11379 - Medieval History (M-Z)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Berardo Pio

  • Credits 12

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

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

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

Quality education Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities

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 of an institutional nature, the other of a monographic study.

Institutional part:

a) the end of the ancient world;

b) the kingdom of the Franks;

c) the Byzantine Italy;

d) the Lombard kingdom (568-774);

e) the rise of the Carolingians;

f) the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages;

g) the eleventh century;

h) the political structures of the late Middle Ages (Papacy, Empire, national monarchies;

i) the "Comune" in Italy;

l) the fourteenth century:

m) political arrangements of the late Middle Ages.

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

Monographic part: Longobard Italy.

Reference book: the volume of Stefano Gasparri indicated in the "Bibliography" 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.

S. Gasparri, Italia longobarda, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2016.

Additional bibliography for non-attending students.

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

- P. Rosso, La scuola nel Medioevo. Secoli VI-XV, Roma, Carocci, 2018.

- H. Keller, Gli Ottoni. Una dinastia imperiale fra Europa e Italia, Roma, Carocci, 2012;

- L. Provero, Contadini e potere nel Medioevo. Secoli IX-XV, Roma, Carocci, 2020;

- F. Pirani, Con il senno e con la spada. Il cardinale Albornoz e l'Italia del Trecento, Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2019;

- L. Tanzini, La bancarotta di Firenze. Una storia di banchieri, fallimenti e finanza, Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2018;

- B. Pio, Giovanni da Legnano. Un intellettuale nell'Europa del Trecento, Bologna, BUP, 2018.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures (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

We will use power point slides with images, graphics and geographics maps.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Berardo Pio