HIST 430 – Florence: The Story of the City

Note: Online courses will only run with sufficient enrollments.


Since its Roman origins, through its internecine conflicts and economic, artistic, and literary flourishing, the history of Florence has been highly representative of the history of Italy. From Dante Alighieri to the Medici family (men and women), from Machiavelli to Michelangelo, and from Leonardo to Galileo Galilei, Florence gave birth to some of the most influential individuals in the Western World in the fields of art, science, politics, and literature. Even in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, Florence remained one of the major centers to be visited during the Grand Tour, was a cosmopolitan city, and gave birth to innovative cultural initiatives. During the course, students will follow the history of Florence step by step, and will appreciate the context where ideas developed.

Students will become aware of the changes that took place in the city through the centuries and how individuals and groups shaped both the character of the city and its cultural scene. Each week a list of readings will be assigned from primary sources, along with a few questions to help students concentrate on the texts.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.