HIST 485 Fall 2014 After Rome (W)

Cross Listed as CLAS485
What happened to the Western Roman Empire? Did barbarians destroy it, did internal weakness undermine it, or did its participants voluntarily set it aside in favor of new cultural, social and political ideas? How did the evaporation of imperial political and military structures change the cultural and religious fabric of Europe? And above all, what is it that divides the ancient from the medieval world? Few questions in European history have occupied historians as insistently as these, and yet for all the lengthy books, ponderous documentaries, and political polemics, we are no closer to a consensus view. This tutorial will approach these timeless questions, first, through a comparative survey of the post-Roman Mediterranean, considering North Africa, Spain, Italy, Gaul, and the Byzantine East in turn. We will consult key primary sources for each region, including tax records, laws, narrative histories, letters, religious texts and archeological finds, as they are variously available. This first-hand experience with the problems of post-Roman history will prepare us to engage with secondary scholarship on the late imperial and early medieval worlds. Alongside the classic catastrophist readings of post-Roman history, which see the centuries after 476 CE as a period of severe economic and social dislocation, we will explore more recent arguments that seek to circumvent the problem of Rome's fall by positing an era of economic, cultural and intellectual continuity from the fifth through the eighth centuries.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: six essays (5-7 pages each) and six critiques, together with a longer, final essay (ca. 10 pages)
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino option
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: History majors
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia,HIST Group G Electives - Premodern
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 1243
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
HIST 485 - T1 (F) TUT After Rome (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Eric C. Knibbs
TBA 1243
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