MVST-201 Introduction to Medieval Studies: The Age of Dante
Professors Moran Cruz and Szittya
This course, required for the program, is an interdisciplinary introduction to medieval culture. It focuses on a pivotal 50 year period in the high Middle Ages, 1275-1325, roughly the period of Dante's life, but also a period of major developments in the history of the papacy, the Holy Roman Empire, the development of the city, vernacular literature, medieval art and architecture, the universities, optics, astronomy, music, banking and trade, European-Islamic cultural relations, and much more. The central text will be Dante's Divine Comedy, but our approach will be interdisciplinary and we will also read works by Augustine, Boethius, Virgil, Italian poets (Guinizelli, Cavalcante) and historians (Dino Compagni) contemporary with Dante. We will study the Lorenzetti frescoes painted in the Palazzo Publico in Siena and some works of Giotto. We will also read several other works of Dante: the Vita Nuova on love; the De Monarchia for political theory; and the De Vulgari Eloquentia for Dante's theory of language. Spring.
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