11379 - Medieval History (A-L)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Riccardo Parmeggiani

  • Credits 12

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Humanities (cod. 8850)


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

Quality education Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will know the essential of the Middle Age; he is able to contextualize and to study with criticism trends or events with the capability to explain differences occurring during the time; he is able to recognize the different historical sources.

Course contents

The program is divided into two parts: the first with an institutional nature, the other dedicated to a monographic study.

Institutional part:

a) The concept of middle age

b) The sources of medieval history

c) The end of the ancient world

d) Monasticism

e) The Mediterranean in the early Middle Ages

f) The rise of the Carolingians

g) The eleventh century

h) The "Comune" in medieval Italy

i) The Papacy and the Empire in the 13th century

l) The Fourteenth Century

m) Political arrangements of the late Middle Ages

Reference book: the Manual by Andrea Zorzi indicated in the "texts" section.

Monographic part:

- The forms of participation in political life in communal Italy.

Reference book: the volume by Lorenzo Tanzini on the city councils of communal Italy indicated in the "texts" section.


Attending students will prepare the final exam following this bibliography with the support of materials and notes provided in class:

A. Zorzi, Manuale di storia medievale, Torino, UTET, 2021.

L. Tanzini, A consiglio. La vita politica nell’Italia dei comuni, Roma – Bari, Laterza, 2014.

Non-attending students will prepare the final exam following the previous bibliography with the support of one of the following additional readings:

A. Barbero, Carlo Magno. Un padre dell'Europa, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2017 (or previous editions).

- P. Grillo, Controllo del territorio e repressione del crimine nell’Italia comunale (secoli XIII-XIV), Roma, Viella, 2017.

- M. Montesano, Ai margini del Medioevo. Storia culturale dell'alterità, Roma, Carocci, 2021.

- R. Parmeggiani, L' Inquisizione a Firenze nell'età di Dante. Politica, società, economia cultura, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2018.

- R. Rao, I paesaggi dell’Italia medievale, Roma, Carocci, 2015.

- P. Rosso, Le università nell'Italia medievale. Cultura, società e politica (secoli XII-XV), Roma, Carocci, 2021.

Teaching methods

Lessons (general approach to the subject); reading and comment of the principal sources.

Assessment methods

The final exam will be an oral one, with questions aimed to verify the student's knowledge of the themes discussed during frontal lessons (only for students that participated in classwork) as well as those treated in the program's texts. Among the elements that concur in the final evaluation there are: detailed knowledge of the book's content, property of language, and especially the capacity of organizing the information into complex answers showing expositive and critical skills.

Top marks will be awarded to a student displaying an overall understanding of the topics discussed during the lectures, combined with a critical approach to the material and a confident and effective use of the appropriate terminology.
Average marks will be awarded to a student who has memorized the main points of the material and is able to summarise them satisfactorily and provide an effective critical commentary.
A student will be deemed to have failed the exam if he displays significant errors in his understanding and failure to grasp the overall outlines of the subject, together with a poor command of the appropriate terminology.

Teaching tools

During the lessons power point slides with images, graphics and geographics maps will be used.

Office hours

See the website of Riccardo Parmeggiani