cod. 1004626

Academic year 2018/19
2° year of course - First semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

acquisition of a solid knowledge of classical literatures and advanced methodological skills in philological and linguistic studies and in the analysis and critical understanding of literary texts in Latin and Greek also in a didactic perspective. Specialist expertise for the application of modern information technology to the ancient world. Purpose of the Papirology's unit is the introduction to a deeper knowledge of Papyrology, of its methodology of research and critical study of the papyri as original artefacts and as sources for history and literature. A privileged focus will be the ‘global’ approach to the papyrus sources as ‘first-hand’ witnesses of the ancient writing, book, and communication phenomenologies and of a complex and multicultural historical-social context, as well as the socio-cultural meaning of the various text typologies attested.

At the end of the course, the student is expected to:
(a – knowledge and understanding) know, understand, and critically evaluate the role and the contribution of the papyrological and literary sources to the ancient studies;
(b – applying knowledge and understanding) apply the general notions learned to individual cases of texts, and vice versa (contextualization); be able to read and utilize in a specialized way the critical editions of texts;
(c – making judgements) be able to utilize critically the documentation on papyrus as a basic source to ancient history and literature;
(d – communication skills) recognize and describe with the correct technical vocabulary the main typologies of texts and their content, formal, and context features;
(e – learning skills) develop specialized methodologies, skills and sets of knowledge useful for the learning of Classics disciplines.


Prerequisites are competence in both basic Papyrological skills, in classical languages (Greek and Latin), and in a historical or cultural area such as Greek and Latin Literature, Greek History, Roman History, and Classical Archaeology. If the student has never attended the BA course of Papyrology (“Papirologia LT”), it is profoundly recommended to read: N. Reggiani, La Papirologia: storia e cultura scrittoria dell’Egitto greco-romano, Parma: Athenaeum 2018.

Course unit content

Classical Philology unit:

The course will focus on 15 th century philologists, with particular reference to the recovery of classical texts. In addition philological issues will be treated.

Papirology unit:

Course title: Asterix and Caesar’s papyrus: communication, publishing culture, cognitive linguistics in the Antiquity through the testimony of the Greek papyri from Egypt.

The course aims at presenting and discussing the papyrological documentation as a sociological and cognitive source of the communication processes in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. Moving from the recent comics publication Asterix and the missing scroll, strongly focused on the theme of “communication” and its forms, stemming from the heart of the latest events though inflected in the imaginary Antiquity acting as background of the story of the “lost scroll” of Caesar’s Commentarii de bello Gallico, it will be proposed a historical, social and cultural overview of written communication in the Hellenistic and Roman world through its papyrological sources. A selection of significant texts will be presented and commented in translation.

Full programme

- - -


Classical Philology unit
- P. Maas, Critica del testo, trad. it. di N. Martinelli, presentazione di G. Pasquali, con lo Sguardo retrospettivo 1956 e una nota di Luciano Canfora. – 3a ed., 2a rist., Firenze, Le Monnier
- G. Pasquali, Storia della tradizione e critica del testo, Firenze, Le Lettere

Papirology unit:

Required reading: M.C. Scappaticcio, «Ils sont fous, ces Romains!»: Asterix, Le papyrus de César, e la trasmissione della conoscenza, “ClassicoContemporaneo” 3 (2017), 13-27.
Reference bibliography:
N. Reggiani, I papiri greci ed Erodoto: per un percorso diacronico e interculturale, Parma: Athenaeum 2018.
E.G. Turner, Papiri greci, ed. italiana a cura di M. Manfredi, Roma: Carocci 2002.
A.K. Bowman, L’Egitto dopo i Faraoni, Firenze: Giunti 1997.
H. Blanck, Il libro nel mondo antico, a cura di R. Otranto, Bari: Dedalo 2008.
M. Cursi, Le forme del libro. Dalla tavoletta cerata all'e-book, Bologna: Il Mulino 2016.
T. Dorandi, Nell’officina dei classici. Come lavoravano gli autori antichi, Roma: Carocci 2007.
N.B. The students who cannot attend the Papirology's classes shall add three of the abovementioned reference texts to the required reading, at their own choice.

Teaching methods

The course consists of classroom lectures supplemented by weekly

In particular, about the papirology unit:
Frontal classes with PowerPoint slides. Study materials provided in class and then available on line (platform Elly and the course’s website).

Assessment methods and criteria

Students will be assessed by an oral examination based on the readings and other material used in the course.
To be evaluated are: (a) the ability to understand and re-elaborate critically the specific issues of the discipline; (b) the ability to orient among the topics and the central themes of the discipline; (c) the ability to present and contextualize effectively the notions learned; (d) the correct formal exposition of the topics.
A fail is determined by the substantial lack of the abilities expressed by the evaluation indicators listed above; a pass (18-23/30) is determined by an acceptable level of the evaluation indicators listed above; middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a more than sufficient level (24-25/30) or good level (26-27/30) in the evaluation indicators listed above; higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded on the basis of the student’s demonstration of a very good or excellent level in the evaluation indicators listed above.

Other information

- - -