Goal of the course is, first and foremost, to provide fundamental knowledge regarding medieval history, freeing the field of numerous preconceptions about this historical period. It will also be aimed at providing students with the critical skills to interpret a histographical topic.
Course contents summary
The course is an introduction to medieval history (5th-15th centuries). In his final part it presents, through primary and secondary sources, the historical theme: Communes and signories in Italian medieval studies between the 19th and the 20th centuries.
Why study history. Why study Middle Ages. How study Middle Ages.
The idea of Middle Ages.
Early, High and Late Middle Ages.
Primary and secondary sources.
Franks and feudalism.
The three orders of medieval society: oratores, bellatores, laboratores.
The 11th century: cities and countryside.
The 11th century: the pope and the emperor.
The 11 th century: the crusades.
Communitarian movements: communes, guilds, confraternities.
Signories, principalities, kingdoms, republics.
The Crisis of the Early Renaissance.
Rich and poor in the Middle Ages.
Communes and signories in Italian medieval studies between the 19th and the 20th centuries.
One manual of medieval history:
R. Bordone, G. Sergi, Dieci secoli di medioevo, Torino, Einaudi, 2009
Two historiographical texts:
E. Faini, J. Cl. Maire Vigueur, Il sistema politico dei comuni italiani (secoli XII-XIV), Milano 2010
A. Zorzi, Le signorie cittadine in Italia (secoli XIII-XV), Milano 2010
Consulting the following dictionaries is heartily recommended:
Enciclopedia del Medioevo, Le Garzantine, Milano Garzanti 2007
A. Barbero, C. Frugoni, Dizionario del Medioevo, Roma-Bari Laterza 1994
Classroom lectures on traditional and new media research materials; home study of lecture notes and recommended texts.
Assessment methods and criteria
At the final oral examination, students will asked to show their knowledge of medieval social, political, institutional, religious, economic and cultural dynamics, and their proficiency in the discipline language. In addition, they will have to report about the uses made of history, and will have to prove to have reached a concept of the past free of ideological bias