The subject of the course will be the enigmatic language in Greek and Roman culture.
Riddles had a peculiar place in classical cultures, as some ancient mythical stories such as Oedipus’ tale show. The presence of the enigmatic language had a strong connection with religion (often the gods communicated with mankind through enigmatic oracles and dreams), but was common also in everyday life, as demonstrated by the popularity of asking riddles during symposia and its utility as a school instrument.
During the course, the students will become familiar with Greek and Roman riddles, both edited and unedited. They will read and study, among others, the Greek riddles of Athenaus’ Deipnosophists and of the Palatine Anthology, and the Latin riddles of Symphosius, Aldhelm and Tatwine.