Academic year
2016/2017 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0420 (AF:228554 AR:116380)
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course objectives
The course of History of the Environment and Rural Landscapes aims at analysing the complex relationship between the dynamics of the European eco-systems and human societies during the Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Middle Ages. Such a historical perspective considers how demographic growth dealt with the relative scarcity of natural resources through a specific kind of technological innovation. The first section will provide an up-to-date periodisation of major environmental changes within the ancient Mediterranean world and how they cope with their own environmental problems (deforestation, soil exhaustion and agricultural decline, air and water pollution). The second section will offer a picture of the emerging environmental settings in the Medieval Europe by focusing especially on Italy and using some case studies.
Natural resources, technologies and exploitation; the Agricultural Revolution; resources and environmental issues in the ancient world (Greeks and Romans); the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe and the advance of marshes and forests; the new growth of agriculture(IX-XIII centuries); varieties of agrarian landscapes in Italy during the Middle Ages; forests and water; settlements, rural landscapes, economies.
Referral texts
M. Armiero, S. Barca, Storia dell’ambiente. Una introduzione, Roma, Carocci, 2004, in particolare i capp. 1-3;

A. Rapetti, La terra degli uomini. Le campagne dell’Italia medievale, Roma, Carocci Editore, 2012;

P. Bevilacqua, Demetra e Clio. Uomini e ambiente nella storia, Roma, Donzelli Editore, 2001, in particolare i capp. I-IV (disponibile anche come e-book);

D. Hughes, The Mediterranean. An environmental history, Santa Barbara (CA) 2005, in particolare i capp. 1-4 e 7.

Further informations will be held during the course.
Type of exam
written and oral
Assessment methods
An individual paper will be discussed in class and it will be considered as the first part of the final exam. The second part of the exam will be an oral exam.

Non attending students must define their own specific programme and their own paper's title and contents. However, their paper will be discussed in class as well.
Teaching methods
Lessons will be held as seminars. Frontal lectures, discussion of texts and paper presentations will characterize classroom activities. Students are expected to attend regularly classes, where they should actively participate to the general discussion. During the first part of the course students will choose amongst specific topics about which they will have to write their own papers as assignment. An oral presentation and a written paper are required also by all participants, included those who are unable to attend regularly.
Teaching language
Student consultation hours are once a week. Students can also write at arapetti@unive.it
  • Lecture notes, material for reference or for self-assessment available online or as e-book