MSMLP-Medieval Latin and Palaeography

Module Provider: Grad Cen for Medieval Studs
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Anne Lawrence


Summary module description:

This module aims to produce a basic grounding in Latin grammar and syntax, together with a broad understanding or awareness of more complex constructions, with a view to supporting the Latin language needs of students in their research and enabling them to continue with further personal study. It also aims to equip students with the skills required to read manuscript texts written in a range of scripts used from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • recognise and identify a range of Latin forms and grammatical constructions
  • make effective use of dictionaries and wordlists
  • read and transcribe examples of Latin bookhand, Latin courthand, and vernacular scripts
  • recognize and expand correctly manuscript abbreviations and other scribal signs
  • identify a range of vernacular scripts

Additional outcomes:
Students should be able to approach medieval sources on their own and gain a basic understanding of the Latin, and to use Latin as part of their future research. Students should also be able to demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of scripts and to distinguish between scripts produced for different purposes. This module also aims to develop the student's skills of time management and oral communication. They will develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
The Latin component of this module draws on Eileen Gooder's Latin for Local Historians,and Kennedy's Revised Latin Primer. Reading of Medieval Latin and documents in Medieval Latin is supported by handouts on grammar. The first term covers the basics of Latin and particular peculiarities of Medieval Latin as illustrated by a wide range of texts. The second term is altered every year to reflect the learning and research needs of the students. For students requiring Advanced Latin, one or two texts are selected (with guidance from the module tutor) which reflect the research interests of as many of the students as possible.
Palaeography will introduce students to the history of Western scripts, and will provide instruction in techniques of transcription. Students will then have structured sessions in practical experience in reading and transcribing selected examples of Latin bookhand, Latin courthand, and various vernacular scripts. Major abbreviation systems, both Latin and vernacular, and conventions of palaeographic transcription will be covered.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is taught for three hours a week over two terms in a seminar. Students are expected to prepare and revise thoroughly before and after each class. In Latin, particular grammatical constructions are introduced through grammar exercises and subsequently highlighted as they arise in reading. Palaeography classes include demonstration, practical experience, and discussion of transcribing selected manuscript examples. Weekly homework exercises are set and returned in class with discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 30 30
Guided independent study 120 120
Total hours by term 150.00 150.00
Total hours for module 300.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Set exercise 25
Class test administered by School 75

Other information on summative assessment:
Students are required to do two pieces of written work on their own each week. The five best of the written work for Latin is averaged and comprise 50% of the final mark for the Latin component of the module. For Palaeography, the weekly transcription exercises are for formative purposes only.

For Latin - one two hour written test will be taken on the first Thursday of the Summer Term, comprising 50% of the mark for this component of the module. This paper will consist of one unseen passage of comparable nature to those tackled for the assessed pieces, and one seen passage (from the texts studied in seminars).
For Palaeography - there will be one two hour, unseen written test on the second Thursday of the Summer Term, counting for 100% of the Palaeography component of this module. The two components of this module have equal weighting.

Formative assessment methods:
For Palaegraphy, the weekly transcription exercises are for formative purposes only.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
For Latin one two hour written test.
For Palaeography one two hour, unseen written test.

Requirements for a pass:
A minimum of 50% across both the Latin and Palaeography components. Students must achieve an overall average mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination in September. Latin coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed grade of 50% or more. Otherwise the required number of pieces must be submitted by 1st September, if required.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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