Tutor: Paloma Perez Galvan
Term 2 Timetable (January-March 2020)
Week 1 (6th January), 5-6.30pm. Introduction.
Text: Cyriac of Ancona, excerpts from his Later Travels
The merchant Cyriac of Ancona (1391-1452) was amongst the first to study the physical remains of the ancient world in person; his travel diaries and letters are filled with descriptions and drawings of classical sites, and copies of hundreds of Latin and Greek inscriptions. His Later Travels includes letters and diaries from 1443 to 1449, the period in which he travelled from Italy to the eastern shore of the Adriatic, the Greek mainland, the Aegean islands, Anatolia and Thrace, Mount Athos, Constantinople, the Cyclades, and Crete.
Grammar: revision of noun declensions + uses of cases.
Week 2 (13th January), 5-6.30pm
Text: Lorenzo Valla, Correspondence
Lorenzo Valla (1406-1457) was a leading philologist, philosopher, theologian, and translator. His extant Latin letters show him as a teacher and secretary, but above all as a writer who continually worked and reworked his major contributions to dialectic and philology, notably his masterpiece on the Elegances of the Latin Language, a central text of the Renaissance. More plentiful are the letters of others to him, which place him at the centre of a humanist network that extended from Venice to Naples.
Grammar: revision of verbs (indicative); relative clauses.
Week 3 (20th January), 5-6.30pm
Text: Flavio Biondo, Italia Illustrata
The humanist and historian Flavio Biondo (1392–1463) was a pioneering figure in the Renaissance recovery of classical antiquity. His topographical work, Italia Illustrata (1453), explores the Roman roots of Italy.
Grammar: subjunctive uses (+ subjunctive revision); ut clauses.
Week 4 (27th January), 5-6.30pm
Text: Selection of Cassandra Fedele's letters
Cassandra Fedele, was the most renowned woman scholar in Italy during the last decades of the Quattrocento. Fedele achieved fame through her writing, oratorical abilities, and simple elegance. In addition to her letters and orations (a volume of 123 letters and 3 orations was published in Padua in 1636), it is believed that she also wrote Latin poetry. She participated with influential humanists in public debates on philosophical and theological issues.
Grammar: deponent verbs; cum clauses.
Week 5 (3rd February), 5-6.30pm
Text: Giovanni Pontano, Charon
Giovanni Pontano (1426-1503), whose academic name was Gioviano, was the most important Latin poet of the fifteenth century as well as a leading statesman who served as prime minister to the Aragonese kings of Naples. His Dialogues are our best source for the humanist academy of Naples which Pontano led for several decades. Charon, set in the underworld of classical mythology, illustrates humanist attitudes to a wide range of topics, satirizing the follies and superstitions of humanity.
Grammar: demonstratives; participles, ablative absolute.
Week 6 (10th February), Reading Week-No Class
Week 7 (17th February), 5-6.30pm
Text: Marco Girolamo Vida, the Christiad
At the request of Pope Leo X, Marco Girolamo Vida (1485-1566) wrote the Christiad (1535), an epic poem which retells the life of Christ, in the style of Virgil.
Grammar: questions and reported questions; infinitives (reported statements).
Week 8 (24th February) 5-6.30pm
Text: Antonio Beccadelli, The Hermaphrodite
Antonio Beccadelli (1394-1471), known as Panormita from his native town of Palermo, was appointed court poet to Duke Filippo Maria Visconti (1429), crowned poet laureate by Emperor Sigismund (1432), and ended his days as panegyrist to King Alfonso V of Aragon and Naples, where he founded the first of the Renaissance Academies. The Hermaphrodite, his first work (1425-26), dedicated to Cosimo de' Medici, won him praise and condemnation: Beccadelli was indeed a pioneer in revitalizing the Latin epigram for its powers of abuse and louche eroticism.
Grammar: adjectives; prepositions.
Week 9 (2nd March), 5-6.30pm
Text: Aldus Manutius, prefaces to his editions of works by ancient Latin writers#
Aldus Manutius (c. 1451–1515) was the most important and innovative scholarly publisher of the Renaissance. His prefaces to his editions of works by ancient Latin writers provide unique insight into the world of scholarly publishing.
Grammar: gerunds and gerundives.
Week 10 (9th March), 5-6.30pm
Text: Silvius Piccolomini,Chrysis (Humanist Comedy)
Reading and translation of Chrysis (1444) by Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (later Pope Pius II), nourished by the ancient comic drama of Plautus and Terence.
Grammar: conditionals; time expressions; fearing clauses.
Weekly meetings of 90 minutes include 30 minutes of grammar review, followed by 60 minutes of close reading.