Medieval Portuguese Culture


1. Students will be able to acquire appropriate theoretical instruments to a comprehensive knowledge of the historical and social contexts in the western medieval culture.
2. Students will be able to enhance a fundamental knowledge within the specific area of the medieval Portuguese culture.
3. Students will be able to actively participate in approaching the scheduled topics and in identifying the content of the texts to be studied.
4. Students will be able to reflect on the system of organization of the social classes, their cultural education and the forms of power.
5. Students will be able to have skills in reading and interpreting texts written in Galician-Portuguese and Old Portuguese.
6. Students will be able to make a contextualized reflection on both ethical sense and aesthetical purpose of the medieval culture, in order to research creative formulations on the issue to be approached.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

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Weekly - 4

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Teaching language





MARQUES, António H. Oliveira, A sociedade medieval portuguesa. Aspectos da vida quotidiana, 5ª. ed., Lisboa, Sá da Costa, 1987.
MARTINS, Mário, Estudos de cultura medieval, vols. I-III, Lisboa, Verbo, 1969-1983.
MATTOSO, José, Naquele Tempo. Ensaios de História Medieval, Lisboa, Círculo de Leitores, 2009.
MATTOSO, José, Religião e cultura na Idade Média portuguesa, Lisboa, IN-CM, 1982.
PEREIRA, Isaías da Rosa, “Escolas e livros na Idade Média em Portugal”, in AAVV, Universidade(s): História, memória, perspectivas (Actas do Congresso História da Universidade), Coimbra, Universidade, 1991, vol. 1, pp. 55-69.
SARAIVA, António José, A cultura em Portugal – Teoria e História, 2 vols., Venda Nova-Amadora, Bertrand, 1982-1984.
SARAIVA, António José, O crepúsculo da Idade Média em Portugal, 5ª. ed., Lisboa, Gradiva, 1998 (1ª. ed.: 1988).
SARAIVA, António José, História da cultura em Portugal, vol. I, Lisboa, Jornal do Foro, 1950.

Teaching method

Throughout the semester, we intend to develop students’ skills on their research practices on the medieval Portuguese culture. For this purpose, students are encouraged to take part in the lectures during the explanation of the different items of the program, and in practical classes during the intensive reading and interpretation of coeval texts. Whenever necessary, audio and visual support resources are used as auxiliary supplements to understand better the subject dealt, and a study visit to a church with characteristics of the Gothic style is envisaged.

Evaluation method

The assessment method is based on a test (60%) and a written assignment or a classroom presentation (40%). The assessment of students aims to determine the effectiveness of the teaching methodologies implemented during the semester, and further verify to what extent their skills have been developed properly.

Subject matter

1 – Social context
2 – Faith and the Exemplum
3 – Gothic Art
4 – The Studium Generale
5 –Social order and feminine condition
6 – The Avis chroniclers


Programs where the course is taught: