Romance Philology focuses on the medieval origins of neo-latins languages and litteratures, as the Continental and Anglo-Norman French, Provençal, Italian, Castillan, Catalan, Galician ones. Being the romance languages all derived from late, spoken Latin, Romance Philology necessarily entails a comparative perspective. Indeed, the disciplinary boundaries encompass both the linguistic fragmentation of the Roman Empire and the new cultural intersections provided by trans-linguistic foundations of modern literary genres. Philological criticism basically allows to compare entire literary traditions, given poetic or narrative works, different version of the same poem or novel, since the comparative method even applies in a very effective way to the highly variable manuscript tradition of medieval literary texts.
According with these general remarks, Romance Philology complements in a very effective way undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs focusing on comparative and modern literatures, linguistics, medieval history and culture. Undergraduate courses may feature common origins and differential development of main romance languages and literatures, as French, Castillan Spanish, Italian. Graduate courses may discuss the foundation of modern literary genres, as the lyric poetry, from provençal troubadours to Petrarca, and/or the novel, from Wace and Chrétien de Troyes to Boccaccio’s Decameron. Doctoral courses may focus on the textual tradition of given literary masterpieces of the romance medieval literatures, in order to describe the way the principles underlying philologic textual criticism apply to modern literatures.