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ITALG021 - Medieval and Renaissance Italian

Value: 15 credits
Tutor: Dr Catherine Keen and Dr Chiara Franceschini.
Teaching structure:
Prerequisite: students should possess a good reading knowledge of modern Italian.
Assessment: one two-hour unseen examination.


Module Description:

This module aims to equip the student with good reading knowledge of medieval and Renaissance Italian, from about 1200 to 1620, and with the ability to interpret and translate texts as the basis for other kinds of scholarly work in this area. The module will take the form of a series of text-based seminars focusing on passages from well-known authors, e.g. Guido Cavalcanti, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Alberti, Machiavelli, Bembo and Tasso, as well as ‘popular’ literature, historical documents and theoretical treatises on art, literature education and other topics. The selection aims to introduce students to the variety of written Italian, thematically and linguistically. 

Students interested in taking the module may wish to consider taking its sister module ITALG006 - Medieval and Renaissance Research Techniques.


Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

Students will need to consult a range of Italian dictionaries and Italian language aids. The Italian sections of the UCL Library, the Warburg Institute and the British Library have good selections. The titles below are especially pertinent:

  • Accademia della Crusca. Lessicografia della Crusca, online. (Not yet complete.)
  • Battaglia, Salvatore. Grande dizionario della lingua italiana, 21 vols. UTET: Turin, 1961-2003.
  • De Mauro, Tullio. Grande dizionario italiano dell’uso. 6 vols. UTET: Turin, 1999.
  • Florio, John. A Worlde of Wordes or Most Copious, and Exact Dictionarie in Italian and English. A. Hatfield for E. Blount: London, 1598.
  • Florio, John. Queen Anna's New World of Words or Dictionary of the Italian and English Tongues. M. Bradwood [and W. Stansby] for E. Blount and W. Barret: London, 1611. (There is a searchable facsimile available online; Google ‘Greg Lindahl’.)
  • Florio, John, and Torriano, giovanni. Vocabulario italiano e inglese, 2 pts. Thomas Warren for John Martin, J. Allestry and Thomas Dicas: London, 1659.
  • Tommaseo, Nicolò, and Bellini, Bernardo. Dizionario della lingua italiana, 4 vols. UTET: Turin, 1861-79.