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The Seven Sages of Rome in England and the World

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Rory Critten

Période de validité: 2023 -> 2023

Horaires du cours (Hebdomadaire)

Date Lieu Remarque Thématique Intervenant(s)
2023/2024 : Mercredi 08:30-10:00 (Hebdomadaire) Anthropole/5093     Rory Critten


Semestre d'automne
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre
Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 4


To introduce students to the Seven Sages of Rome, an important but overlooked text that affords fresh perspectives on medieval reading practices, gender politics, and literary geography. 


The Seven Sages of Rome is one of the story collections with eastern origins that has so enriched European storytelling. Its earliest version is thought to have been written in the eighth century CE in Persian; it was subsequently translated into Arabic, and from Arabic into Syriac, Hebrew, and Spanish. The earliest western version of the Seven Sages was written in French the second half of the twelfth century and was an almost immediate success. By the end of the Middle Ages the Seven Sages was extant in forty different versions across many different languages. It survives in more than two hundred manuscripts and almost two hundred and fifty early prints. 

The Seven Sages of Rome was translated into English at the beginning of the fourteenth century. In this course, we will read the Middle English text alongside a selection of its eastern and western analogues. This is an approach that will allow us to chart the ways in which attitudes towards the work's central themes--which include sex and consent, parent-child relations, and education--change according to time and place. 

This course will appeal to students interested in gender studies, east-west relations, and translation studies, and in the pre-history of the short story. 


Assessment by essay

All students taking this course will write an an essay of 3,000 words, citing at least four articles or book chapters. Topics will be suggested, but students are free to follow their own interests. Further instructions are on Moodle. 

Students may also sign up for these extra assessments:

1) A faculty oral exam. 

2) A faculty written exam.

3) A specialised essay.

Further instructions are on Moodle. 


Our set text will be the new edition of the Middle English Seven Sages of Rome that Prof. Critten is preparing in collaboration with Alison Wiggins (Glasgow).

UtilisationCode facultéStatutCrédits
Anglais, 2ème partie (2013 ->) ›› Littérature médiévale - BA-ANG-2-201030Optionnel4.00
A40-ANGL: Attestation 40 ECTS en anglais (2013 ->) - A40-ANGL ›› Littérature médiévale - A40-ANGL-2-20Optionnel4.00
Complément d’études disciplinaires pour étudiants HEP - Niveau BA (2023 ->) ›› Littérature médiévale - ANGLOptionnel4.00
NIV-ANG: Mise à niveau MA, Anglais (2013 ->) - NIV-ANG ›› Littérature médiévale - NIV-ANG-2-201030Optionnel4.00
Programme à options, 2ème partie (2013 ->) ›› Littérature médiévale - BA-OP-ANGLOptionnel4.00
Unicentre - CH-1015 Lausanne - Suisse
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