Medieval Italy: Charters

History 285B.004

Spring 2006
3104 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Tu 2-5

This seminar will introduce graduate students to research in the most common and abundant type of source for medieval history: legal instruments, both public and private, drawn up by notaries or scribes, usually on single sheets of parchment. Commonly called ?charters,? these sources have been central in the exploration of the social, economic, political, and ecclesiastical history of medieval Italy. After a brief technical introduction to this category of source, each student will choose a collection of published charters from a city or institution in Italy and use it as the basis for a major research paper. Students will also learn some basic paleography and will practice reading notarial hands. Reading knowledge of Latin required.

Prerequisite: History 280B, The Historiography of Medieval Italy or permission of the instructor.