ATS2957 - Medieval Italy: Sites of encounter - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Professor Constant Mews and Dr Nathan Wolski

Unit guides



  • Summer semester A 2017 (On-campus block of classes)



This unit explores medieval Italy from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries as a site of encounter between a range of religious and cultural traditions: Islam, Judaism and both Latin and Greek Christianity, all sharing a common debt to classical antiquity. Taught in Prato, but involving travel to various locations in Italy. The unit provides an opportunity to understand the complex web of cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity in Sicily and southern Italy, as well as between Christians and Jews in Tuscany and other parts of northern Italy. It thus provides a wider context to understand medieval Italy and the writings of Dante in particular. The unit will involve close analysis of the built environments of medieval Italy and of the cultural artefacts surviving from the period to examine how both religious segregation and interaction shaped its culture.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be expected:

  1. to be familiar with the different religious and cultural traditions in medieval Italy between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries;
  2. to be capable of analysis of a primary document and aware of the significance of the context in which it was generated;
  3. to formulate an argument and engage in original research;
  4. to communicate a historical argument to staff and fellow students in an oral presentation;
  5. to communicate research findings convincingly in written form;
  6. to formulate an original project suitable for investigation within an undergraduate research essay (third years).


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.