cod. 1004264

Academic year 2021/22
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Storia medievale (M-STO/01)
Istituzioni di filosofia
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course will introduce the student to the study of medical thought and medical disciplines and practices from the Vth to the XVIst century.

At the end of the course the student will be able:

to spot topics, outlines, written sources, and iconographic materials shown throughout the lessons, placing them adequately in space and time with a strong attention to the different political, institutional and socio-cultural contexts;

to trace a basic bibliography concerning specific issues of investigation thanks to critical skills that allow him to distinguish among scientifically worthwhile texts, informative texts and unverifiable informations;

to approach data gathering and interpretation, being aware of the complexity –occasionally, the contradictoriness – proper of the historical sources as well as the historiographical reconstructions;

to report the general outlines of the history of medical thought and arts from the end of the classic world to the early modern; to develop discussions on the subjects addressed by attending the course;

to set and carry out a basic historical investigation concerning topics related to the history of medicine and medical practices, with special regard to the middle age.


General outlines of the Italian and European medieval history.

Course unit content

Physicians and medical theory in medieval West Europe (V-XVI century)

The course deals with the transmission and the diffusion of classical medical thought in the medieval society of Western Europe. Besides on doctrinal contents and evolutions, the lessons will focus on the history of the places of learning; professional profiles and care for the sick; containment strategies against epidemics at the end of the middle age, mainly in the Italian states.

Full programme

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All the students are required to study the pages 217-482 of the volume:

Storia del pensiero medico occidentale. Antichità e medioevo, a cura di M. D. Grmek, Laterza, Bari 1993

Furthermore, attending students must choose and study one of the following readings:

J. Agrimi – C. Crisciani, “Edocere medicos”. Medicina scolastica nei secoli XIII-XV, Guerini, Milano 1988

Alchimia e medicina nel Medioevo, a cura di C. Crisciani – A. Paravicini Bagliani, Sismel – Edizioni del Galluzzo, Firenze 2003 (five essays to choose)

Deformità fisica e identità della persona tra medioevo ed età moderna, Atti del XIV convegno di studi organizzato dal Centro di studi sulla civiltà del tardo medioevo, San Miniato, 21-23 settembre 2015, a cura di G.M. Varanini, Firenze University Press, Firenze 2014 (five essays to choose)

Nutrire il corpo, nutrire l’anima nel medioevo, a cura di C. Crisciani – O. Grassi, Edizioni ETS, Pisa 2017

P. Rosso, L’università nell’Italia medievale. Cultura, società e politica, Carocci, Roma 2021

G. Todeschini, Come l’acqua e il sangue. Le origini medievali del pensiero economico, Carocci, Roma 2020

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons. Throughout the classes the teacher will introduce and analyze written and iconographic sources.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination in italiano.
The use of the specific vocabulary of the historical disciplines and the ability to contextualize the development of medical knowledge and practices in the Middle Ages (Vth-XVIst century) will be closely assessed. Students are required to demonstrate a clear understanding of themes and issues considered in the classes, as well as an adequate comprehension of the readings to be discussed during the examination.

Other information

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