The course has an institutional character and aims to offer a basic knowledge of the major phases of the history of the West in the medieval period, each of the two modules emphasising a specific sector of historical reality, i.e: in the first module on the forms of political domination, so as to illustrate their diversity and their succession in relation to the changes in society and the social, economic and cultural peculiarities of each area; in the second module on the religious and cultural aspects of the history of the West, with particular emphasis on the role of religion in society and the evolution of ecclesiastical structures, the changes and the ways in which written culture was acquired and circulated.
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Mutuazione: 20702421 STORIA MEDIEVALE (A) in Storia, territorio e società globale L-42 MICHETTI RAIMONDO


I Part: Introduction to medieval history

Teaching plan: I semester: 6 CFU

I Part

The class will deal with, firstly, the crisis of the Roman empire and the characteristics of the “late antiquity”, in particular the birth of Christian churches and the claim of Christianism as religion of the empire. It will continue reflecting on “barbarian invasions” and on their effects on the construction of new political and religious assets up to IX century. It questions the characteristics and impact of Islam between East and West. Then, it will focus on the political and religious dimension before the Carolingian and, then, Ottonian empire. It will analyse also the rise, starting from XI century, of new social classes and new needs of leadership of Italian and European cities studying its effects on the construction of political systems, on the economic changes, on the religious and ecclesiastic life. Furthermore, it will question the birth, after the Gregorian reform, of new religious movements which would become religious Orders (in particular the Order of Friars Minor of Francis of Assisi and the Order of Friars Preacher of Domenic of Caleruega) or would be rejected by the Church as heretical movements. The class will follow, also, the birth of the national monarchies and the progressive decline of the role of the Empire and of the papacy until the transfer of the Roman Curia in Avignon at the beginning of the XIV century. It will define also the political-territorial constructions of the XV century and the importance of Humanism for the religious and cultural life of the Quattrocento.

During the class some time will be dedicated to the reading of some written testimonies which can help the comprehension of the medieval cultures and mentalities.

II Part: Religious history in Middle Ages: Approaches, sources and historiography

Teaching plan: I semester: 6 CFU

It deepens the subjects of the first module focusing on the ones less analysed.

Between the subjects which could be chosen we can list: the role of monachism in the process of Christianisation; the eremitic experiences, the feminine Religiosity, the protagonism of lay people, heresies and inquisitions, the role of the cult of saints and of the miracles, the XIII century Religious Orders, the ways of predications and the role of the prophets and of the prophetical texts in the organisation of the historical present.
If the number of students allows is it possible working in small study groups.

Core Documentation

For the first part (6 CFU)

1) M. Bloch, Apologia della storia o Mestiere di storico, Einaudi, 2009 (several editions)
2) G. Vitolo, Il medioevo. I caratteri originali di un’età di transizione, Sansoni (with introduction)

To have 12 CFU the students must study ALSO:
1) Marina Benedetti (a cura di), Storia del cristianesimo II. L’età medievale (secoli VIII-XV), Carocci Editore, capp. I, II, III, V, VIII, IX, X, XII, XIV

It is recommended, but non mandatory, that non-attending students go to the teacher’s office to know useful information for their study.

Type of evaluation

oral exam