European society changed so rapidly and extensively between 1050 and 1200 that medievalists often call it a "renaissance," ( a period of rebirth not to be confused with the later Italian Renaissance.) During this period, agricultural technologies changed, new forms of religious life developed, schools and universities emerged, cathedrals were built, towns became self-governing, and royal governments experimented with new forms of administration and law. Though a reading of primary documents - including love letters, memoirs, accounts of religious visions, chronicles of urban revolts, court poetry, theological treatises, and artistic creations – this course examines a series of these intellectual, religious, social, and political developments.
The goals of this course are for students 1) to identify the important events and figures in this period of rapid change; 2) to learn to read and analyze different types of medieval documents; 3) to understand how historical arguments and accounts are constructed from the analysis of primary documents; 4) to understand the interconnections between economic, social, religious, and cultural developments; and 5) to construct and write their own historical analyses.
Colin Morris, The Discovery of the Individual (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987).
Galbert of Bruges, The Murder of Charles the Good, trans. James Bruce Ross (New York: Harper and Row, 1967; reprinted by Toronto University Press).
Paul Archambault, ed. , A Monk’s Confession: The Memoirs of Guibert of Nogent (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995).
Peter Abelard and Heloise, Letters and other Writings, ed. William Levitan (Hackett Publishing Company, 2007).
Georges Duby, William Marshal: Flower of Chivalry, (New York: Pantheon, 1987).
Christopher Brooke, Europe in the Central Middle Ages, 3nd edition (London, Longman, 2000).
In addition, selected primary documents are available on Blackboard.
Course Requirements and Grades
•3 short (2-3-page) papers 30% (10% each)
•Map Test 5%
•Midterm Exam 20%
•Final Paper (10 pages) 35%
•Class Participation 5%