Falsa mysteria

Pagans and Christians in Giovanni Pascoli’s Latin poems

Online Course: January 9th-February 27th 2021

The Carmina of Giovanni Pascoli stand among the most exquisite verses available in modern Latin poetry. Particularly notable in this oeuvre are the Poemata Christiana which delve into an array of themes including the introduction of Christianity into the Roman world, complex ideological tensions that the new faith experienced in this context, the growth of Christianity in diverse social strata, Pagan opposition, and the ultimate decline of Paganism.

This course aims to serve as an introduction to the Latin poetry of Pascoli through his Pomponia Graecina (1909) and the Thallusa (1911) with one session dedicated to each poem. Female protagonists stand at the center of each poem, the former from the perspective of a Roman matrona and the latter from the perspective of a female slave who is Christian.

Participants in the course will have a unique opportunity to explore an aspect of Pascoli which is typically overlooked, notwithstanding the fact that these poems are among the Latin verses of Pascoli which resulted in thirteen first place awards and fifteen honorable mentions in the renowned Certamen Hoeufftianum based in Amsterdam.


Schedule Topic
Saturday, Jan. 9th 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET A Roman matrona under attack
Saturday, Jan. 16th 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET Acquittal of the charges
Saturday, Jan. 23rd 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET Massacre of Christians in the flames of Rome
Saturday, Jan. 30th 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET Descent into the catacombs
Saturday, Feb. 6th 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET Golden bracelets and heated shelves
Saturday, Feb. 13rd 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET The slave serves a dinner
Saturday, Feb. 20th 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET Anger and pain for an abducted son
Saturday, Feb. 27th 2021, h. 15:30-16:30 CET A lullaby




    Giuseppe Marcellino

    Intended course audience

    Teachers, students and scholars of the ancient world.


    Online, using Zoom as a platform




    Intermediate or advanced

    Professional development credit

    At the end of the course, a certificate of participation will be issued.




    Once enrolled, you will be placed on the participants’ list and you will be sent an email with the necessary login information for your course. A recording of each lesson will be available for three days from the conclusion of each session.

    Lesson materials

    Lesson materials will be distributed during the lesson to deepen our exploration of the themes for the course.