Scheda programma d'esame
Anno accademico2022/23
PeriodoPrimo semestre

Programma non disponibile nella lingua selezionata
Learning outcomes

The fundamental issues of the Middle Ages between collective imagination and a reinterpretation of the past. This course aims to provide an introduction to the history of Europe during the Middle Ages (ca. 300-1500), starting from the point of view of the collective imaginary of this period of time. The class will broadly explore events and developments over centuries of political, social, religious, and economic history.

This course also has the purpose to transfer to the students the basic skills that allow historians – and medievalists in particular – to understand and analyze the societies of the past (how to deal with primary sources, for example)

Assessment criteria of knowledge

Ongoing assessments to monitor academic progress by tests.



Students will be able to read and understand a scientific essay on the topic.

Assessment criteria of skills

Students will have to answer correctly to three tests.


Students will acquire accuracy and precision in listening, reading, and exposing their considerations.

Assessment criteria of behaviors

Behavior in the classroom





Teaching methods

Frontal lessons, use of powerpoint, reading sources (in English) related to the topic.  


  1. 7_10 Introduction. The idea of the Middle Ages: perspective deformation, imaginary Middle Ages and medievalisms (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori)
  2. 13_10 The medieval European society and the trifunctional scheme. The ones pray (oratores), the others fight (bellatores), and yet others work (laboratores) (Teacher: Stefano Manganaro)
  3. 14_10 Barbarian kingdoms and people in the post-Roman world. The Lombards in northern and southern Italy (Teacher: Stefano Manganaro)
  4.  20_10 Internal periodization of the Middle Ages and its sources (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori
  5. 21_10 TEST (1)
  6. 27_10 The centrality of the episcopate. Bishops and dioceses between cura animarumand temporal government (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori)
  7. 28_10 Monasticism. Spirituality and ways of life for men and women searching for God (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori)

    [3_11 canceled]
    [4_11 canceled]
  8. 10_11 The Roman Church. St Peter’s primacy within a network of local churches (Teacher: Stefano Manganaro)
  9. 11_11 The Romano-Germanic Empire. A sacral and itinerant kingship, ruling by consensus (Teacher: Stefano Manganaro)
  10. 17_11 The lay aristocracy. Social prominence by making war, exercising lordship, and building vassallatic-beneficiary relationships (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori)
  11. 18_11 TEST (2)
  12. 24_11 Symbolic communication. The relevance of rituals and gesture (Teacher: Stefano Manganaro)
  13. 25_11 The Italian medieval city. Consuls and podestà, merchants and craftsmen (Teacher: Stefano Manganaro)
  14. 1_12 Free, semi-free, unfree. Law and economy in medieval rural societies (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori)
  15. 2_12 The role of women (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori)
  16. 9_12 The Mediterranean Sea, the Crusades, and the religious otherness (Teacher: Stefano Manganaro)
  17. 15_12 The birth of the university and the rise of scholasticism as a new way of reasoning (Teacher: Enrica Salvatori)
  18. 16_12 TEST (3)

All texts will be made available on the moodle platform

Lesson 1 D. Matthews, How Many Middle Ages?, in Medievalism: a Critical History, Boydell & Brewer, 2015, 13–42.

Lesson 2 O.G. Oexle, Perceiving social reality in the early and high middle ages: A contribution to a history of social knowledge, in Ordering Medieval Society. Perspectives on Intellectual and Practical Modes of Shaping Social Relations, B. Jussen ed., University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001, 92–143.

Lesson 3 W. Pohl, Invasions and ethnic identity, in Italy in the early Middle Ages 476-1000, C. La Rocca ed., Oxford University Press, 2002,11–33.

Lesson 4 P.G.J.M. Raedts, When were the Middle Ages?, in Nederlands archief voor kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History, 76, n. 1 (1996), 9–25.

Lessons 6 & 7 “Selected pages n1”, from W. Blockmans & P. Hoppenbrouwers, Introduction to medieval Europe 300–1500, Routledge, Second edition, 2014 (50–53; 57–62; 66–79).

Lesson 8 S. de Blaauw, Liturgical features of Roman churches: Manifestations of the Church of Rome?, in Chiese regionali, chiese locali nell’alto medioevo, CISAM, 2014, 321–338.

Lesson 9 R. McKitterick, A King on the Move: The Place of an Itinerant Court in Charlemagne's Government, in Royal courts in dynastic states and empires: A global perspective, J. Duindam, T. Artan, and I.M. Kunt eds., Brill, 2011, 145–169.

Lesson 10 “Selected pages n2”, from W. Blockmans & P. Hoppenbrouwers, Introduction to medieval Europe 300–1500, Routledge, Second edition, 2014 (103–115).

Lesson 12 G. Althoff, Rituals and their ‘Spielregeln’ in the Middle Ages, in G. Althoff, Rules and Rituals in Medieval Power Games. A German perspective, Brill, 2020, 107–127.

Lesson 13 A. Poloni, Politics, Institutions, and Society in Pisa during the Communal Era (Late Eleventh to Late Fourteenth Century), in A Companion to medieval Pisa, K.R. Mathews, S.O. Busch, and S. Bruni edd., Brill, 2022, 139–162.

Lesson 14 C. Wickham, How did the Feudal Economy Work? The Economic Logic of Medieval Societies, in Past & Present, 251, n. 1 (maggio 2021), 3–40.

Lesson 15 G. Ribordy, Women's Names, Women's Lives: The Designation of Women in Late Medieval France, in Medieval Prosopography, 27 (2012), 118–129.

Lesson 16 J.S.C. Riley-Smith, The Crusades, 1095–1198, in The new Cambridge medieval history, vol. 4.1, Cambridge University Press, 2004, 534–563.

Lesson 17 J. A. Weisheipl, The Structure of the Arts Faculty in the Medieval University, in British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Oct., 1971), 263–271.


Non-attending students info

Non-attending students should access the videorecorded lessons, see them, study the texts indicated in the bibliography and the whole book Introduction to medieval Europe 300–1500 by W. Blockmans and P. Hoppenbrouwers (Routledge, Second edition, 2014) and take a written test including all these materials.

Assessment methods

Attendance (15%): If you are going to miss attendance, please email your professor.

Participation & Course Commitment (15%): An active participation forms a part of your grade. Speaking up during discussion is therefore appreciated.

Ongoing test (60%): Three ongoing tests are scheduled. The marks can be improved at the final exam (see below).

Final exams: (10%): During the oral exam, the student has to discuss with the teacher the test results and, if he/she wants, he/she can improve them through a traditional oral interrogation. *The interrogation will be compulsory for any test with insufficient mark* i.e. <18/30.

Additional web pages


President: Enrica Salvatori

Members: Stefano Manganaro & Laura Galoppini

Supply President: Laura Galoppini

Supply Members: Alessandra Veronese & Mafalda Toniazzi


Thursday 12-13:30 - G3 (Via Trieste)
Friday 14:15-15:45 - Pao A2 (Via Paoli)

Starting day 7 October 2022 (Friday)

Ultimo aggiornamento 02/11/2022 18:52