Mental Categories: Practices and Representations in the Middle Ages


a) To teach the use of online resources of research centres, specialized presses, congresses and seminaries, in order to characterize the current research
b) To present and explain the historiography on the subject
c)To present the portuguese historical sources and briefly introduce the students to the analysis of a variety
d) To work on the subject of «religious practices and representations of the laity in the Middle Ages» departing from some of its central themes: religious literacy, domestic religious practices, laity and liturgy, sanctity of the laity, attitudes towars death, rlay consideration of the ecclesiastic religous life; laity and reliigious reform; religion and social distinction
e) To teach methods of written and oral exposition of the scientific research

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Alessandra Bilotta


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


1.ANDRADE, Amélia Aguiar; COSTA, Adelaide Millán da (ed.) – La ville médiévale en débat. Lisboa: IEM, 2013.
2.BOUCHERON, Patrick (ed.) – Le palais dans la ville. Lyon: PUL, 2004.
3.LE GOFF, Jacques ; NORA, Pierre (ed.) – Fazer História. Lisboa: Bertrand, 1977-1987.
4.SEIXAS, Miguel Metelo de, Heráldica municipal e apropriação simbólica do espaço urbano medieval português. In ANDRADE, Amélia Aguiar; TENTE, Catarina; SILVA, Gonçalo Melo da; PRATA, Sara (ed.) – Espaços e poderes na Europa urbana medieval. Lisboa: IEM, 2018, pp. 205-225.
5.TRINDADE, Luísa – Casas da Câmara ou Paços do Concelho: espaços e poder na cidade tardo-medieval portuguesa. In RIBEIRO, Maria do Carmo; MELO, Arnaldo Sousa - Evolução da paisagem urbana: sociedade e economia. Braga: Citcem, 2012, pp. 209-228.

Teaching method

Teaching method:
1.Exposition and debate of the theoretical contents
2. Classroom commentary on written and visual sources
3. Tutorial guidance

Evaluation method

Método de Avaliação - 1. Participation in class(20%), 2. Completion of an individual written work based on written and visual sources related to the civil and religious power of the medieval period (max. 15 pp. - except bibliography and annexes)(80%)

Subject matter

1. Mental categories and history of mentalities: epistemological framework
2. Cultural history and its redefinition beginning with Annales School
3.The history of images: iconography, iconology, visual studies
4. The use of images in the exercise of power
5.The heraldic and emblematic image
6. Image and writing
7. Rites and representations of power: the historiography of rituals
8. Rituals, symbolic appropriation of public space and the agency of images
9. Civic and religious buildings and their monumental decorations: axes of interpretation of religious and civic decorations
10. Power and the arts
11. Iconographic models of power
12. Iconographies of the coronation ceremonial
13.The iconographies of the king, the pope and the emperor
14.The images of power in public space: the case of the Allegory of Good Government in Siena
15. The allegorical images of justice and royalty
16. Visual representations of processions: a visual source of the occupation of public space


Programs where the course is taught: