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The Classical Tradition in European Literature

Code: 104229 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503702 Ancient Studies OT 4 2
2503998 Catalan Philology: Literary Studies and Linguistics OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Antonia Risquez Madrid

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


This course has no prerequisites.

Objectives and Contextualisation

At the end of the assignment the learner will be able to:

  • Understanding concepts: compression of basic concepts related to literary tradition in general and classical tradition in particular.
  • Understanding literary texts: deep understanding of literary texts inscribed in the Western European tradition of any time, country and/or aesthetic current.
  • Identifying and linking concepts: the identification of the thematic, cliché and genres of classical Greek-Latin literature in later European literature. Identification of interactions between different authors, works and periods in the history of literature and analysis of textual and contextual circumstances.
  • Apply professional methodology: purely instrumental and methodological level and in relation to the student's professional future, introduction to some of the tasks of humanistic activity related to literature: criticism, analysis, commentary, editing, exposure,....


    Ancient Studies
  • Carry out projects on aspects of the ancient world using a holistic approach.
  • Interpret texts written in Latin and Greek to understand the history and Classical civilisations.
  • Interrelate linguistic, historical and archaeological knowledge of the ancient world with knowledge of other areas of the humanities, mainly ancient literature, philosophy and art.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
    Catalan Philology: Literary Studies and Linguistics
  • Critically read and interpret texts.
  • Interpret literary texts from a philological and comparative viewpoint.
  • Interpret the thematic and symbolic content of narrative, poetic and theatrical texts in accordance with the main analytical methodologies and according to their textual and pragmatic strategies.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Autonomously searching, selecting and processing information both from structured sources (databases, bibliographies, specialized magazines) and from across the network.
  2. Critically interpret literary works, taking into account the relationships between the different areas within literature and their relationship to humanistic, artistic and social areas.
  3. Detect the degree of cohesion and coherence of the different genres and identify the factors that contribute to these and to their suitability in different contexts.
  4. Effectively communicating and applying the argumentative and textual processes to formal and scientific texts.
  5. Explain the basic characteristics of a Greek or Latin literary text.
  6. Express ideas effectively in formal academic texts by adopting argumentative and textual procedures.
  7. Identify and explain the fundamentals of the literary communication process in each genre and those of the interpretation process based on questions and theoretical and/or practical activities.
  8. Identify different literary elements and their insertion in different texts and styles of discourse.
  9. Identify the ancient Greco-Latin sources that have inspired artists and literati of the Western cultural tradition.
  10. Identify the ancient Greco-Latin sources that have inspired artists and literati of the western cultural tradition.
  11. Identify the characteristics of the literary genre to which a Greek or Latin literary text belongs.
  12. Recognise the influence of the Greco-Latin literary genres and works in texts of the post-classical European literary tradition.
  13. Relate the Greco-Latin literary texts to the cultural context of their period.
  14. Summarise the knowledge acquired about the origin of the various fields within the discipline and the transformations they have undergone.
  15. Write a commentary on a Greek or Latin literary text based on an analysis of the text itself, its cultural context and its subsequent influence.
  16. Write text commentaries from a critical standpoint.


1. Introduction.

2. Literary topics: from the Classical catabasis to the Commedia of Dante Alighieri. 

3. Epic: from the epic hero to the legend of Alejandro.

4. Novel: from the Metamorphose of Apuleius in the Picaresca novel.

5. Lyrics: from the Roman elegiac poetry to the Canzoniere of Petrarch. 

6. Comedy Theatre: from Plautus comedy to Moliere. 

7. Tragic Theatre: from the Seneca tragedy to Shakespeare.


This is an on-site course. Students are expected to work throughout its duration. Attendance to the lectures will allow the students to properly contextualise the course readings.

Commentary of the readings and cinema talks are scheduled throughout the course.

Although there will be no attendance monitoring, attending to the lectures is key to successfully complete this subject.

Students will have to do practical work at the end of each unit of the assignment program, which may be of different nature (assay, commentary, bibliographic review) at the teacher's proposal. This work will be delivered in writing within the time frame set by the teacher.

Students will have to hold compulsory readings on each of the topics; they will also have supplementary readings that will be voluntary, although some of them may be used to make the practical part of the subject.


  • 2. Selection of ancient and later texts (Homer, Virgil, Dante).
  • 3. Selection of fragments of Homer, Pseudo-Calysthenes, Plutarch, Quintus Curtius Rufus, Gautier de Châtillon, Historia de preliis, Life of Alejandro.
  • 4. "The tale of Psique and Cupid", in Apuleius, Metamorphose, 4.28 - 6,24.
  • 5. Selection of Latin and later poems.
  • 6. Selection of ancient and later comedy texts.
  • 7. Selection of ancient and later tragedy texts.



  • 2. Cervantes, Quijote, parte II, cap. 22.
  • 3. González Rolán, T. & Saquero Suárez-Somonte, P. (2003), "La imagen polimórfica de Alejandro Magno desde la Antigüedad latina al Medievo hispánico: edición y estudio de lasfuentes de undesatendido Libro de Alexandre prosificado", Cuadernos de Filología Clásica. Estudios Latinos, 23, núm. 1, pp. 107-152.
  • 4. "Historia de Ozmín y Daraja", en Mateo Alemán, Guzmán de Alfarache, parte I, cap. 8.
  • 5. Pestano Fariña, R. (2005), “La elegía latina. Origen y caracterización”, Revista de filología, 23, pp. 231-246.
  • 6. Molière, L'avar.
  • 7. Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Analysis and debate of readings 6 0.24 15, 8, 7, 9, 2, 12
Lectures 30 1.2 3, 5, 8, 11, 10, 9, 2, 12, 13
Practical works 31.5 1.26 1, 15, 5, 4, 8, 9, 12, 16, 14
Type: Autonomous      
Compulsory readings 25 1 3, 8, 11, 10, 9, 2, 12
Study and personal work 35 1.4 3, 5, 4, 6, 10, 2, 16
Supplementary readings 15 0.6 8, 11, 10, 12, 13



On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.


40%: Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions (UNITS  1, 2, 3 & 4). Week 8. 

40%: Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions (UNITS 5, 6 & 7). Week 16. 

20%: Comment, essay, bibliographic review at the end of each unit at the proposal of the teacher.



  • Taking part in any assessable activity precludes the possibility of being classified as "not assessable".
  • For a positive evaluation of the course, the final mark must be 5 or higher, with a rating of at least 4 in both written tests.
  • In the re-evaluation process, students may retake ONE of the two written tests (if the mark is lower than 4 or if the global average is lower than 5), but they cannot retake both.
  • On the first day of the oral presentations, every group must hand over an outline & bibliography of their presentation.
  • Any exception to these remarks must count with the explicit approval of the professor. 
  • Untaken tests (due to medical emergencies justifiable with a doctor's note) will be taken during the re-evaluation period.
  • In special circumstances, the possibility of improving the final mark during the re-evaluation process may be considered. It will be necessary to talk previously with the professor, since the re-evaluation tests are intended for students who need to retake one of the assessable activities (for a maximum weight of 40%).


  • In the event of a student committing anyirregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity,regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.


  • In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.



Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Practical works 20% 4.5 0.18 1, 15, 4, 8, 11, 10, 9, 2, 12, 16, 13, 14
Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions 40% 1.5 0.06 3, 15, 5, 4, 6, 7, 11, 10, 9, 12, 16, 14
Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions 40% 1.5 0.06 3, 15, 5, 4, 7, 11, 10, 9, 12, 16, 13, 14


BEARD, M. (2013). La herencia viva de los clásicos, Barcelona: Crítica. 

BAKER, P.; HELMRATH, J.; KALLENDORF, C. (2019). Beyond ReceptionRenaissance Humanism and the Transformation of Classical Antiquity, Berlin-Boston: De Gruyter. 

BRIGGS, W.; KALLENDORF, C. (coords.) (2007). A companion to the classical tradition, Malden (Massachusetts): Blackwell. 

CODOÑER, C. (ed.) (1997). Géneros literarios latinos, Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca. Servicio de Publicaciones.

CODOÑER, C. (ed.), (1997). Historia de la literatura latina, Madrid: Cátedra.

CURTIUS, E. R. (1978). Literatura europea y edad media latina, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica. 2 vols. 

FERRERO HERNÁNDEZ, C. (2006). Textos de literatura europea y tradición clásica, Bellaterra: Servei de Publicacions UAB.

GARCÍA PÉREZ, D. (2009), Teatro griego y tradición clásica, México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

GONZÁLEZ ROLÁN, T., SAQUERO, P. & LÓPEZ FONSECA, A. (2002), La tradición clásica en España (siglos XIII-XV). Bases conceptuales y bibliográficas, Madrid:Clásicas. 

GENETTE, G. (1989), Palimpsestos. La literatura en segundo grado, Madrid: Taurus.

HARDWICK, L.; STRAY, CH. (2011). A Companion to Classical Receptions, Malden (Massachusetts):John Wiley & Sons.   

HARRISON, S.J. (ed.) (2001), Texts, ideas, and the classics: scholarship, theory, and classical literature, Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press.

HERNÁNDEZ MIGUEL, L.A. (2008), La Tradición Clásica. La transmisiónde las literaturas griega y latina antiguas y su recepción en las vernáculas occidentales, Madrid: Liceus.

HIGHET, G. (1954).  La tradición clásica, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica. 2 vols.

HOWATSON, M. C. (1991). Diccionario de la literatura clásica, Madrid: Alianza. 

JENKINS, R. (2015). Un paseo por la literatura de Grecia y Roma, Barcelona: Crítica. 

LIDA DE MALKIEL, M.R. (2017), La tradición clásica en España, Madrid:Centro para la Edición de los Clásicos Españoles.

MIOLA, Robert S. (1992), Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy. The Influence of Seneca, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

SANTANA HENRÍQUEZ, G. (2000), Tradición clásica y literatura española, Las Palmas: Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

VON ALBRECHT, M. (1997). Historia de la literatura romana, Barcelona: Herder. 2 vols.

WALDE, Ch. (ed.) (2012). Brill’s New Pauly Supplements I - Volume 5: The Reception of Classical Literature, Leiden-Boston: Brill.

WINKLER, M.M. (ed.) (2001). Classical Myth and Culture in the Cinema, New York: Oxford University Press.