Academic year
2019/2020 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0531 (AF:317442 AR:170698)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
4th Term
Go to Moodle page
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the main developments in the political, cultural, religious, social and economic life of Europe between 400 and 750 AD through the medium of English.
The objectives of the course are:
1. To trace the transformation of the Roman world into the framework of kingdoms and regions of medieval Europe, and the development of a Church-based society and culture.
2. To develop the students’ historical skills, awareness of differing historical interpretations, and critical reading of secondary literature.
3. To enable students to engage in discussion of key issues and handling of contemporary sources.
By the end of the course, the students should be able to:
1. Show an inderstanding of the main themes and aspects of Late Antique and Early Medieval European history
2. Display a critical awareness of the nature of the source material.
3. Evaluate and understand the main areas of historical debate, in particular such key historiographical concepts of Transformation versus Collapse of the Roman World; migration, ethnicity and ethnogenesis in the West; or the role of christianity in the formation of medieval western society.
4. Be able to understand, discuss and present their thoughts at a suitable, though not necessarily perfect, level of English fluency.
Good understanding of English, at comprehension level at least.
The topics covered will be as follows:
1: General Introduction – Visual Tour of the West, 300-750
2: The End of the Roman Empire in the West: the 4th and 5th cs.
3. The Late Roman World
4: Barbarian societies and migrations
5: Barbarian settlements in Western Europe
6: Early Medieval Italy: Ostrogoths and Lombards
7: Early Medieval italy: Byzantium and the Papacy
8: Visigothic Spain and the Islamic conquests
9: The Franks under the Merovingians
10. Anglo-Saxon England to the Viking attacks
11. Kings and bishops: conversion and power
12: Monasticism and holiness
13: Church, literacy and culture
14: Family, law and society
15: Outlines and future developments in Early Medieval society
R. Collins, Early Medieval Europe (2nd ed.,1999)
R.H.C. Davis, A History of Medieval Europe: From Constantine to St Louis (2nd ed. 1988)
R. Fossier, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages vol. 1 (1989)
R. McKitterick, The Early Middle Ages (2001)
P. Brown, The World of Late Antiquity (1971)
L. Webster and M. Brown eds., The Transformation of the Roman World (1997)
P. Brown, The Making of Late Antiquity (1978)
C. Wickham, Framing the Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 (2005)
C. La Rocca, Italy in the Early Middle Ages (2002)
R. Collins, Early Medieval Spain: Unity in Diversity (1983)
I. Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms (1994)
J. Herrin, The Formation of Christendom (1988)
The final assessment will be based on an oral exam. Students will have the choice of have all the assessment result based on this one exam, or, alternatively, of giving an oral presentation, consisting of, for example, a critical evaluations of one or a set of primary sources, or a thematic study on a particular topic, during the course of the teaching week. The presentations and oral exam will be held in English (or in Italian if a good reason for it is supplied).
A range of teaching /learning methods will be used, including lectures; analysis and interpretation of documents and visual sources; group discussion and debate. The latter two will contribute to improving the ability to present arguments in general, and at a basic level in English. Outside the class, students will be encouraged to read sources in English translation, as a basis for discussion in class; to read textbooks and literature in both Italian and English, and to read specialist books or use guided Internet content in pursuit of their own particular interests.
Some source material, full bibliographies for each topic, guidance to Internet resources and topics for debate will be entered on the Moodle platform from the beginning of hte course onwards.
This programme is provisional and there could still be changes in its contents.
Last update of the programme: 08/01/2020