Political and Institutional History of Europe in the Middle Ages

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
In this course, intended for students of history and other humanities already experienced and equipped with a basic knowledge of the discipline, there will be presented and discussed texts and documents on the system of Italian and European states at the end of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, with a thorough and specialized discussion of the historiographic debate.
In particular, the themes of military organization, diplomacy and government apparatus, and the role of women within power structures, will all be examined. The theme of institutional pluralism, namely the role of cities, communities, fiefdoms, fractional aggregations as interlocutors of the new Italian and European state institutions, will also be a primary theme of study.
In the last module, time will be left for students to discuss topics and bibliographical scholarship, agreed-upon dually with the instructor and presented in a seminar-like style, related to the themes of the course, and in combination with the reading and study of small sets of original or published documents. The lessons will be accompanied by texts and images distributed both in paper form and through projections, and then made available to students through publication on the ARIEL portal.
Expected learning outcomes
Classes designed for those opting to attend the lesson, as well as readings for non-attending students, aim to:
- provide the timely and critical knowledge of the main topics covered in the lectures or texts indicated;
-axquire the necessary tools which are instrumental for study and analysis of texts;
- construct a bibliography on the proposed topics, distinguishing the various kinds of historical literature;
- utilize texts in major foreign languages;
- introduce the reading and exegesis of original documents and the work of archival research, in view of the master's thesis;
- the ability to neatly exhibit the acquired knowledge in oral form, with appropriate lexicon;
(and in particular, for attendees)
- present to the class of agreed upon arguments and insights;
- actively participate in the collective work of the class with presentations and discussions;
- use in slide set presentations in Power Point or other digital formats.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
In relation to the possible developments of the health emergency, in order to organize the course in the most effective way, the teaching will be organized as follows.
- one of the three weekly lessons will be held in sync, at the scheduled time, via the Teams platform, instead of the classic face-to-face lesson; during the lesson the students will be able to intervene with their questions and give their contribution, as if they were present in the classroom. We recommend that each student - and in particular those enrolled in the first year - first obtain the Microsoft Teams credentials made available by Unimi, to test the functionality of the platform;
- the other two weekly lessons will consist of the publication on Ariel of blocks of Power Point slides with texts, images and voice commentary on each slide; these lessons will remain on the portal available to students until the end of the course;
- the Ariel portal, to which all students of the Faculty of Humanities will have access, will be used by the teacher to give communications and notices, and to publish materials and texts presented and commented during the course, as has always been done in normal conditions;
- in case of impossibility to held the reception hours in presence, also the teacher / student interviews will be held through the Teams platform;
- the learning verification methods (exams) will not undergo substantial changes, except for the eventuality to conduct them through the Teams platform, instead of in attendance.
These modalities could be modified (and improved) in relation to the suggestions coming from the participants to bring the course closer to their needs and to guarantee effective and continuous teaching
Course syllabus
Monarchies, empire and city states in Europe, 13th-15th centuries.
The course will deal with the political institutions of European states between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, with comparisons and analysis of the different systems of authority and power.
Prerequisites for admission
To have passed the exam of medieval history and know the main topics of the discipline.
Teaching methods
Students will actively participate in the lessons and contribute with discussions and exercises.
Teaching Resources
Mandatory texts, for all students:
G. CHITTOLINI, La formazione dello stato regionale e le istituzioni del contado, Unicopli 2005 (prima ed. Einaudi 1979).
L. BLANCO, Le origini dello stato moderno. Secoli XI-XV, Carocci, Roma 2020.
Another text and some materials will be indicated at the beginning of the lessons (first exam proof in may 2021) .
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is oral.
The evaluation will take into account:
- knowledge of the contents of the texts, lessons and related materials distributed on Ariel:
- the ability to critically read the proposed historiographic works;
- the quality of the exposure: clarity and lexical property.
Any personal problems or difficulties that may affect the exam can be reported to the teacher, before the exam, in a private interview.
Unita' didattica A
M-STO/01 - MEDIEVAL HISTORY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-STO/01 - MEDIEVAL HISTORY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-STO/01 - MEDIEVAL HISTORY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Every thursday, from 9.30 a.m. Please send previously a mail message
Teams - team Ricevimento Covini