CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE OF THE MIDDLE AGES
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide an introduction to the problem of the relation between ideology and social and political structures and dynamics. In general terms, the analysis of the specific case of factions in late medieval Italy implies a rethinking of our pre-comprehension of concepts such as order and disorder, inclusion and exclusion, public and privare, citizenship and political representation. During the course, the students learn to:
know the recent scientific literature on factions and parties in the late middle ages
Understand and analyze essays and sources characterized by stratified levels of meaning and complexity in terms of both formal and cultural/ideological elements
Research autonomously for further information on the covered topics using both printed and digital bibliography
Make informed judgements, based on an accurate decoding of the texts and on the understanding of the historical and cultural context in which they were conceived
Communicate and discuss contents, analysis and judgments using the appropriate registry and the specific language and terminology of the historical disciplines
Course contents summary
Factions and parties in late medieval Italy
The course will be structured as a seminar. In the first part, through a series of introductory lectures, the teacher will outline some of the main issues and problems. In particular, concept of faction and its evolution in the historiography as well as in the analysis of the social sciences; factional struggles in the “classic” and in the late Communal age; the diffusion and the long survival of the terms “Guelphs” and “Ghibellines”; the twofold nature of the faction as a political group which organizes conflict but also as a means of public government; faction and the division of the body politic in the legal and political thought of the late medieval age and of the early modern period. In the second part of the course, essays and documentary sources about the topic will be analyzed. The students are required to read and study individually essays and texts chosen from those presented in class, which will be indicated in the extended syllabus. The extended syllabus will be drawn up by the teacher during the course and made available both on the website of the University and in hard copy at the office of the Historical area of the Department of Literature, Arts, History and Society.
- Guelfi e ghibellini nell’Italia del Rinascimento, a cura di Marco Gentile (Roma: Viella, 2005)
- “Fazioni e partiti: problemi e prospettive di ricerca,” in Lo stato del Rinascimento in Italia, 1350–1520, a cura di Andrea Gamberini and Isabella Lazzarini (Roma: Viella, 2014), pp. 277–291.
During the initial lectures, the teacher will introduce the historiography and the main elements of the historical and cultural context, and will outline the profiles of authors and texts which are more relevant to the general topic of the course. In the second part of the course , the students will autonomously read and analyze essays and texts provided by the teacher, which will be commented on and discussed in class.
Assessment methods and criteria
The knowledge and skills acquired during the course will be assessed through an oral examination in Italian. The knowledge and skills verified by the examination are:
The successful acquisition of the appropriate register and the specific language of historical studies;
an adequate ability to study independently, to process information learned during the course;
the attitude to propose individual insights beyond the topics covered in the course
the ability to deal with problems related to information retrieval and interpretation of complex texts, the ability to make independent judgments.
In order to verify the achievement of such knowledge and skills, oral test questions are designed to assess the knowledge acquired during the course, the ability of independent and original processing of such knowledge, and the ability to apply the acquired skills to the analysis of a wide spectrum of sources and texts.
Failure is determined by lack of knowledge and understanding of the basic contents of the course, by the inability of the student to express himself/herself in correct Italian, by the lack of self-preparation and the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and decoding of complex texts, as well as the inability to make independent judgment.Sufficient evaluation (18-23/30) is determined by the demonstration by the students to have learned the basic contents of the course, the ability to express themselves in correct Italian and to use the appropriate register and specific terminology of the discipline; by an adequate level of self-preparation, by the ability to solve problems related to information retrieval and to the interpretation of complex texts, as well as the ability to make independent judgment. The medium scores (24-27/30) are awarded to the student who produces evidence of a level more than sufficient (24-25/30) or good (26-27/30) of the evaluation indicators listed above. Higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded to the students who show to have reached a very good or excellent level in the evaluation indicators listed above.