HIST 224
Introduction to Medieval Europe Fall 2022
Division II
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Class Details

This course traces the development of European societies from the collapse of the Western Roman imperial order in the fifth century CE to the rise and consolidation of powerful monarchies by the fifteenth century: a foundational period in European history. Along the way, we will confront many of the paradoxes that make medieval history so compelling. How did political fragmentation coexist with the spread of an increasingly uniform, Latin Christian culture? How was that same Christian culture mobilized to support both hierarchy and popular resistance to hierarchy, both early capitalism and voluntary poverty? As we encounter the medieval world through the men and women who lived in it, we will read the writings of saints and heretics, poets and lawyers, merchants and mystics. Though Western Europe will be our focus, we will also examine how Western European Christians defined themselves, in part, through their relationships with their neighbors in the Islamic and Byzantine worlds, and with internal religious minorities, such as the Jews. By the end of the course, students will appreciate how the socio-economic and intellectual legacy of the Middle Ages profoundly shaped the subsequent history not only of Europe, but the world.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 40
Expected: 25-30
Class#: 1383
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Attendance and participation, weekly reading responses or short in-class quiz, two short papers, and a final exam.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Junior and senior History majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

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