2023-2024 / HIST0090-1

Historical introduction to schools of thought in the Middle Ages*


30h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in ancient and modern languages and literatures5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : classics5 crédits 
 Bachelor in information and communication5 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 first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The aim of this course is to sketch out an answer to the following questions: "From what and with what did the men and women of the Middle Ages develop their models of thought in the Latin West"? Insofar as the intellectual production of this period was largely the work of monks and clerics meditating in the silence of the cloister, these questions invite a twofold reflection: 1° on the place of the written word in a society based on orality and gesture, and 2° on the intellectual revolution that followed the recognition of Christianity and its spread throughout the hegemony of the Roman Empire in the West.

This course is not a history of medieval philosophy or theology. More humbly, it examines the conditions under which ancient thought and knowledge were transmitted throughout the medieval millennium, highlighting the main currents of thought that animated the men and women of the Christian West between the 6th and 14th centuries. It is part of the chronological continuum proposed by the programme of the minor Héritages modernes des cultures antiques et médiévales between Histoire de la philosophie hellénistique et romaine (PHIL0004-1 M.A. Gavray) and Histoire de l'Humanisme (HIST0036-1 A. Delfosse-L. Fagnart).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This lecture course will focus on the transmission of knowledge and teaching methods inherited from Antiquity and/or developed in an original way during the medieval millennium, leading us to question the concept of the Renaissance (Carolingian, Ottonian/twelfth century) and the place of theology at the heart of all the sciences. We will also address the question of cultural dynamics, the exchange of knowledge and the transmission of Greek, Jewish and Arab-Muslim traditions, from the time of the closure of Roman public schools to the birth of universities in the Christian West.

Occasionally, we will compare the historical reality of the context in which an idea or current of thought was produced with the reception (or betrayal?) of these ideas in later centuries, in art and literature, for example.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

No course is prerequisite to this one. However, students who take it are advised to also include in their programme Histoire de la philosophie hellénistique et romaine (PHIL0004-1 M.A. Gavray) et d'Histoire de l'Humanisme (HIST0036-1 A. Delfosse-L. Fagnart)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lecture, illustrated by text extracts or commented iconographic documents 

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

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Course materials will be uploaded to eCampus

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

1st course on Friday 22 september 13pm

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 worked on, readings and exercises for monitors) are likely to vary.

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


Pr. Dr. Florence Close
Histoire du moyen âge occidental
Département des Sciences historiques - Bat A4/1/07
Quai Roosevelt, 1B
4000 Liège

Secretariat d'Histoire : Corinne Bolsée corinne.bolsee@uliege.be - 04/366.58.75


Association of one or more MOOCs