68018 - Ancient and Medieval History

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Primary teacher education (cod. 8540)

    Also valid for Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Primary Teacher Education (cod. 5711)

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student knows the theories and hypotheses about periodization of ancient times and the Middle Ages; knows the elements of continuity and rupture that characterize the periodization (nomadic and sedentary, the great outcomes of the ancient and medieval civilizations, their imprints and legacies in the contemporary world); the ability to identify and expose characters and indicators of the cultures that have occurred over the millennia between the early history and the modern age; knows how to prepare research using sources and bibliographies; knows the general knowledge and analytical on the conduct of evolution, phenomena and events for the periods covered in the course; and how to manage skills and knowledge to develop written and work on general and specific topics.

Course contents

The teaching of "History and Didactics of History" will focus on teaching methodologies aimed at stimulating students to take on essential, divergent but concordant faculties: the activating competent attention to the whole world and the developing a sense of belonging to own land through the knowledge of its roots, its culture and its history, to support a fervent and responsible participation in the life of its community and its territory in a perspective of sustainability. The need to know in order to orient oneself in order to be able to choose and decide in full awareness that has crossed all cultures and all human generations is today amplified by an unprecedented acceleration in the changes in the scales of values, individual and collective behaviors and environmental contexts.

The following history topics (“essential topics”) will be addressed with related laboratory teaching proposals for kindergarten and primary school:

The teaching of history today: evolutions, changes, persistence

History and historiography

The times of history

The sources

The history aids: observations, analyzes, proposals

For a global vision of the teaching of history

Reconstructing history: from sources to their interpretation

History through stories: travel and traveler stories

History and Cinema

From personal history to local (history of Bologna)

From general to world history

The principal heritage of history: from Protohistory to Ancient history (see material on virtual spaces: Protohistory, Mesolithic, Metal Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age)

The paintings of civilization

For heritage  and citizenship education: practices and experience



*Attending, non-attending and Erasmus students

Texts and activities

1) Texts

- Geopolitica del mondo antico. Caratteri politico-militari del Mediterraneo dal II millennio a.C. al VI secolo d.C., a cura di Franca Landucci, Giuseppe Zecchini, Carocci editore, Roma 2023.

- B. Borghi, La Storia. Indagare Apprendere Comunicare, Pàtron editore, Bologna 2016.

- L'andare per lo mundo. Antologia di viaggi attraverso i secoli tra realtà e immaginario, a cura di Beatrice Borghi, L. Galoppini, Pàtron editore, Bologna 2022 (a scelta n. 10 brani antologici da presentare e commentare in sede d’esame).

- 3 essays of your choice, section “esperienze”, review «Didattica della storia»,  2021 or 2022 (open access: https://dsrivista.unibo.it)

Essays and material dedicated to the topics of the program will be uploaded online in the virtual spaces, together with the didactic proposals.

2) Activities:

The 20th edition of the "International Feast of History " from 21 to 29 October 2023, entitled "HISTORY BELONGS TO US" will take place (program: www.festadellastoria.unibo.it). Events will take place in-person and/or online (viewable on the event's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClMyZNbHyGOA3IDJvVeCyNQ). Students are expected to attend the events, which are an integral part of the exam program. Students are required to attend events, an integral part of the exam program. For those unable to participate, it will be possible to follow the meetings online.

*For students who need to recover 3 CFU in "Didactic of History":

- B. Borghi, La Storia. Indagare Apprendere Comunicare, Pàtron editore, Bologna 2016.

To add a text of your choice among the following:

- R. Dondarini, L’albero del tempo. Motivazioni, metodi e tecniche per apprendere e insegnare la storia, Pàtron editore, Bologna 2007 e ristampe successive.

H. Girardet, Vedere toccare ascoltare. L’insegnamento della storia attraverso le fonti, Carocci editore, Roma 2004 e ristampe successive.

- Insegnare storia nella scuola primaria. Il laboratorio storico e altre pratiche attive, a cura di F. Monducci e A. Portincasa, UTET Universitaria, Torino 2022.

- L. Landi, Insegnare la storia ai bambini, Carocci editore, Roma 2006 e ristampe successive.

- 5 essays of your choice, section “esperienze”, review «Didattica della storia», 2021 or 2022 (open access: https://dsrivista.unibo.it)


* Erasmus students

Erasmus students are invited to contact the teacher to agree on a personalized program, in Italian or English.

Teaching methods

The lectures will be supported by reading and commenting sources. There will be presented laboratories of history and activities conducted in the contexts of primary and secondary schools. Activities to promote active participation of students.

Assessment methods

The examination will be oral. The test consists in an individual oral interview and evaluation of research activities. The exam consists of an oral interview with the objective of evaluating the critical skills and methodological gained by the student, who will be invited to confront the texts covered during the course. In particular, we will evaluate the student's ability to be able to move within the sources (cfr: anthology of sources in the bibliography) and bibliographical material in order to be able to identify in them the useful information that will enable them to illustrate the similarities and cultural areas of the discipline, as well as presenting an hypothesis of a laboratory of history from the events of the “International Feast of History” (pptx).

For the evaluation of the interview the following criteria will be followed:
- clarity in the presentation of the contents and in the use of the sources (classifications, analysis, comment, interpretation);
- ability to deepen and connect the main themes and the outcomes of the history of the Mediterranean, between past and present;
- specific terminological appropriateness of the discipline;
- critical analysis of the repercussions of the topics studied within the educational contexts that will involve students and female students.

* The final grade will be out of thirty; the jump of appeal is not foreseen.
To take the exam it is necessary to register through the electronic bulletin board (AlmaEsami), in compliance with the established deadlines. Those who are unable to register for technical problems by the scheduled date, are required to promptly (and in any case before the official closing of the registration lists) communicate the problem to the didactic secretariat. It will be the faculty of the teacher to admit them to take the test.

Teaching tools

Frontal lessons supported by performances in power point, video, documentaries, articles, essays, visits to the city and the participation of the "International Feast of the History".


Office hours:
Wednesday from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm - Study n. 58 - Department of Education, via Filippo Re, 6 - 40124 Bologna

Telephone: 051/209 16 07
e-mail: b.borghi@unibo.it

Office hours

See the website of Beatrice Borghi


Quality education Gender equality

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.