Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0206 (AF:334008 AR:177134)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
4th Term
Go to Moodle page
The History of the Early Middle Ages is among those characterizing in the master's degree courses in ACEL and in History from the Middle Ages to the contemporary age. It is also among those chosen in other master's degree courses.
The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to the historical-social and anthropological dimension of the Early Middle Ages (with particular attention to the critique of the sources), which is presented as a period of great transformation that determines the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. To this end, after a general premise, the course deals specifically with a wide-ranging monographic theme.
Knowledge and understanding:
- knowledge of research practices with early medieval Latin sources (chronicles and documents)
- knowledge of the historiographical debate
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
- ability to read and interpret early medieval sources
Communication and relational skills:
- know how to present and discuss a text with a historical subject in a seminar context
- knowing how to interact in a peer group
- know how to express the results of a research in a short written text
It is not necessary to take particular exams before this one. The students who have already taken the exam of Medieval History will have benefited.
See also below, "Further informations".
The title of the course is "Ruling in hardtimes. Italy in the Carolingian age / 2: the peripheries".

For the second year, the course will study the transformations - in institutions, society, economy, political and religious ideology - that occurred in Italy under the Carolingian rule (774-887). The Carolingians exercised an effective hegemony over the entire peninsula, and not only within the Lombard kingdom conquered by Charlemagne, but also on the duchy/principality of Benevento (the Longobardia minor) and on the lands of Byzantine tradition such as Venice, Rome, Ravenna, the Exarchate, the Pentapolis and the southern Tyrrhenian cities. This year's course, after a general overview of Italy in the Carolingian age, will deal with some of the latter regions (in particular Venice and Rome), which represented the "peripheries" of the Italian kingdom in the Carolingian age, developing each of their own characteristics in a constant relationship with the political centre of the kingdom and the empire.
1. S. Gasparri - C. La Rocca, Tempi barbarici. L'Europa occidentale tra antichità e medioevo (300-900), Carocci, Roma 2012, pp. 231-313.
2. The following essays (which will be uploaded onto Moodle): S. Gasparri, The First Dukes and the Origins of Venice, in S. Gelichi and S. Gasparri (eds.), Venice and Its Neighbors from the 8th to 11th Century. Through Renovation and Continuity, Brepols, Leiden-Boston 2017, pp. 5-26; G. Albertoni, Law and the peasant: rural society and justice in Carolingian Italy, in Early Medieval Europe, 18/4, 2010, pp. 417-445; M. De Yong, Power and humility in Carolingian society: the public penance of Louis the Pious, in Early Medieval Europe, 1/1, 1992, pp. 29-52.
3. Other articles or chapters indicated during the lessons and the materials (essays and sources) which will be uploaded onto Moodle.

Non-attending students instead of the n. 3 will read:
G. Zornetta, Italia meridionale longobarda. Competizione, conflitto e potere politico a Benevento (secoli VIII-IX), Viella, Roma 2020.

Students who are not able to read Italian well can replace the n. 1 and 2 with
M Constambeys, M. Innes, S. MacLean, The Carolingian World, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
The students who don't attend the lessons will only take the oral exam. Attending students can also take a written pre-exam (on topics and sources discussed during the lessons). As an alternative to the written pre-exam, they will also be able to submit brief written and oral reports, which will be discussed during the lessons. Written pre-exam and reports are NOT mandatory but, if the students have chosen to do them, they will be a fundamental part of the exam.

Lectures, readings of sources, student short presentations of either a part of a source or a relevant article (see above, "Assessment methods") and collective discussions.
Students who have not already taken the exam of Medieval History (of the three-year degree) with prof. Gasparri will also have to read ALL the volume:

S. Gasparri - C. La Rocca, Tempi barbarici. L'Europa occidentale tra antichità e medioevo (300-900), Carocci, Roma 2012.
written and oral
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 20/07/2020