Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Politics, Society and Culture in Medieval Italy

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit introduces students to the politics, society, economy and culture of the cities and city-states of northern Italy between c.1100 to c.1400. Over the course of the semester students will examine different aspects of life in these communities, including forms of government, kinship and family structures, economic institutions, diplomacy and war, the role of religion and the Church, social unrest, civic conflict, and the flourishing of new cultural and artistic genres. Weekly lectures will play a key role in providing a unifying core of ideas and information upon which all students can build and to which they can react. Seminar sessions, emphasizing particular aspects of the study-unit, will offer further and deeper focus.

Study-unit Aims:

- Provide an overview of key political, social, economic and cultural development in northern and central Italy from c.1100 - c.1400;
- Expose students to the central tools and analytical methods of historical inquiry;
- Encourage students to think critically about the past and its relationship to the present.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Identify the main chronological developments in Medieval Italy;
- Describe the political, social, economic and cultural life in the cities and city-states of Medieval Italy;
- Differentiate among different historiographical approaches related to particular themes.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Analyze the impact of political, economic and social change and continuity over time;
- Evaluate issues of causality and consequence;
- Compose a research paper using historical documents and secondary literature.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Brucker, G. Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence, 2nd edition. University of California Press, 1986.
- Waley, D. and T. Dean. The Italian City-Republics, Fourth Edition. Longman, 2010.

Supplementary Texts:

- Abulafia, D., ed. Italy in the Central Middle Ages. Oxford, 2004.
- Brucker, G. Renaissance Florence. University of California Press,1983.
- De Roover, R. Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank, 1397-1494. Harvard U. P. 1963.
- Dean, T. The Towns of Italy in the Later Middle Ages. Manchester University Press, 2000.
- Hunt, E. S. The Medieval Super-Companies: A Study of the Peruzzi Company of Florence. Cambridge University Press, 1994.
- Jansen, K. L., J. Drell and F. Andrews. Medieval Italy: Texts in Translation. University of Pennsylvania, 2009.
- Lane, F. C. Venice: A Maritime Republic. Johns Hopkins U. P., 1973.
- Lopez, R. S. and I. W. Raymond. Medieval Trade in the Mediterranean World. Columbia, 1955. New edition, 2001.
- Mallett, M. Mercenaries and their Masters. Pen & Sword, 2009.
- Origo, I. The Merchant of Prato: Francesco di Marco Datini, 1335-1410. Penguin, 1992.
- Thompson, A. Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125-1325. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 10%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 30%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Mark Aloisio

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.