nl en

Tutorial Latin (OIKOS) Reading Neo-Latin Literature. Occasion and Intertext


Admission requirements

This course is open to Master students in Classics, Research Master students in Classics (and Ancient Near-Eastern Civilisations), as well as Research Master and PhD students associated with OIKOS.


‘This is an exciting time for the study of neo-Latin literature’. With this statement Victoria Moul opened her introduction to the recently published A Guide to Neo-Latin literature (Cambridge, 2017). The main reason for this excitement is that in the last five years no less than three reference works for the study of Neo-Latin have been published, the other two being Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World (Leiden/Boston, 2014) and the Oxford Handbook to Neo-Latin (Oxford, 2015). The almost simultaneous publication of these works signals, in the words of Craig Kallendorf, ‘a new maturity for Neo-Latin studies’, meaning that they have become more and more aligned with adjacent disciplines, and are more and more concerned with methodological issues.

This seminar will take this ‘new maturity for Neo-Latin studies’ as point of departure and aims at understanding the role of neo-Latin texts in their wider literary and historical context. In so doing it will specifically focus on two characteristic features that Victoria Moul has singled out as presenting particular problems for its modern interpretation, literary appreciation and overall ‘readability’:

  • The typically close relationship to social and political occasions, and

  • The complex interconnections with both classical and contemporary literature, as well as Christian tradition.

Instead of taking these two features – occasion and intertext – as problems, this seminar will approach them as opportunities to bridge the gap between two usually distinct disciplines: the field of Classics and the field of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (including areas as wide as intellectual history, history of science, art history etc.).

Accordingly, in this seminar we will read a selection of neo-Latin texts, both prose and poetry, and analyze both their connection to events at the time, as well as their place within the tradition of Latin literature. In all this, the seminar will reserve ample time to introduce and discuss the necessary research tools.

Since this course is open to students with different backgrounds in the study of Neo-Latin literature, the definitive selection of texts will be partly adapted to the students’ research interests, but will in any case include texts by such famous authors as Francesco Petrarca, Joachim Du Bellay and Desiderius Erasmus.

Course objectives

  • Broadening the knowledge of Neo-Latin literature;

  • Broadening the knowledge of research tools for Neo-Latin literature;

  • Practicing critical assessment of modern interdisciplinary approaches;

  • Enlarging reading and interpretative competence of Neo-Latin texts;

  • Enhancing presentation skills;

  • Enhancing writing skills;

  • Enhancing research skills.


Please consult the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

10 ECTS = 280 hours

Rough division:

  • Lectures: 28 hours

  • Weekly preparation: 84 hours

  • Book review: 28 hours

  • Presentation of research project: 25 hours

  • Research paper: 115 hours

In consultation with the teacher this seminar can also be taken for 5 EC (without book review and research paper) or 6 EC (without research paper). In those cases the seminar will be concluded with a written or oral exam (3 hours).

Assessment method

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the following examinations:

For 10 EC

  • Book review: 20 %

  • Oral presentation, with full handout: 20 %

  • Research paper (ca. 5.000 words): 60 %

For 5 EC

  • Oral presentation, with full handout: 40 %

  • Oral or written exam: 60 %

For 6 EC

  • Book review: 20 %

  • Oral presentation, with full handout: 20 %

  • Oral or written exam: 60 %

The oral presentation cannot be repeated. In case the final mark is unsatisfactory, a student can resit the book review, the written paper, or – if necessary - both.

The exam review will take place in consultation with the student.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Making available primary texts

  • Sharing information

Reading list

Most primary and secondary literature will be made available through the University Library or Blackboard.

The following titles might be useful for a first orientation:

  • Bloemendal, Jan, Philip Ford and Charles Fantazzi (eds.), Brill’s Companion to the Neo-Latin world. 2 vols. (Leiden/Boston, 2014)

  • Kallendorf, Craig. “Recent Trends in Neo-Latin Studies. A Review Essay.” Renaissance Quarterly 69 (2016): 617–29.

  • Knight, Sarah, and Stefan Tilg (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin (Oxford, 2015)

  • Moul, Victoria (ed.), A Guide to Neo-Latin Literature (Cambridge, 2017)

  • Ijsewijn, Jozef and Dirk Sacré, Companion to Neo-Latin Studies. 2 vols. (Leuven, 1990-98)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Mw. Dr. S.T.M. de Beer