Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24
Available as a Free Standing Elective
Medieval Europe and Its World offers a wide-ranging introduction to a formative period of European history, the eleventh to thirteenth centuries. This was a time of tremendous social, political, economic and intellectual transformation, indeed a time, according to many historians, when European civilisation as we know it was created. Having safely negotiated the year 1000, which many believed would bring the second Coming of Christ and the end of the world, Medieval Europe embarked upon a phenomenal expansion over the following centuries that would see the creation of new political entities and institutions, increasing urbanisation and expanding trade, and the extension of Christianity and European civilisation to the peripheries. The increasing development of a European identity, however, had grave implications for those living on the margins or who were deemed to be outsiders and the module will explore the increasing persecution of heretics and Jews through the development of institutions such as the Inquisition and violent encounters during the crusades. The module will address a number of key topics including: power structures and the political development of Europe; the economy, urbanisation and the expansion of trade; the significance of the Church in providing a cohesive bond for medieval society; heresy and deviance; Jews and other outsiders in Medieval Europe and the question of whether medieval Europe was a persecuting society; and finally the crusades and medieval Europe's relations with the wider world.The module is taught by leading scholars of medieval Europe through weekly lectures and weekly small group seminars. There are rich online resources and a range of stimulating course set-books.No previous knowledge of medieval Europe is assumed and the module will appeal to all students interested in how historical developments can cast light on current problems and dilemmas, as well as being a vital module for students taking principal history.Preliminary reading.William C. Jordan, Europe in the High Middle Ages (Penguin, 2002)Barbara Rosenwein, A short History of the Middle Ages (University of Toronto Press, 3rd edition, 2009) which is richly illustrated and has good maps.
The module looks to introduce first-year students to the study of the most significant political, economic, social and religious developments in European history of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries in the context of the wider known world, in order to advance students' historical knowledge by enabling them to assess the balance between change and continuity, and to relate detailed evidence and case studies to more general issues, as well as to make critical evaluations of different historical explanations.
Intended Learning Outcomes
demonstrate they have acquired a broad understanding the most significant political, economic, social and religious developments in European history of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries in the context of the wider known world: 1,2make critical evaluations of different historical explanations: 1,2demonstrate skills in reading effectively, note-taking from lectures and reading material, oral presentation and debate, and essay writing and exam revision: 1,2assess the balance between change and continuity, and to relate detailed evidence and case studies to more general issues: 1,2
12 lectures, 12 seminars, 12 workshops, 30 hours seminar preparation and lecture consolidation, 37 hours commentary preparation and 47 hours essay preparation
1: Commentary weighted 50%
Description of Module Assessment
CommentariesTwo c.800-word commentaries, one on a textual primary source and one historiographical review of a scholarly journal article set by the tutor.2: Essay weighted 50%
An essay of c.2000 wordsAn essay of c. 2000 words from a list provided by the tutor