Portuguese Medieval Literature

Academic year
Subject Area
Portuguese Language Literature
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

Lectures complemented with the historical and culturally situated reading of texts representative of the literary period under survey. Reception of the texts and connection with Iberian and European trends are taken into account. Different trends in studies on the field will be discussed. Texts will be subject to a hermeneutical assessment supported by methodologies issued from auxiliary sciences, opening to broad literary and cultural understanding. Presentations by students, who will be guided into the research of themes within the scope of the course. Use of multimedia and online materials.

Learning Outcomes

This course aims to enable the students to 1) acquire references that make them surpass the initial estrangement towards literary objects marked by the temporal and cultural gap between Middle Ages and Contemporaneity; 2) feel curious about medieval matters and texts and enjoy their study; 3) understand Medieval Portuguese Literature in its specific features, in its Iberian connections and in its relations with European coeval social and cultural standpoints; 4) make use of concepts, methodologies and perspectives standing on auxiliary disciplines that may lead to a culturally productive approach to other medieval literary texts or artistic works outside the scope of the course.

Work Placement(s)



A survey of Medieval Portuguese Literature (from the oldest poetic compositions in Galician-Portuguese to the late medieval poetry of Cancioneiro Geral), stressing its Iberian and European setting. Literary production and circulation of texts within the temporal milieus that canonised the written use of vernacular language will be surveyed. Two periods will be defined: the first one, the apogee of the feudal world, featuring the courtly and chivalresque imaginary of the landowning nobility; the second one, bearing the mark of the centralisation of power brought about by social and political changes in the XIVth c., through which the king’s court, stately and bureaucratic, appropriates literature as a means to assert authority and to codify new forms of sociability. The aristocratic written culture of the first period, based on the functional complementarity of its literary production in the fields of troubadour poetry, historiography and Arthurian romance, will get major focus. 

Head Lecturer(s)

Albano António Cabral Figueiredo

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Periodic Assessment
Mini Tests: 25.0%
Other: 25.0%
Frequency: 50.0%



Amado, T.(1991). Fernão Lopes contador de história. Sobre a «Crónica de D. João I». Lisboa:Estampa

Ferreira, M.R.(1999). Águas Doces, Águas Salgadas. Da funcionalidade dos motivos aquáticos na “Cantiga de Amigo”. Porto:Granito

Ferreira, M.R.(2019). Pedro de Barcelos e a Escrita da História. Porto:Est. Criativas

Laranjinha, A.S.(2010). Artur, Tristão e o Graal. A escrita romanesca no ciclo do Pseudo-Boron. Porto:Est. Criativas

Mattoso, J.(2009). Naquele Tempo. Ensaios de História Medieval. Lisboa:Círculo de Leitores

MIranda, J.C.(1998). Galaaz e a ideologia da Linhagem. Porto:Granito

Miranda, J.C.(2005). Aurs mesclatz ab argen. Sobre a primeira geração de trovadores Galego-Portugueses. Porto:Guarecer

Moreira, F.A.(2013). A Crónica de Portugal de 1419. Fontes, Estratégias e Posteridade. Lisboa: Gulbenkian

Oliveira, A.R.(2001). O Trovador galego-português e o seu mundo. Lisboa:Notícias

Tavani, G.(2002). Trovadores e jograis: introdução à poesia medieval galego-portuguesa. Lisboa:Caminho