2023-2024 / HIST0040-1

History of the Middle Ages


45h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in ancient and modern languages and literatures5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : classics5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : musicology5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : Oriental studies (Registrations are closed)5 crédits 
 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 
 Bachelor in French and Romance languages and literatures : general5 crédits 


Florence Close

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

By didactic convention, the Middle Ages correspond, in Western Europe, to the ten centuries "in between" that roughly separate the fall of the Western Roman Empire from the "Italian Renaissance of the 15th century".However, these limites are merely markers whose relevance within a given geographical area needs to be assessed.

The first part of this course will therefore consist of a critical review of the traditional termini of the Middle Ages and of some major dates, milestones in medieval history. In the second part, the emphasis will be placed successively on some of the major notions of political, institutional, economic, cultural or religious history characteristic of the period.

This twofold reflection on the chronological limits and some major notions of medieval history will help to highlight the difficulties specific to the study of this period of history, namely

  • the variability of the chronological limits of the period according to the regions ;
  • the variability of the process of transformation of society (from ancient to medieval) according to the domains (language, institutions,...) and the regions;
  • the heterogeneity of the Western medieval space which requires some additional rudiments of Byzantine, Islamic and Asian history;
  • the impossibility of approaching the Middle Ages independently of Antiquity (in time) and the East (in space);
  • the distance that separates us from the belief systems, intellectual, social or cultural references, tools and techniques of the men of the Middle Ages.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, students will be able to

  • situate in time and space any event, person, great work, building or technical term mentioned in the course;
  • mobilise their knowledge and use the appropriate vocabulary to read, understand and interpret a period document (written or material source) or a modern historian's production (historical map, scientific article, etc.) relating to a course subject 
  • Explain the position of a historian or a historiographical debate covered in the course.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

None. However, it is advisable to have a good command of French.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lecture, regularly punctuated by exercises in reading and interpreting documents.

Some course sequences may be replaced by independent learning activities (reading, short video sequence...).

Different learning materials are available on the online platform of the course (eCampus):

The PowerPoint supports 
The compulsory readings
A course outline (posted online throughout the year)
A document reading data sheet
A glossary
Historical maps
Suggestions for further reading (to go further)
Additional exercises to check your understanding of the material

Optional but highly recommended rehearsal and/or exam preparation sessions will be organised during the semester.

A correction of the exam followed by the possibility to consult the copy will be organised during the week following the proclamation of the results.

Students are warmly invited to share their misunderstandings in the course or to submit their questions by email. Depending on the nature of the questions asked, answers will be returned by email or brought to the session. Appointments can be arranged on request.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face-to-face lectures
If necessary, sessions can be organised virtually. However, no face-to-face sessions will be podcast.

Recommended or required readings

  • Recommanded Lecture [eCampus]
  • M. BALARD, J.-Ph. GENET, M. ROUCHE, Le Moyen Âge en Occident, 6e éd., Paris, Hachette supérieur, 2017. ( recommended acquisition)
  • M. ZIMMERMANN, Chronologie du Moyen Âge, Paris, Points, 2007 (Points Histoire, H385) (suggested acquisition)
  • Dictionnaire du Moyen Âge, dir. A. de Libera, Cl. Gauvard,  M. Zink, Paris, PUF 2002 (available for consultation in the library)

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

- Remote

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

In person: written assessment (MCQs, open or semi-open questions).

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

This course is given at QII on Wednesdays from 10 am to 12 pm and Thursdays from 9 am to 10 am.
This course is offered in all the programmes of the faculty and its schedule cannot be modified.

1st course on Wednesday 7 February 2023

The teacher communicates with students via their Uliege e-mail and/or the eCampus virtual course mailing programme.

Although the general structure of the course is stable from one year to the next, the content may be modified according to current research or the university calendar. In addition, the learning materials (documents, readings and exercises) are likely to vary.


Pr Florence Close
Histoire du Moyen Âge
Département des Sciences historiques
Quai Roosevelt, 1b -Bat A4 niveau 1/07
B-4000 Liège
0032 4 366 54 47
E-mail fclose@uliege.be 

Student Instructor :
Bastien Vanoverschelde : Bastien.Vanoverschelde@student.uliege.be 

Pedagogical assistant
Cécile Gorré cgorre@uliege.be  

Sector secretary
Corinne Bolsée
Département des Sciences historiques, Quai Roosevelt, 1b - Bât. A4, niveau 0
Tél : +32 4 366 5875

Association of one or more MOOCs