints (at head of title page: Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica).

2. Further readings (at least one book among the following)

Armando PETRUCCI, “Prima lezione di paleografia”, Roma-Bari, GLF editori Laterza, 2002, and following reprints (Universale Laterza, 811; Prime lezioni).


Giorgio COSTAMAGNA, “Perché scriviamo così. [Invito alla paleografia latina]”, Roma, Il centro di ricerca, 1987 (Fonti e studi del Corpus membranarum Italicarum. 1a ser., Studi e ricerche, 26). Available on line: .

3. Materials distributed during the course.

4. A list of supplementary and optional (but not compulsory) readings will be supplied during the course.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons, exercises, seminars, conducted tours.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final examination is oral and aims to test the knowledge of Latin writing’s history and the ability to recognize, read and describe the various kinds of Latin manuscripts’ writing, from the origins to 15th century.
The examination consists in one or more questions about Latin writing’s history and in reading and analysis of one or more facsimiles chosen by the teacher.
Evaluation criteria: oral proficiency; correct use of language and of specialistic lexicon; ability to elaborate the contents; ability to produce interdisciplinary links; ability to give proper answers to given questions.
Students will have to answer correctly and in observance of the above criteria to 60 percent or better of the questions to get a pass grade.

For futher details about the course write to: .

Other information

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