Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Features of modern history
Lineamenti di storia moderna

A.Y. Credits
2017/2018 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Teresa Damiani Tuesday and wednesday after class. Alternative office hours can be arranged with the teacher by email.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Foreign Languages and Cultures (L-11)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course's aim is to give the students some basic historiographical notions, necessary to approach this discipline of study and to develop a critical comprehension of the European modern history’s most relevant themes and problems, from the geographical discoveries to the European Restoration (1492-1815).
By using a wide variety of bibliographic and documentary sources, it also intends to promote a thorough knowledge of the barbary slave trade, which reached its peak during the 16th and the 17th century. The slave market was strictly connected to the maritime warfare in which privater were engaged, to pirates attacks and to the raids on ships and on costal towns promoted by the Muslim forces as well as the Christian forces.


The course is divided into two modules: a general module and a single-topic module.
The first module, after discussing some historiographical notions and raising some methodological questions, concentrates on what are the fundamental  political, economic, social, cultural and religious issues of the early modern period, from the geographical discoveries to the European Restoration (1492-1815). In particular, the following topics will be covered in details: the Italian Renaissance states and the constitution of the Western European national states; the geographical discoveries and the colonial growth of the New World; the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation; the crisis of the seventeenth century; the peak of the absolutism in France; the Enlightment and the evolution of political thought (from Machiavelli to Rousseau); the great Atlantic revolutions; the Napoleonic era and the European Restoration.
The second module revolves around the barbary slave trade during the early modern period with emphase on the following topics: traveling the Mediterranean in the Early Modern Period; different types of sea battles (privateering, piracy, incursions and raids); people held captive and forced conversions; living conditions and fate of slaves: social mobility and chances of being emancipated.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and understanding
To know historical research methodologies, chronological criteria and the typology of sources.
To know and understand general guidelines of European modern history from the geographical discoveries to the European Restauration.
To develop specific understanding on a thematic of considerable importance in the early modern age by referring to the contemporary historiographical debate and to primary sources.

Applying knowledge and understanding
To be able to contextualise the studied historic events and phenomena by an appropriate use of spatial and temporal coordinates.
To be able to connect and distinguish differences between events.
To identify persistence and changes in long term historical processes.

Making judgements
To acquire the understanding about the ideological conditioning of historical narration and to be able to autonomously elaborate the acquired knowledge.

To be able to clearly enunciate the studied and acquired contents by using with proficiency the specific and technical language of the historical discipline.

Learning skills
The learning ability will be reinforced by using complementary learning activities: general history lectures, monographic lectures, reading and analysing primary and secondary sources.
Factual knowledge of political, economic, social and cultural dynamics about previous European societies will have to allow the development of a historical background which aims to a better understanding of the contemporary world.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


The course is held in the form of regular lectures and seminar.

Course books

In preparation for the general module of this course, it is advised to read and study the following book: C. Capra, Storia moderna (1492-1848), Firenze, Le Monnier, 2011.

In addition, in preparation for the single-topic module, it is advised to choose a book between those indicated in the first group and another one between those indicated in the second group:
1. G. Bonaffini, Un mare di paura. Il Mediterraneo in età moderna,  Caltanissetta, ed. Sciascia, 1997; F. Braudel, Civiltà e imperi nel Mediterraneo nell'età di Filippo II, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, vol.II; R. Crowley, Imperi del mare. Dall'assedio di Malta alla battaglia di Lepanto, Milano, B. Mondadori, 2009; A. Barbero, Lepanto. La battaglia dei tre imperi, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010.

2. S. Anselmi, Pirati e corsari in Adriatico, Cinisello Balsamo, ed. Silvana, 1998; S. Anselmi, Mercanti, corsari, disperate e streghe, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2000; J. Heers, I barbareschi. Corsari nel Mediterraneo, Roma, ed. Salerno, 2003; M. Lenci, Corsari: guerra, schiavi, rinnegati nel Mediterraneo, Roma, Carocci, 2006; G. Fiume, Schiavitù mediterranee. Corsari, rinnegati e santi di età moderna, Milano, B. Mondadori, 2009; A. Tinniswood, Pirati. Avventure, scontri e razzie nel Mediterraneo del XVII secolo, Milano, B. Mondadori, 2011; S. Bono, Schiavi. Una storia mediterranea, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016.

Further information about book readings and additional study materials are provided during the course.


The oral exam will assess students' knwoledge and skills, their capacity to deal critically with the subjects of study, their their ability to contextualize historical events and to express themselves with clarity and precision.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Course books

Non-attending students should add to the attending-students required readings, the following one: R.Bizzocchi, Guida allo studio della storia moderna, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2014


The oral exam will assess students' knwoledge and skills, their capacity to deal critically with the subjects of study, their their ability to contextualize historical events and to express themselves with clarity and precision.


Non-attending students are strongly suggested to email the teacher or go to office hours in order to better arrange their program of study.

« back Last update: 07/09/2017


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