Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0256 (AF:355164 AR:190736)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Surnames A-L
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Go to Moodle page
The teaching is part of the integrative disciplines of the Bachelor’s degree course in Humanities. It aims to ensure students, for the chronological reference period, the knowledge of the events, of the respective links between cause and effect (also in relation to the literary and artistic activity) and of the main interpretative strands transmitted by the sector literature, of the bases of the research methodology in the disciplinary field (in particular, of the tools for the interpretation of the sources useful for the historical survey). A further purpose is that of acquiring skills such as the capacity for a critical approach to modern staging and scientific communication transmitted also through the main IT tools and telematic communication.

The disciplinary and methodological purposes of teaching are to ensure knowledge of the history of medieval Europe from the crisis of the late antiquity to the thresholds of the modern age (centuries V-XV) - with particular reference to cause-effect links - of the main and most updated interpretative lines of the phenomena and topics discussed, of the basic methodology of the discipline, of a historiographic lexicon. Further purposes are to assure competences in the interpretation of the main thematic nodes of the period - paying attention to the links between cause and effect and the interrelation between political, social, economic, religious and cultural dynamics (artistic and literary) - in the conscious use of critical literature, in the identification and interpretation of the various direct and indirect testimonies useful for the reconstruction of the historical processes typical of the period in question; in the communication of acquired knowledge, also through the telematic channels, with a vocabulary appropriate to the discipline.

The achievement of these objectives contributes to giving the student the cultural, disciplinary and methodological knowledge to continue his training in the Master's Degree courses consistent with his three-year training.
Attending course and / or individual study allow to acquire:
knowledge of the salient moments of medieval history, from the crisis of the ancient world to the thresholds of the modern age, the relative links between cause and effect and the current lines of interpretation; knowledge of the methodology of historical research, in particular through the reading and interpretation of sources useful for the study of the Middle Ages; knowledge of the historiographical lexicon and of the main telematic tools regarding scientific communication of the discipline;

competence in arguing identifying causes and relapses also of long-term events / phenomena of the medieval millennium; interpreting contemporary testimonies to frame aspects of the period; in critically exploiting sector studies for some nodal themes; in focusing on unresolved questions trying to try out simple, but sustainable solutions, or issues that are relevant to the present, identifying possible connections, differences;

ability to take class notes, organizing the collected information hierarchically; in sharing information by collaborating with peers; in communicating the acquired knowledge with appropriate terminology;

ability to relate critically throughout the entire training program.
There is no disciplinary requirement; however, a good knowledge of the Italian language is required.
The course analyzes the characteristics and the salient moments of medieval Europe (V-XV centuries), with particular regard to the periods of articulation: the transition from the late ancient world to the early Middle Ages; the outlines of a Byzantine East; the comparison with the Germanic peoples; the expansion of Islam and feudal Europe; the growth of the West between the eleventh and twelfth centuries and the period of its greatest success; the crisis of the fourteenth century and the recovery on the threshold of the modern age. The main political, social, economic and religious dynamics are examined with a diachronic and synchronic gaze, with references also to cultural contexts. The investigation on the medieval millennium is conducted with the help of written sources and with references to the historiographical debate on crucial issues.
Non-attending students prepare an exam program on the same contents, with supplementary bibliography.
Attending Students
A) personal notes, sources and materials presented in class

B) a manual chosen from:
G. Albertoni-T. Lazzari, Introduzione alla storia medievale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015;
L. Provero-M. Vallerani, Storia medievale, Milano, Le Monnier-Mondadori, 2016
A. Zorzi, Manuale di storia medievale, with collaboration of Francesco Mores [Torino], UTET università-Novara, De Agostini, 2021
NB Students are required to answer all the topics presented in the manual, even those that have not been carried out in class.

Non attending Students

A) a manual chosen from:
G. Albertoni-T. Lazzari, Introduzione alla storia medievale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015;
L. Provero-M. Vallerani, Storia medievale, Milano, Le Monnier-Mondadori, 2016;
A. Zorzi, Manuale di storia medievale, with collaboration of Francesco Mores [Torino], UTET università-Novara, De Agostini, 2021.

B) a text chosen from:
M. Bloch, La società feudale, Torino 1949 (o altra ed.)
G. Chittolini, La formazione dello stato regionale e le istituzioni del contado, Torino 1979
V. Fumagalli, Paesaggi della paura. Vita e natura nel medioevo, Bologna 1994
A.J. Gurevic, Le categorie della cultura medievale, Torino 1983 (ed. or. 1972)
R.S. Lopez, La nascita dell'Europa, secoli V-XIV, Torino 1966 (o ed. succ.)
R.S. Lopez, La rivoluzione commerciale del medioevo, Torino 1975 (ed. or. 1971)
G. Ortalli, Lupi, genti, culture. Uomo e ambiente nel medoevo, Torino 1997
G. Ortalli, La pittura infamante: secoli XIII-XVI. Nuova edizione riveduta ed aggiornata, Roma 2015
G. Tabacco, Sperimentazioni del potere nell'alto medioevo, Torino 1993
G. Tabacco, Egemonie sociali e strutture del potere nel medioevo italiano, Torino 1974 (o ed. successive)
The exam intends to ascertain the acquisition of the knowledge of the medieval millennium, in particular of the salient and pivotal characters and moments, and of the cause-effect links. It is also proposed to ascertain the acquisition of skills such as the ability to apply the discipline's methodology; to comunicate and summarize (as regards, specifically, the choice of contents and information, the use of suitable terminology, the argumentative attitude); to know how to orientate between complex problems of different nature.

Attending students must take a written test, answering THREE questions (open answer, max 12 lines each), on the issues dealt with in the classroom or studied during the individual preparation. Non-attending students must take a written test, answering TWO questions (open answer, max 12 lines each) on the exam program indicated for them (point A and B). On the other hand, for the chosen reading (list point C) they must draw up a written report (max 6 folders, of 2000 characters each included spaces) and send it by mail to the teacher within the week before the written exam.

Final result. Attending students: every answer is evaluated according to a scale of thirty points and the final mark is the result of the average of the scores achieved in the single answers. Non-attending students: the final grade is the result of the average of the scores achieved in the written test and in the report (also expressed according to a scale of thirty points).

For attending students the duration of the written exam is 1.30 hours. For non-attending students the duration of the written test is 1 hour.

Who, for well-founded reasons, is unable to carry out the written test is asked to contact the teacher to agree, if necessary, other means of verification.

Regular class sessions. Attendance is useful and recommended, but not required.
Sources and other materials presented in class are available on the University's Moodle e-learning platform.
The course is reserved for students of Humanities, Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Philosophy who want to take a 6-credits exam of
Medieval History (family name A-L). The Medieval History courses of 12 credits (Medieval History I and II) are intended exclusively for students who want to acquire 12 credits (contact prof.ssa Rapetti and prof. Borri).
For further information on the discipline and the exam, contact the teacher by e-mail ( or at the reception.

Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities, and specific learning impairments. If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 02/07/2021