Knowledge Systems in the Modern Age - 1st semester


a) To be able to develop theoretical and methodological skills indispensable for the study of Cultural and Mentalities History in the Modern Age
b)To be able to elaborate original analysis and complex texts on Cultural and Mentalities History in the Modern Age, and to transmit them in a rigorous and clear way for a broad public
c) To be able to develop original investigation in Cultural and Mentalities History in the Modern Age
d) To acquire the indispensable skills to be able to proceed to a doctoral program in Cultural and Mentalities History in the Modern Age

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Isabel Buescu


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Graduation in History (1st cycle)


ALVES, Ana Maria – As entradas régias portuguesas. Uma visão de conjunto, Lisboa, Livros Horizonte, s/d;
BUESCU, Ana Isabel – Na corte dos reis de Portugal. Saberes, ritos e memórias. Estudos sobre o século XVI, 2ª edição, Lisboa, Colibri, 2011;
BURKE, Peter – “O Cortesão”, in O Homem Renascentista, dir. Eugenio Garin, Lisboa, Presença, 1989;
ELIAS, Norbert, O processo civilizacional, 2 vols., Lisboa, D. Quixote, 1989-1990;
STRONG, Roy, Art and power. Renaissance Festivals 1450-1650; Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 1986.

Teaching method

The sessions of the seminar are divided in three main moments: explanation and exposition of the subjects, in its several aspects ad perspectives by the teacher, and the aims to be achieved; definition, with each student, the choice and delimitation of the object of his work in the seminar; finally, oral interventions of the students on bibliographical texts and on the development of their seminar written work, to be delivered at the end of the semester

Evaluation method

Achievement in oral presentation of the prepared bibliographical text and other punctual interventions; oral intervention of the subject of the written work to be delivered at the end of the semester. The final mark results from the written paper and the oral performance, in a proportion of /0% and 30%. The student must attend two thirds of the sessions, as established by Regulation (cap. II, art.5, n.2).

Subject matter

The object of the Seminar is the study of the Portuguese court in the Modern Age, from political and cultural points of view. Since Middle Ages the process of growth and development of the court as a place of power is evident. But it is in the Modern times that it will become, along with the growing power of the monarchy, the real centre of political power. It is then that we see, first in the Italian courts, then all over Europe, the appearance of a new social model, the courtier, based upon the aristocratic pedagogy by Baldassar Castiglione’s Il Libro del Cortegiano (1528).
Within this framework, and basing upon relevant studies on the modern court and documentary Portuguese sources, the aim is to familiarize students with the analysis and comprehension of the historical process that leads the court to the centre of power. This will be done with resource to documents relative to three fundamental domains: discourses & representations, practices, and relevant individual historical figures of the time.


Programs where the course is taught: