Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2021/2022 12
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Alessio Torino

Assigned to the Degree Course

Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures (LM-14 / LM-15)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

Students will approach poems about the same topos of the descent to the underworld treated by different authors from different ages. Thanks to the analysis of a wide anthology of poems, students will learn how to recognize some of the recurring features of poetic Latin and will become aware of some of the key elements that made this language process develop. 


The course will be focused on the topos of the descent to the underworld in Latin poetry, starting from the Virgilian Georgics and Aeneid, where the descent to Hades by Orpheus and Aeneas is described. Then the study will move on to Ovid, Lucan, Silius Italicus, Claudian and other authors who imitated or revised this model. 

Bridging Courses

Students must possess adequate knowledge of the Latin language, guaranteed by a written assessment test, specific for the master's degree. Detailed information on the Blended Learning platform 'Verification of knowledge of the Latin language' and on the website of the School of Arts and Philosophy [https://www.uniurb.it/it/portale/distum.php?mist_id=17450&lang=IT&tipo = DISTUM & page = 02905].

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

knowledge and understanding: students will have to get to know the essential lines of the development of the topos of the descent into the underworld in Latin literature.

applied knowledge and understanding: students will have to apply knowledge of Latin grammar and syntax in the translation of literary texts.

autonomy of judgment: students must acquire the ability to judge a Latin literary text on the basis of language and style.

communication skills: students must be able to read a Latin literary text in the original language, they must be able to translate and comment on it with adequate clarity from a grammatical, syntactic and stylistic point of view. They will also have to be able to explain the evolution of the topos of the descent into the Underworld in the context of Latin literature.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

The course will host seminars about the reception of the descent to the underworld theme in modern and contemporary culture and metric tutorials about the dactylic hexameter. 

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Lectures and seminars.


Students must attend at least 2/3 of the classes.

Course books

The main texts will be proposed in the following critical editions: P. Vergili Maronis, Opera, recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit R. A. B. Mynors, Oxford 1969. P. Ovidii Nasonis, Metamorphoses, ed. W. S. Anderson, Leipzig 1988. Students will also study the following essay: C. Pascal, Credenze d'Oltretomba, Forlì (Victrix) 2006. Students will have to demonstrate their ability to translate the following works: Tacitus, Agricola; Seneca, De brevitate vitae. An adequate knowledge of Latin grammar and syntax is required. Knowledge of the essential Latin Literature from its origins to Apuleius and knowledge, at least theoretical, of the dactyl hexameter are also required.


Oral exam. Students must be able to translate and analyze all the texts studied during the classes.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Course books

Non-attending students must demonstrate the ability to translate the VI Book of the Aeneid by Vergil, the Captivi by Plautus and the Agricola by Tacitus. An adequate knowledge of Latin grammar and syntax is required, also from a perspective of the history of the language. Knowledge, in essential lines, of Latin literature from its origins to Apuleius is required, so please refer to a good high school manual. Students are expected to know, at least theoretically, the dactylic hexameter.

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