27280 - Seminars (1) (G.B)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the seminar students will be able to interpret issues related to specific historical phenomena in a diachronic and transversal perspective, thought the elaboration and synthesis of the data coming from the analysis of written records and material sources and from the collective debate originated from the contact with other people. They will be able to formulate autonomously and in an organized way a research path or an intellectual work, using the specific acquired tools with methodological rigour, precision and accuracy.

Course contents

Markets and professions in medieval cities (30 hours)

During the seminar the teacher will illustrate some fundamental themes concerning the dynamics of the market and the professions in a number of medieval cities. The first group of lessons (3 two-hour lessons) will be dedicated to a general introduction of the topics, including an essential bibliography for further reading. The next group of lessons (10 two-hour lessons) will focus on specific aspects of the topics covered, using case studies of some Italian and European cities. Looking at the topic of the city market, we will explore general issues such as food supply, retail trade, the movement of goods and taxation, as well as trade laws. We will also examine some medieval craft professions, specifically those relating to the food and hospitality sector. Here, we will pay special attention to some specific aspects of their everyday activities (work spaces and working rhythms, economic importance and social role etc.). Each topic will be examined in relation to a single Italian or European city (for example Bologna, Modena, Tours…) in the late Middle Ages, based on the analysis of archival records, literary texts and iconographic sources. Each lesson will be dedicated to a specific topic and a number of specialist colleagues will be invited to participate. In the last lessons (2 two-hour lessons) the students will have the opportunity to present their work. Finally, we will conclude with a group discussion reflecting on the methods and the contents of the seminar.

Any non-attending student wishing to take the exam, is required to contact the teacher to make arrangements.


The bibliographical references useful for the in-depth study of the topics chosen for the final paper will be communicated in class.

Teaching methods

The objective of the lectures is to provide an overview of the issues and proposed topics. The seminar format will allow for time dedicated to questions from the participants and discussions at the end of each lesson. The students will be encouraged to actively participate throughout the seminar.

Assessment methods

At the end of the seminar students are required to submit a short-written essay on one of the topics covered and to present their work to the group. The essay criteria will be communicated in class.

Teaching tools


Office hours

See the website of Francesca Pucci Donati