This course is discontinued

ENG4104 – Chaucer and the Manuscript Tradition

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

We have no autograph writings from Chaucer’s hand. This course follows the history of the Chaucer canon as it evolved from the earliest extant manuscripts which were written down soon after his death, through generations of scribes to the advent of printing, and through the hands of subsequent generations of editors to the collected works as we know them today. As examples we will look particularly at the establishment of the Canterbury Tales tradition, and at the disputed Equatorie of the Planetis text and the evidence for that being Chaucer’s.

There will be a field trip to Cambridge University to look at Chaucer-related manuscripts. For further information please contact the teacher.

Learning outcome

Students will get an insight into the establishment of the Chaucer canon, and into some of the manuscripts and editions which form the basis for this process. They will acquire a basic knowledge of the make-up of medieval manuscripts and of the underlying principles of textual criticism and edition.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that the students have taken ENG2155 – Aspects of Chaucerian Language and Literature (discontinued) or similar.


The course is taught throughout the semester with 2 hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all.

80% attendance required. Additional absences must be justified (please contact the exam coordinator).

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The exam is a term paper of 10 standard pages. Students will have an opportunity to receive comments on drafts of their papers. The term paper is the basis for the mark in this course.

You submit your paper in Fronter in the course's "fellesrom". Read more about submission procedures

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2011


Autumn 2011

Teaching language