HIST 424 Spring 2013 The Dark Ages: Gaul after the Fall of Rome

What made Antiquity different from the Middle Ages? What changed after the Roman Empire ceased to exist in the West? This seminar will approach these classic problems through an intense focus on Gaul during the so-called "Dark Ages," from the fifth to the eighth centuries. During these years, Frankish kings of the Merovingian dynasty dominated Western Europe. Our sources for these transitional centuries are some of the most colorful and fascinating texts to emerge from the ancient world. We will begin with a look at life and politics under the later Roman empire, and then make ourselves experts in Merovingian history by studying nearly all the surviving written evidence. Narrative histories, chronicles and law codes will claim the bulk of our time and attention, but we will also sample documents, literature, and archeological finds. This comprehensive exposure will prepare us to confront the many scholarly debates that have surrounded the Merovingian age.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on two class presentations, a shorter mid-term paper, and a substantial final research project
Additional Info: not available for the Gaudino option and cannot be taken Pass/Fail
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: senior, then junior History majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia,HIST Group G Electives - Global History
Enrollment Limit: 15
Expected Enrollment: 10-15
Class Number: 3548
HIST424-01(S) SEM The Dark Ages Division 2: Social Studies Eric C. Knibbs
M 7:00 PM-9:40 PM Schapiro Hall 241 3548
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