66782 - History of Medieval Europe (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will know the essential characteristics of the political-institutional and socio-economic history of mediaeval Europe, with the help of various testimonies . Students will gain skills methodology in organizing autonomous research.

Course contents

The Middle Ages and the origins of Europe, Franks and Charlemagne

The course aims to retrace the period between the last years of the VIII century and the end of the IX. Charlemagne was the central personage of this period that involved a large part of Western Europe: he was king of the Franks and from Christmas night of 800 year, emperor of a substantial territory that the sovereign sought, as far as possible to unify. The lessons will take into account imperial politics, drawing a balance concerning the Charlemagne’s policy results.

At the end of the course, students will have the ability to evaluate the orientations of historiography as regards the subject matter of the course, and they will be able to read and interpret hand written as well as published documents, they will learn to contextualize general issues by working on specific research cases. Students will be aware of the importance and historicization of concepts linked with the attempt by Charlemagne and the Franks to build a European unit, and will be able to interpret the lexicon as well as its analytical categories.


A Barbero, Carlo Magno. Un padre dell’Europa, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2006 (or later editions).

Teaching methods


Seminars and critical analysis of documents

Assessment methods

This exam is an oral exam through which the critical and methodological abilities acquired by the student during the course will be evaluated; the student will be invited to discuss the issues addressed during the course. The following abilities will be evaluated positively: a student's ability to familiarize him/herself with bibliographical material and sources with the aim of selecting information from the literature that can be used to illustrate  aspects and areas of culture pertaining to the discipline.

The ability to reach a critical and systematic vision of the discipline and the ability to demonstrate the possession of a descriptive command and of appropriate  field-specific language will be rewarded with a mark of excellence.

A mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge of the language, a superficial ability to synthesize and analyse information, and/or a language that is correct but not always appropriate will lead to  a moderate mark; knowledge gaps and/or inappropriate language – albeit in a context of minimal knowledge of the material required for the exam – will not lead to a pass mark.

Knowledge gaps, inappropriate language and a lack of familiarity with the bibliographical material provided during the course  will not receive a pass mark.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Pirillo