Medieval Italian Literature and Culture

FRIT-M503 — Fall 2023

Course Description

Medieval fiction represents money as an ambivalent object that defines human communities, shapes abstract thinking, and generates thorny questions about faith and trust. This course explores the relationship between money and literary works with a special focus on Italian literature. It uses medieval money as an entry point to study how fiction stages, addresses, and refashions moral and economic dilemmas. What are the specific features of money? What is the relationship between economic history, material culture, and literary works? By attempting to answer such questions we will examine how medieval literary authors invite (and challenge) their readers to determine the just price of goods or services, the fairness of exchange, and the correct behavior in human relationships. In addition to primary sources by authors such as, amongst others, Dante and Boccaccio, readings will include sources from economic history and theory, numismatics, art history, anthropology, and theology.

Taught in English.

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The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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