The Last Twilight of the Eternal City in the Poetry of Giovanni Pascoli
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.
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).
Latin (CET 17:00-18:00) ~ Italian (CET 18:15-19:15)
|I. Friday, Nov. 11th, 2022||
|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
|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)|
Award Medal from the Contest in Amsterdam