11379 - Medieval History

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Students will either come to known the essential topics of Middle Ages and its historiography, and to get the competence to contestualize, in a syncrhronic and a diachronic way, and to critically examinate a phenomenon or an event, to distinguish the different typologies of historical sources.

Course contents


The course will investigate some general themes to qualify Middle Ages:

1) Middle Ages idea. The Middle Ages in the contemporary culture.

2) The origins of Middle Ages.

3) The Western Wordl and the 'others'. Islam in the Middle Ages.

4) Society. Social changes and ideologies.

5) Church, churches and religious movements.

6) Europe and Middle Ages.

7) Medieval Countryside.

8) The "Comuni".

9) State constructional processes in Europe and Italy.

1st semester course

Lessons timetable and centre:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 13-15, Aula II, Via Zamboni 38.

Start of the course: September 23, 2019


Cfr. Bibliography.



Compulsory bibliography for all students:

1) the general knowledge of the Middle Ages by means of a manual chosen from:

- M.Montanari, Storia Medievale, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2002 (or new impression).

- A.Zorzi, Manuale di storia medievale, Torino, UTET Università, 2016.

- A.Cortonesi, Il Medioevo. Profilo di un millennio, Roma, Carocci, 2014.

- L.Provero, M.Vallerani, Storia Medievale, Milano, Mondadori Education, 2016

- C.Wickham, L'Europa nel Medioevo, Roma, Carocci, 2018

2) The study of the transverse slant essay:

P.GALETTI, Uomini e case nel Medioevo tra Occidente e Oriente, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2014.


For attending students: it is also obligatory, using the recommended bibliography, to study one theme (of your own choice) among the followings: 1-9. It is also requested the knowledge of the main events of medieval history, presented during the lessons.

For not-attending students: It is also obligatory, using the recommended bibliography, to study two themes (of your own choice) among the followings: 1- 9.


- THEME 1: G.SERGI, L'idea di Medioevo. Tra senso comune e pratica storica, Roma, Donzelli, 2005 (or new impressions)+ M.RUBIN, Il Medioevo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016.

-THEME 2: 1) C.AZZARA, L'Italia dei barbari, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2002 + C.AZZARA, Teoderico. Storia e mito di un re barbaro, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013 or C.AZZARA, I Longobardi, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015 or S.GASPARRI, Italia longobarda. Il regno, i Franchi, il papato, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2018 ; or 2) B.WARD-PERKINS, La caduta di Roma e la fine della civilta' , Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010

- THEME 3: 1) A.DUCELLIER, F.MICHEAU, L'Islam nel Medioevo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2004 or C.PICARD, Il mare dei califfi. Storia del Mediterraneo musulmano (secoli VII-XII), Roma, Carocci, 2017 or L. CAPEZZONE, Medioevo arabo. Una storia dell'Islam medievale (VII-XV secolo), Milano, Mondadori Education, 2016; or 2) G.RAVEGNANI, Bisanzio e l'Occidente medievale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2019. 

- THEME 4: G.DUBY, Lo specchio del feudalesimo. Sacerdoti, guerrieri e lavoratori, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1998 or G.ALBERTONI, Vassalli, feudi, feudalesimo, Roma, Carocci, 2015.

- THEME 5: C.AZZARA, A.M.RAPETTI, La chiesa nel Medioevo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2009 or C.AZZARA, Il papato nel Medioevo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2006 + A.GALDI, Benedetto, Bologna. Il Mulino, 2016 or A.RAPETTI, Storia del monachesimo medievale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014.

- THEME 6: J.LE GOFF, Il cielo sceso in terra. Le radici medievali dell'Europa, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2015 or P.J.GEARY, Il mito delle nazioni. Le origini medievali dell'Europa, Roma, Carocci, 2017 or H.PIRENNE, Maometto e Carlomagno, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2018. 

- THEME 7: N.MANCASSOLA, L'azienda curtense tra Langobardia e Romania. Rapporto di lavoro e patti colonici dall'eta' carolingia al Mille, Bologna, CLUEB, 2008 or A.RAPETTI, La terra degli uomini. Campagne dell'Italia medievale, Roma, Carocci, 2013 or R.RAO, I paesaggi dell'Italia medievale, Roma, Carocci, 2015.

- THEME 8: F.MENANT, L'Italia dei Comuni (1100-1350), Roma, Viella, 2011 or C.WICKHAM, Sonnambuli verso un nuovo mondo. L'affermazione dei comuni nel XII secolo, Roma, Viella, 2017 or G.MILANI, I comuni italiani. Secoli XII-XIV, Roma-bari, Laterza, 2015

- THEME 9: I.LAZZARINI, L'Italia degli Stati territoriali. Secoli XIII-XV, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2003, pp.47-127, 137-179 + P.CONTAMINE, La Guerra dei Cent'anni, Bologna, Il Mulino,2007 or G.KRUMEICH, Giovanna d'Arco, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2008.

During the class foreign texts of historiographic detailed studies will be reported.

2 CFU- Medieval History

 It is obligatory to study one essay from theme 1 + J.LE GOFF, Il tempo continuo della storia, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2018.

Teaching methods

The course is based on frontal lessons concerning general medieval history and some investigations on qualifing Middle Ages themes, enriched by the presentation and comment of different typologies of written and material sources. Excursions, visits to exibitions, movie visions will take place. Attention will be devoted to foreign historiography in original languages.

Assessment methods

The assessment method is only trough a final exam, which will consist in an oral exam. This exam will aim to verify that the student has acquired the expected knowledge. The minimum standard of learing required to the student is to be able to place in the correct chronological order the most important events of the Middle Ages, to justify the causal connections between the different events and to investigate the themes that will be proposed by the teacher during the lessons, by understanding the historical italian and international debate (also in original languages).

Evaluation: An evaluation with grades of excellence is envisaged taking into consideration:
- the mastery both of the contents proposed during the lessons and of the bibliography indicated;
- the ability to synthesize and to analyze the themes and the concepts;
- the achievement of an organic vision and of a critical use of the themes and problems;
- good expressive competence and specific language.
A discreet assessment is envisaged taking into consideration:
- a mnemonic knowledge of the contents;
- the ability to synthesize and to analyze the themes and the concepts articulated in a correct, but not always appropriate language.
A sufficient assessment is envisaged taking into consideration:
- Formative gaps and / or inappropriate language, even if in a context of minimal knowledge of the examination contents.
A negative rating is foreseen taking into consideration:
- formative gaps; inappropriate language; lack of correlation within the proposed issues and the recommended bibliography.

Teaching tools

Overhead projector, video and slide projector, audiovisual aids and power-point; materials on web.

Office hours

See the website of Paola Galetti