82418 - History of Europe in the Modern Age (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has an in-depth and direct knowledge of the sources and current historiographical trends in different thematic and chronological areas of early modern history. Is able to identify the contribution that this study can make to understanding the present time.

Course contents

The course will be divided into two parts.
The first part will deal with the history of the idea of Europe, from the late Middle Ages to the French Revolution, through the reading of some texts, the analysis of some images and historiographic reflection in the 20th century.
The second part will focus on the legitimation of war in early modern Europe, taking into account conflicts of religion, the relationship between law and theology and the construction of the first colonial empires.


All students, attending and non-attending, must read one text from group A and two texts from group B:

1) Group A

Denis Hay, Europe. The Emergence of an Idea, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1957

Federico Chabod, Storia dell’idea d’Europa, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1999 (1965)

Marcello Verga, Storie d’Europa. Secoli XVIII-XXI, Roma, Carocci, 2004

Maria A. Visceglia (a cura di), Le radici storiche dell’Europa. L’età moderna, Roma, Viella, 2007

Alain Tallon, L’Europa del Cinquecento, Roma, Carocci, 2013

2) Group B

Merio Scattola (a cura di), Figure della guerra. La riflessione su pace, conflitto e giustizia tra Medioevo e prima età moderna, Milano, FrancoAngeli, 2003.

Anthony Pagden, Signori del mondo. Ideologie dell’impero in Spagna, Gran Bretagna e Francia 1500-1800, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2005

Richard Tuck, The Rights of War and Peace. Political Thought and the International Order from Grotius to Kant, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 1999

G. Marcocci, L’invenzione di un impero. Politica e cultura nel mondo portoghese (1450-1600), Roma, Carocci, 2011

Vincenzo Lavenia Dio in uniforme. Cappellani, catechesi cattolica e soldati in età moderna, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2017

Noel Malcolm, Utili nemici. Islam e Impero ottomano nel pensiero politico occidentale, Milano, Hoepli, 2020

Non-attending students should add the following text to their reading:

C. Scott Dixon, Beat Kümin, Interpreting Early Modern Europe, London, Routledge, 2019.

Teaching methods

The teacher will use texts and images to get the students able to reading the sources and to understanding the representations in history. Any teaching materials will be made available online in the appropriate section of the University's website.

Assessment methods

Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending. The oral examination will take place in the exam sessions provided at the end of the course. To evaluate the exam, the teacher will take into account the student's ability to master the contents of the course, to understand the historical concepts, to orientate himself in the bibliography, to know how to read a source, to connect the informations acquired, to expose what he has learned in a synthetic way and with an appropriate language. The student who will meet these demands will have an excellent mark. The student who will simply repeat the informations acquired in a mnemonic way and with a language not entirely adequate will have a discreet evaluation. The student who will show that he knows the contents superficially and with some gaps, using an inappropriate language, will have a sufficient evaluation. The student unprepared and incapable of orientation in the subject will have a negative evaluation.

Instead of studying the texts adopted for the exam, attending students can choose to write a paper (max 5,000 words) on a specific topic, agreeing the choice with the teacher. The evaluation of the essay will depend on its originality and its critical depth.

The present course is a part of the Integrated Course 'History of the Early Modern Age C.I. (LM)'. If the student has the Integrated Course (12CFU) in his / her study plan, the final grade will result from the arithmetic average of the marks obtained in the two components (History of Europe in the Early Modern Age; Politics and Historiography of the Early Modern Age).

Teaching tools

Attendance of the course may also include participation in seminars promoted by the teacher and visits to archives and libraries to contact the sources on the subject kept in the city of Bologna and its surroundings. The Internet will be used to access sites that contain manuscript sources, images, texts and materials of interest.

Office hours

See the website of Vincenzo Lavenia