I “lacci e gli sbadigli”: Pascoli, Martini, Giolitti, e l’insegnamento di latino e greco nell’Ottocento italiano digital
Before the great Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912) was appointed University Professor of Latin and later of Italian, he taught in several Italian high schools. In 1893, the Secretary for Education, the journalist and writer Ferdinando Martini, wishing to improve the teaching of Latin in Italy, appointed Pascoli as a member of a committee of specialists in this field. Pascoli, who was elected president of the committee, wrote a famous report criticizing the excess of grammar and erudition and the lack of a true “reading” of authors. The paper shows that Pascoli’s statement must be understood within the framework of the cultural struggle concerning the teaching of Latin and Greek in the first decades of the recently unified Italy: the “local” tradition (i.e. practical teaching of Latin, particularly in Central Italy and Catholic schools) was challenged by a different approach, particularly in the North of the country. This was of German origin and placed the emphasis on grammar and philology. Many years later, in 1922, a letter of Giovanni Giolitti, who in 1893 was Prime Minister, shows the influence of Pascoli’s ideas, as well as of other disputes regarding the teaching of Greek in Italian high schools.
Visione, conoscenza, liberazione. Nota a Lucrezio, I 151-154 digital
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