cod. 1008459

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Storia medievale (M-STO/01)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student will be able
- to report the general outlines of the Food History in Europe from the classical age to the present day; to present the evolution of the gastronomic culture in Europe from the classical age to the present day; to make an appropriate use of the specific vocabulary of the historical disciplines
- to recognize different kinds of written and iconographic sources concerning the Food History, to place them in space and time and to produce a sufficiently articulated discourse aware of the social and cultural context that generated them
- to recognize the relationship between structures and exercise of power and production, transformation, distribution and fruition of food from the late antiquity to the contemporary world.
- to set and carry out a basic historical investigation concerning specif issues about the Food History


Knowledge of the Italian language; basic notions of Italian and European Geography; general outlines of European History (V-XX centuries).

Course unit content

The course is divided into two parts:

Thinking about food: from classical age to contemporary age
Food history in Europe (V-XX centuries)

In the first part the teacher will introduce and discuss on the one hand the medical and philosophical reflection concerning food and the evolution of the taste from classical age to the present day in Europe; on the other hand, the convivial practices and the identity elements linked to cuisine, with comparative examples from the Chinese area.

In the second part the focus will be on food consumption, with regard to the demographic curve, the economic conjunture and the social, political and institutional changes in Europe (V-XX centuries).

Full programme

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All students are required to study the following texts:

 M. Montanari, La fame e l'abbondanza. Storia dell'alimentazione in Europa, Laterza, Roma- Bari (varie ristampe)
 M. Montanari, Il cibo come cultura, Laterza, Roma-Bari (varie ristampe)

Furthermore, all students must choose ONE of the following readings:

 J. Wilkins – S. Hill, Food in the Ancient World, Malden 2006
 B. Laurioux, Manger au Moyen Age: Pratiques et discours alimentaires en Europe au XIVe et XVe siècles, Paris 2013
 Nutrire il corpo, nutrire l’anima nel Medioevo, a cura di C. Crisciani – O. Grassi, Pisa, ETS 2017
 J. Verdon, Bere nel medioevo. Bisogno, piacere o cura, Bari 2005
 F. Braudel, Civiltà materiale, economia, capitalismo (secoli XV-XVIII). Le strutture del quotidiano, Einaudi, Torino (varie ristampe)
 A. Toaff, Mangiare alla giudia. La cucina ebraica in Italia dal Rinascimento all’età moderna, Bologna 20112
Il mondo in cucina. Storia, identità, scambi, a cura di M. Montanari, Roma-Bari 2006
 S. Pinkard, A Revolution in Taste. The Rise of French Cuisine, 1650-1800, Cambridge 2008
 J.P. Aron, La Francia a tavola. Dall’Ottocento alla Belle epoque, Einaudi, Torino 1978
 Storia d'Italia. Annali 13. L'alimentazione, a cura di A. Capatti - A. De Bernardi - A. Varni, Einaudi, Torino 1998 (Introduzione; saggi di: M. L. Betri, V. Zamagni, F. Chiapparino, G. Gallo et al., G. Moricola, G. Pedrocco, P. Sorcinelli, P. Corti, A. Capatti)

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons. During the classes the teacher will introduce and analyze written and iconographic sources uploaded on the e-learning website Elly.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examination in Italian with ten multiple choice questions; two semi-closed questions; one open-ended question concerning the additional reading. The accuracy of the grammar spelling will be closely assessed.

Other information

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