Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Carolyn James


Previously coded HSY2025


This unit will focus on Italy during the tumultuous period between 1490 and 1550 when foreign invasion and a Europe experiencing religious reformation, social revolution and dramatic overseas expansion precipitated major political, cultural and religious change. It will examine varying political systems in the small states of Italy, and the attempts by intellectuals to grapple with the new politics of what was to become the Italian and European ancien regime. Another key area of analysis will be the differences in cultural production which distinguished courtly societies from republican oligarchies in this age during which the High Renaissance style gave way to Mannerism.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Engage in critical discussion about the most important social, cultural and religious changes which occurred in Italy during the period.
  2. Understand the various political systems in Italy in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century.
  3. Identify different genres of texts circulating in the period.
  4. Engage in critical discussion of texts in relation to the urban context of early modern Italy and to speculate about the relationship between particular political systems and cultural production.
  5. Analyse the processes which underpinned the construction of particular texts.
  6. Suggest ways in which literary texts and works of art can be used as historical evidence.


Oral presentation: 10%
Participation: 10%
Written work: 50%
In class test: 30%

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first year sequence in history (or with permission) or first year Italian