The European Heroic Epic A & B

Languages & Cultures, School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

College of Arts and Law


Code 20093

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester 1

Module description

This course will offer an introduction to the medieval epic tradition, with particular reference to its main generic features, and will then proceed to detailed study (in English translations) of two of the most important European epics, the French "Song of Roland" and the German "Nibelungenlied". In the second semester, students will make a detailed study of the most outstanding Spanish and Italian contributions to the medieval epic tradition, The Poem of Cid and Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. These works will be studied with close reference to the cultural and historical environment in which they were produced, and to the development of the epic genre as a whole.