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Timetable 2020-21: Term 2

Tutor: Iván Parga Ornelas
Term 2 Timetable (January - March 2021). Mondays 3-4:30 pm (GMT), starting 11th January 2021

Week 1 (Jan 11). Leonardo Bruni, Dialogi ad Petrum Paulum Histrum

Leonardo Bruni (1370-1444) was a Florentine historian and statesman, and one of the foremost figures of early Quattrocento humanism. In this session we will read excerpts from one of his Dialogi ad Petrum Paulum Histrum, where the author and other two important exponents of Florentine humanism, Coluccio Salutati and Niccolò Niccoli discuss the respective merits of Latin and vernacular literature.

Week 2 (Jan 18). Leon Battista Alberti, Intercoenales

Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) was an architect, writer, mathematician, and one of the most important Latinists of the Florentine Renaissance. His Intercoenales (dinner conversations) are short dialogues which explore the human condition with a bitter and poignant irony that is characteristic of a part of Alberti’s works, such as his political satyr, Momus.

Week 3 (Jan 25). Erasmus of Rotterdam, Colloquia

Erasmus of Rotterdam, ‘the prince of humanists’, was one of the most important intellectuals of the 16tth Century. In this session we will read one of his famous Colloquia, which were written throughout all his career, and which deal with different issues such as education and moral philosophy, but also with contemporary events such as the Reformation.

Epigram and lyric poetry

Week 4. (Feb 1) Quattrocento Epigram

The early Quattrocento saw a controversial and very interesting revival of the Latin epigram. In this session we will read a selection of epigrams from different Quattrocento poets such as Antonio Becadelli ‘Panormita’ (1394-1471), Maffeo Vegio (1407-1458), and Michele Marullo (1453-1550)

Week 5 (Feb 8) Joachim du Bellay’s Latin elegies

Du Bellay, known for his French poetry and for his Défense et illustration de la langue française, also wrote poetry in Latin. In this session we will read one of his Elegiae.

Week 6 (Feb 15). Reading week.


Week 7 (Feb 22). Cassandra Fedele

Casandra Fedele (c. 1465 -1558) was a Venetian humanist and the most renowned woman scholar of the Italian Renaissance. She participated with influential humanists in public debates on philosophical and theological issues and held correspondence with many influential scholars of her time. In this session we will read one of her letters.

Week 8 (Mar 1). Isaac Casaubon

Casaubon (1559-1614) was a French classical scholar and philologist who made part of his career in England. He published and commented several works by Greek and Latin authors and corresponded with the intellectual elite of his age, including Catholic and Protestants scholars, theologians, historians, ambassadors and statesmen.


Week 9 (Mar 8). Juan Luis Vives, Fabula de homine

The Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives wrote treatises on Education and philosophy. His Fabula de homine is a short narrative in which Vives exposes his ideas about the dignity of the human condition following in the footsteps of Pico’s famous Oratio de hominis dignitate.

Week 10 (Mar 15). René Descartes, Meditationes metaphysicae

Descartes (Cartesius in Latin) wrote some of his most important philosophical treatises in Latin. His Meditationes metaphysicae are a great example of sixteenth century philosophical prose which is not too technical.

All the readings listed above are subject to change. Participants of the course may also propose texts that interest them or are important for their research. These may substitute some of the planned readings.

NB: Attendance to the sessions in term 1 is not required to join the module on term 2