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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Latin

Undergraduate Course: Women Writers of Latin (LATI10045)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will explore the works of three different extraordinary women writers of Latin from the Middle Ages: a tenth-century abbess named Hrotswitha who wrote comedies, a woman scholar and abbess of the twelfth century named Heloise, who conducted a passionate and profound correspondence with the philosopher Peter Abelard, and a Rhineland mystic - famous in her own day and for centuries to come - Hildegard of Bingen, who recorded her visions in a lucid and unforgettably distinctive Latin style.
Course description This course will both function as a general introduction to the flourishing of Latin literature during the High Middle Ages, during the periods called the Ottonian and Twelfth-Century Renaissances, and as a particular introduction to the works of three extraordinary women authors, Hrotswitha, Heloise and Hildegard. Works read will include the comedies of Hrotswitha, the letters between the philosopher Peter Abelard and his erstwhile student Heloise, and the Scivias, or visions, of Hildegard of Bingen.

Students will learn about the differences between classical and medieval Latin, explore three very different genres - comedy, epistolography, and mystagogy, and discover the role of women in the literary culture of the Middle Ages.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Latin 2A (LATI08011) OR Latin 2a Ex-Beginners (LATI08013) AND Latin 2B (LATI08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Brown, P. R. and S. L. Wailes, A Companion to Hrotsvit of Gandersheim (fl. 960) (Leiden 2013)

Dronke, P. Women Writers of the Middle Ages: A Critical Study of Texts from Perpetua to Marguerite (Cambridge 1984).

Gilson, E. Heloise and Abelard (Ann Arbor 1960).

Kienzle, B. M. et al. (eds), A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen (Leiden 2014)

McLaughlin, M. and B. Wheeler, The Letters of Heloise and Abelard: A Translation of Their Collected Correspondence and Related Writings (New York 2010)

Mews, C. J. Abelard and Heloise (Oxford 2005).

Newman, B. Sister of Wisdom: St Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine (Berkeley 1987)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - ability to do independent research.
- ability to critically analyse texts and sources.
- ability to synthesize complex information.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Justin Stover
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMiss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
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