Medieval Methodologies Workshop
Cod: 33018
Department: DCSG
ECTS: 12
Scientific area: Medieval Studies
Total working hours: 312
Total contact time: 40

This seminar aims to awaken students to the complexity and necessary interdisciplinarity of all research fields of Medieval Studies. The proposed program foresees the promotion, in a seminar context and in a collaborative way, of debate on theory and methodological models. The practical application of techniques and methodologies aims to confront doctoral students with the frequent inadequacy of a too narrow methodological framework and the need to adapt the contribution of each of them (techniques and methodologies) to the research to be carried out. It will also allow the students to deepen the methodological domains which best fit their basic research and understand the effective need to combine methodologies and techniques of critique and systematization of data in the specific field of research chosen.


  • Ability to critically analyze texts and sources;
  • Master of formal techniques in the construction of a research process;
  • Ability to assess the importance of issues raised by documents;
  • Ability to consider methodological approaches with the themes and chronologies under study;
  • Master of the conceptual and methodological tools necessary for the elaboration of solid and consequent research work.

This seminar aims to provide the students with the necessary technical, theoretical and methodological tools needed for a specific research on Medieval Studies. Syllabus

Theme 1 – Relics, Sanctuaries and Pilgrimages.

  1. The role and importance of relics in medieval spirituality.
  2. Sanctuaries as places of worship and sociability.
  3. Homo viator and pilgrimage as forms of religious experience.

Theme 2 – Literature: the discourse of relics (the case of St. Vincent)

  1. The inventio of relics.
  2. The translatio of relics.
  3. Worship and miracles: legitimating fictions.

Theme 3 – Reliquaries: the role of these art objects as enhancers of the attraction for relics and the definition of liturgies.

  1. Relics and reliquaries in the Middle Ages: an important theme in Art History.
  2. Different types of reliquaries.
  3. The spaces where reliquaries are placed, and the use of these objects by religious and lay people.

Theme 4 – The archeology of the spaces of legitimation of the first churches: relics and martyria.

  1. Archeology and the study of relics.
  2. The funerary location of the saints in the legitimation of the first churches.
  3. Objects and spaces as relics.

A Bibliografia é fornecida ao longo do Atelier. Entre os títulos mais importantes e representativos, incluem-se:

ALAPONT MARTIN, Llorenç; RIBERA I LACOMBA, Albert – “Cementerios tardoantiguos de Valencia: arqueología y antropologia”. Anales de Arqueología Cordobesa 17/2 (2006), pp. 161-194.

ALMEIDA, Carlos Alberto Ferreira de – “Relicários”. In História da Arte em Portugal. O Românico. Lisboa: Presença, 2001, pp. 179-181.

BARROCA, Mário Jorge – “46. Arca-Relicário dos Santos Mártires de Marrocos”. In Nos Confins da Idade Média: Arte Portuguesa, séculos XII-XV.  Catálogo da Exposição. Lisboa: Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, Secretaria de Estado da Cultura, Instituto Português de Museus, 1993, pp. 133-134.

BOULNOIS, Olivier – Au-delà de l’image. Une archéologie du visuel au Moyen Âge. Paris: Seuil, 2008.

CABALLERO ZOREDA, Luis; MATEOS CRUZ, Pedro – “Excavaciones arqueologicas en la basílica de Santa Eulalia de Mérida”. In IV Reunió d’Arqueología Cristina Hispánica. Barcelona : Institut d’Estudis Catalans – Universitat de Barcelona, 1995, pp. 297-307. 

CAETANO, Joaquim Oliveira – “Túmulo de S. Martinho de Dume”. In Obras-Primas da Arte Portuguesa. Escultura. Lisboa: Athena, 2011, pp. 18-19.

DIAS, Isabel Rosa – Culto e memória de São Vicente em Portugal (da Idade Média ao século XVI). Faro: Universidade do Algarve, 2003.

DIDI-HUBERMAN, Georges – L’Image ouverte. Motifs de l’incarnation dans les arts visuels. Paris: Gallimard, 2007.

FONTES, Luís Fernando Oliveira – A Basílica Sueva de Dume e o túmulo dito de São Martinho. Braga: Núcleo de Arqueologia da Universidade do Minho, 2006.

PAZOS, Antón M. (ed.) – Relics, Shrines and Pilgrimages. Sanctity in Europe from Late Antiquity. London – New York: Routledge, 2020.

RECIO VEGANZONES, Alejandro – “La mártir Eulalia en la devoción popular: Prudencio primer promotor de su culto, peregrinaciones, expansión de sus reliquias e iconografía (ss. IV-VII)”. In IV Reunió d’Arqueología Cristina Hispánica. Barcelona : Institut d’Estudis Catalans – Universitat de Barcelona, 1995, pp. 317-336.

RIBERA I LACOMBA, Albert – “San Vicent i l’arqueología de València”. In San Vicente Mártir: servidor y testigo. En el XVII Centenario de su martirio. Actas del XII Simposio de Teología Histórica (Valencia 2004).València: Facultat de Teología Sant Vicenç Ferrer, 2005, pp. 45-69.

VAUCHEZ, André – A espiritualidade da Idade Média Ocidental, séc. VIII-XIII. Lisboa: Ed. Estampa, 1995.

WARD, Benedicta – Miracles and the Medieval Mind: Theory, Record, and Event, 1000-1215. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.

WEBB, Diana – Medieval European Pilgrimage, c. 700-c. 1500. Hampshire - New York: Palgrave, 2002.

This course is taught in a distance learning system through online mode, in a virtual class environment, using the e-learning platform in use at the Open University. The term "virtual class" applies to organized spaces where there are multiple interactions between teacher-student, student-teacher, and student-student, creating communities of knowledge sharing and experiences, where students are encouraged through the various problems, to carry out meaningful learning.
The work methodology includes, essentially, the reading of available texts and suggested bibliography, the online surveys done by the doctoral students, and the accomplishment of activities articulated with each one of the themes of the program. It is expected regular work and participation in the proposed activities, creating a lively and interactive learning environment.

The evaluation will be carried out according to the UAb Pedagogical Model for the 3rd cycle. Thus, the part of the activities developed by the student corresponds to 60% of the classification and the final work is 40%, within a logic of continuous evaluation.
The activities will be evaluated individually on a scale of 0-20, with the final grade being obtained from the division by 4. The final work will also be evaluated on a 0-20 scale