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You are required to produce two essays (2,500 words each) for the course, which will be assessed. Essays will jointly contribute 50% of assessment; the remaining 50% of your work will be assessed by a 2-hour examination in May/June 2011.

Examination (50%)

The student will be required to answer two questions in a two-hour examination. One question will be an essay question; the other will be a translation and critical analysis of TWO passages in Latin. These two passages will be selected from the following set texts:

Set Texts:

1) Petrarch, Letters on Familiar Matters XXIV, 3, 4 and 11 (Two Letters to Cicero and Letter to Virgil)

2) Leonardo Bruni’s On the Study of Literature: ALL

3) Leonardo Bruni’s Letter to Flavio Biondo: ALL

4) Leonardo Bruni, On The Correct Way to Translate: Praefatio and Chapter I up to “An poterit interpres eas sine flagitio vel ignorare vel praeterire vel non servata illarum maiestate transferre?”

5) Lorenzo Valla, On the Donation of Constantine §§1-5 (pp. 2-11, from “plures a me libri compluresque emissi sunt” to “nullius temporis longitudine potuisse prescribi”) AND §§ 96-97 (pp. 155-161, from “sed quid plura opus est” to “sed ab aliis excitata censura apostolica et papali maiestate”).

6) Jacopo Sadoleto's On the Statue of the Laocoon: ALL

7) Ficino, Letter to Paul of Middelburg: ALL

8) Giovanni Pico, Oration on the Dignity of Man §§ 1-34 (from “legi, patres colendissimi” to “hinc illae apud Hebreos et Pythagoricos metamorphoses celebratae”) AND §§ 139-151 (from “haec sunt, patres colendissimi” to “et in praesentia multis nominibus damnent”).

9) Landino, Xandra: ALL

10) Jacopo Sannazaro, Epigram I, 2 (To his villa at Mergellina): ALL

Essays (50%)

The assessed essays must be word-processed and properly printed out, have proper bibliographic references, and be clearly and accurately expressed (correct spelling, good grammar, and well-structured sentences). The number of words used, as close as possible to 2,500 words, should be given at the end of each essay.


Submission deadlines must be heeded: the University has regulated that essays will attract a penalty of 5% for each day they are late. If you foresee difficulties in meeting the deadline, it is imperative that you contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The deadlines for essay submission for this course are as follows:

Essay 1: 12 noon, 6 December 2016 

Essay 2: 12 noon, 8 March 2017

Please refer to the departmental handbook and the document ‘Advice on writing essays’ for further information about assessment criteria and marking. This is available online.

A good guide on how to write essays is R. M. Turley's Writing Essays. A Guide for Students in English and the Humanities.

Extensions to Essay Deadlines

Applications for an extension of the essay-deadline are only allowed in exceptional circumstances, such well-documented medical reasons. Any such application should be made to the Director of Undergraduate Studies well before the deadline. Problems with e.g. printers, getting hold of books, bunching-up of essay-deadlines etc. are rarely considered acceptable excuses. When an extension is granted, students must ensure that the module tutor is informed and that the extension (with date limit) is recorded by the secretaries in the ledger in the Office. Only in exceptional circumstances will an extension be allowed beyond two weeks.


Plagiarism, defined as ‘the attempt to pass off someone else’s work as one’s own’ is a variety of cheating or fraud. It is taken very seriously by the University and students who are caught can suffer penalties which are extremely detrimental to their career.

To avoid any confusion you should take special care with two things:

  • Cite the sources you are using
  • Use quotation marks for the quotes you are quoting.

If any of the above is unclear, contact the Module tutor. Also consult the Departmental Handbook.