Roma fuit

The Last Twilight of the Eternal City in the Poetry of Giovanni Pascoli

Online course, 20 November – 11th December 2022


Of all the features that stand out in the elegant poetic production of Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912), the themes of the Poemata Christiana are among the most striking. These themes include the introduction of Christianity into the Roman world, complex ideological tensions that the new faith experienced in its incipient stages, the expansion of Christianity among diverse social strata, Pagan opposition to these developments, and the ultimate decline of Paganism itself.

This course will focus on a remarkable trilogy of short poems in the Latin verse of Pascoli, the Post Occasum Urbis (1907). In the Solitudo (I), we will read about the plundering which the city of Rome suffered under the hand of Totila and the Goths in 546. The Sanctus Theodorus (II) will take us to the desolate ruins of the Palatine during the pontificate of Gregory I (590-604) in a tone imbued with nostalgia for the pagan past. Finally, the Pallas (III) will invite us to join in as spectators at the discovery of the body and armor of Pallante on the Palatine Hill.

As a superb Latinist and sublime poet, Pascoli won 13 times and received 15 honorable mentions in the renowned Certamen Hoeufftianum in Amsterdam.

Notwithstanding the universal acknowledgement of Pascoli’s acumen, his Latin poetry rarely features on the course syllabus at universities or elsewhere. In this course, Roma Fuit, course participants will have an opportunity to read and explore one of the greatest Latin poets of all time in both Italian and Latin.

Course Schedule

In an effort to satisfy the interests of a greater variety of groups, the course will be available at separate hours both in Latin (introduction, reading and exposition in Latin) and in Italian (reading, translation of select passages, and discussion in Italian).

Course will take place in the following sequence:
Latin (CET 17:00-18:00) ~ Italian (CET 18:15-19:15)


When Topic
I. Friday, Nov. 11th, 2022
Exite, Quirites!
II. Friday, Nov. 18th, 2022
Romam rex excisure, memento: tu non excides!
III. Friday, Nov. 25th, 2022 Mox ver advenit … (Solitudo)
IV. Friday, Dec. 2nd, 2022 Desine flere, puer! (Sanctus Theodorus)
V. Friday, Dec. 9th, 2022
Veterum monimenta virorum persultant … vaccae
(Sanctus Theodorus)
VI. Friday, Dec. 16th, 2022 Vidit in umbra …  formam muta lupae (Sanctus Theodorus)
VII. Friday, Dec. 23rd, 2022
Effodiunt homines deserti saxa Palati noctu latrones (Pallas)
VIII. Friday, Dec. 30th, 2022 Nulla est Roma! (Pallas)



    I wish attend the course in:






    Award Medal from the Contest in Amsterdam



    The discovery of the body of Pallante on the Palatine in the Middle ages


    Flagellum Dei: Totila, king of the Goths sacks Rome


    The Last Pagans under the Pontificate of Gregory I


    The wolf who turned her head to the new Rome





    Giuseppe Marcellino


    Intended course audience

    Teachers, students and scholars of the ancient world.


    Online, using Zoom as a platform


    Latin or Italian


    Intermediate or advanced

    Professional development credit

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

    Registration Cost

    Registration for the course (in Latin or in Italian) is 97 €


    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.