Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0255 (AF:362032 AR:191104)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
6 out of 12 of MEDIEVAL HISTORY
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
3rd Term
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The course is part of the core educational activities of the Bachelor's degree programme in History. Students are expected to achieve a good knowledge of the history - political, social, religious, economic - of Europe in the Middle Ages, by considering her main features and evolutionary dynamics from the IV to the XIV century. This course provides a basis of knowledge of medieval historiography, supported by direct reading of historical sources, as well as an introduction to historical research and methodological issues.
By the end of the course students
1. - will have a good knowledge of the problems and methods of medieval history and periodisation (Knowledge and understanding);
- will have a good knowledge of the different forms of secular and ecclesiastical power, social and religious structures, and their evolution (Knowledge and understanding)
- will have a basic knowledge of the economic trends and conjunctures in the medieval age (Knowledge and understanding);
2. - will be able to identify persistence, developments and transformations in medieval societies (Ability to apply knowledge and understanding);
3. - will be able to contextualize and critically consider the sources analysed during class, framing them in the historiographical debate (Autonomy of judgement)
4. - will have to acquire an appropriate lexicon and to consolidate their skills and ability to communicate what they know (Communication skills);
5. -will be able to understand and critically analyse the complexity of historical developments in relation to different historical periods (Learning skills).
The course does not require any prerequisites.
The end of the Ancient World and the birth of the early medieval societies: The transformation of the Roman world; the spread of Christianity; the emergence of monasticism; the barbarian kingdoms.
Byzantium, Byzantine Italy and the Lombards.
The birth and spread of Islam.
The Carolingian Age.
The age of fragmentation and local powers; the evolution of rural lordship and the chivalry; the feudal monarchies.
The economic growth of Europe: Population growth, the expansion of the European agricultures, the rise of commerce and towns.
The reform of the Church, the Crusades and the Reconquista.
The Italian “communi” and their evolution; the urban civilization.
Papacy, empire and monarchies.
The apogee of the medieval society in the XIII century and its crisis in the XIV century.
The origins of the state in Italy.
Attending students:
1. Teaching materials provided in classroom and available online (Moodle platform);
2. One of the following texts:
a) A. Cortonesi, Il Medioevo. Profilo di un millennio, Roma, Carocci,2008 (and later editions);
b) L. Provero, M. Vallerani, Storia medievale, Milano, Le Monnier-Mondadori, 2016;
c) A. Zorzi, Manuale di storia medievale, Novara, Utet Università, 2021.

Non attending students:
1. One of the following texts:
a) A. Cortonesi, Il Medioevo. Profilo di un millennio, Roma, Carocci,2008 (and later editions);
b) L. Provero, M. Vallerani, Storia medievale, Milano, Le Monnier-Mondadori, 2016;
c) A. Zorzi, Manuale di storia medievale, Novara, Utet Università, 2021.

2. G. Sergi, L'idea di medioevo. Fra storia e senso comune, Roma, Donzelli, 1998-2005;

3. One of the following texts:
- Cantarella, G., Il sole e la luna: La rivoluzione di Gregorio VII papa 1073–1085, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2005;
- Demurger, A., I cavalieri di Cristo. Gli ordini religioso-militari del medioevo, Milano, Garzanti, 2004;
- Duby, G., Lo specchio del Feudalesimo: Sacerdoti, guerrieri e lavoratori, Roma-Bari: Laterza, 1980;
- Gasparri, S., Desiderio, Roma: Salerno, 2019
- Le Goff, J. (a c. di), L’uomo medievale, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1987;
- Montanari, M., Alimentazione e cultura nel Medioevo, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1988;
- Pohl, W., Le origini etniche dell’Europa, Roma, Viella, 2000;
- Toubert, P. Dalla terra ai castelli. Paesaggio, agricoltura e poteri nell'Italia medievale, Torino, Einaudi, 1997.
Oral or written exam at the end of the course according to the calendar. Students are expected:
- to know the main features of the periodization in the Middle Ages; the evolution of power forms and the social structures in their historical transformation; religious and ecclesiastical developments; economic cycles and conjunctures;
- to connect and compare in an appropriate way the different features of the Middle Ages.
They will acquire independence of judgement by analyzing critically primary and secondary sources and the ability to communicate what they have learnt by using the suitable vocabulary.
The course will be held over 60 hours (12 ECTS) and classes will be focused on archival sources and historical researches in order to learn how to analyse critically history processes and to frame hypotheses and interpretation of facts as proposed by chosen topics.
The course Medieval History is intended exclusively for students who take the 12 CFU exam and consists of two parts (FT0255-1 and FT0255-2) that cannot be separated from each other. In the current academic year there will be two 12-credit courses in Medieval History, of which Medieval History A (Prof. Borri) takes place in the first semester.
written and oral

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 21/12/2021