HSRU-1300: INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL HISTORY
Section 001: TF Keating 219
Section 002: TF Keating 218
Instructor: Tomas Zahora
Office: Dealy 647
Office Hours: Tuesday,
and by appointment
Web Page: http://www.tomaszahora.org syllabus, handouts, lecture outlines, and helpful links will be updated throughout semester
Brian Tierney and Sidney Painter,
Paul Halsall et al., Internet Medieval Sourcebook www.fordham.edu/halsall (links to specific texts are provided below)
[Caveat regarding the sourcebook: The IMS is an amazing resource that makes conveniently available a vast amount of texts, and it is quite proper for you to begin searching for essay topics by browsing through its links. Be aware, though, that for the sake of avoiding copyright royalties, the database often uses dated translations, which can make reading a complicated text quite a challenge. Moreover, small textual errors are not infrequent, so use common sense when analyzing texts in detail. For your essays, use printed editions.]
The primary goal of the course is to introduce the students to the historical and historiographic vocabulary of the period extending roughly from 5th to early 14th century of the Common Era.
Whether known as the Dark Ages, The Age of Faith, The Middle Age, or The Age of Christianity, the era we conventionally know as the Middle Ages witnessed the laying of the foundations of modern Western world. A closer acquaintance with medieval lives, beliefs, social movements, and events provides one with a cognitive alphabet whose letters still determine to a large extent our perception of the world we inhabit. The second goal of the course is to introduce the students to select primary sources and to provide them with basic skills of approaching them. Finally, students will be encouraged to seek continuities, discontinuities, and impact upon subsequent periods among the issues, forces, and ideas presented in class.
Course requirements and evaluation:
Class attendance 5 %
Blackboard participation 10 %
Essay project 35 %
Exam 1 25 %
Exam 2 25 %
Optional Final Exam (comprehensive) (replaces lowest exam grade)
If you miss one of the two exams, you will have to take the comprehensive final exam to make up for the absence. You do not need to take the final exam if you are satisfied with your grade and have not missed one of the previous exams. Should you nevertheless decide to take the final exam, the lowest of your previous exam scores will be dropped. Final exam grade will be kept, regardless of results. No incompletes will be given in the course.
You do not need to bring documentation to excuse your absence. Likewise, you do not need to ask me for permission to miss class. Class attendance constitutes five percent of your total course gradeyou do the math. The same goes for Blackboard participation. In other words, a few missed classes will not automatically shift you down on the grade scalebut absences do add up, and missed lectures will hurt at exam time. Should you happen to miss an exam, you will have to take the final.
Blackboard will serve as the main discussion forum for the primary sources (links are provided in class schedule below). Students will be divided into three groups: A, B, and C. Each group will take turns contributing analytical comments about the readings, responding to their colleagues comments, and taking a break, in weekly intervals.
How will this be done?
First, have a look at the Class Schedule part of the syllabus. Beginning with Week 2, you will see a bracketed section following the weekly caption, for instance: Week 2: Christianity in the Late Roman Empire; The Fathers of the Church; Monasticism (Chapter 3) [Comments: A; Responses: B]. This means that during the second week, group A will be responsible for commenting on primary sources, and group B for replying to group As comments.
COMMENTS: The assigned group will distribute that weeks primary readings among its members, one text per student (on average, two students will comment on one source). Every one of that groups students will prepare a brief commentary (two paragraphs or more), which will place the passage in its proper historical context and underline its peculiarities or simply comment on what the reader finds interesting. Remember to contextualize your readings: writing I just love this passage will not do.
RESPONSES: Each member of the assigned group will respond to at least two comments. Feel free to respond to more than two comments, or continue a line of responses. Try to distribute your responses so that every comment receives at least one reply. Each response should be at least one paragraph (4-8 lines) in length, and should reflect an understanding of historical context. Again, writing I really feel like John is completely wrong when he says he just loves this passage will not do. Explain WHY John is wrong, or WHY he is right, or WHY the question is more complicated than John suggested, or WHAT IT IS you think is much more important than what John proposed, etc.
Grading the Blackboard: I will read Blackboard contributions on Mondays after , address problems, questions, and complex issues as they arise, and occasionally add my own comments. Blackboard participation constitutes 10% of your total course grade. Each comment can earn up to 6 points.
Excellent, well thought-out comment or response: 6 points
Good, average comment or response: 5 points
Last-minute two-liner: 4 points
Missed contribution: 0 points
Deadlines: Comments are due by of Thursday of each week. Responses are due by 8:00 a.m. of the Monday immediately following. Late contributions will be penalized by two value-points (for instance, a late comment or response otherwise worth 6 points will be worth 4 points if posted at 12:01 on Friday morning [8:01 Monday morning] or later).
Essay Project (handouts with more specific information will be provided):
Essays are due as noted in class schedule below. Late assignments will incur 5% penalty for each day they are late, beginning at 4:01 p.m. of the due day.
You have TWO OPTIONS:
1. TWO SIX-PAGE ESSAYS. Write two 2000-word (about six pages, double-spaced, 1 margins) essays. Each essay, worth 17.5% of your total course grade, must be based on at least one primary source. Choose a text that interests youexcerpts or full texts in the Internet Medieval Sourcebook are a good startread the whole work (let me know if the books turn out to be too long or too complex), and write an essay in which you analyze themes you consider interesting or especially relevant. Use at least four secondary sources (books, scholarly articles) to complement your analysis, prepare an annotated bibliography of secondary sources, and attach it at the end of your essay.
For example, if you are interested in Chivalry, you can read one of Chrιtien de Troyes romances, and compare his treatment of knighthood with modern scholarly analyses; or if you like Charlemagne, an essay based on Einhards or Notkers biographies is always a challenging and rewarding effort. Any primary text or a combination of texts or documents (let us say, of at least 50 printed pages in combined length) can be used as a basis for your essay.
[NOTE: If you, like myself, enjoy procrastinating, I recommend this option. Deadlines for the longer essay do come later in the semester, but so does a slew of other exams, essays, and responsibilities.]
2. ONE TWELVE-PAGE ESSAY. Write a 4000-word (about twelve pages, double-spaced, 1 margins) essay that will trace the development, within the period of time under discussion, of a broader political, social, or intellectual problem or question that you find intriguing or particularly relevant. Begin by selecting appropriate primary sources (at least two sources). Read the entire texts (again, consult me if the texts are too long or complex), research the treatment of your thesis by contemporaneous writers or modern historians, and build up a brief annotated bibliography consisting of at least eight secondary sources (books, scholarly articles).
This essay project allows you to broaden the scope of your research. For example, if you are interested in economics, you can study or compare different Hanse charters and privileges, the ups and downs of medieval fairs, or scholastic analyses of economical activities; if ecclesiastical history is your thing, a comparison of a saints biography from earlier period (say, 8-9th century) with a work from the 11th-12th century could address issues like the changing ideal of a Christian life, or position of women in medieval society. As in the shorter essay project, there is no limit as far as topics are concerned: follow your interests. Together, the primary sources should be at least 100 pages in length.
► NOTE: readings marked with a star symbol («) will be considered as passages for identification on exams. You should make a special mental note of these writings authors, historical context, and theses when preparing for exams.
Week 1: Introduction; Why Middle Ages?
Friday 3 September
Week 2: Christianity in the Late Roman Empire; The Fathers of the Church; Monasticism (Chapter 3) [Comments: A; Responses: B]
Tuesday 7 September
Friday 10 September
Ammianus Marcellinus: The Luxury of the Rich in Rome http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/ammianus-history14.html
Eusebius: excerpt from Ecclesiastical history on conversion of Constantine http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/conv-const.html
« Theodosian Code on Religion http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/codex-theod1.html
« St. Augustine: excerpt from The City of God. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/aug-city2.html
Tertullian: On Pagan Learning. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/200Tertullian-pagan.html
« St Benedict of Nursia: excerpts from The Rule http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/rul-benedict-excerp.html
Week 3: Fusions: Peoples, Structures, Traditions (Chapters 4-5) [Comments: C; Responses: A]
Tuesday 14 September
Friday 17 September
« Tacitus: excerpts from Germania http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/tacitus-germania-excerp.html
Sidonius Apollinaris: A Civilized Barbarian and a Barbarous Roman http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/sidonius2.html
« Gregory of Tours: History of the Franks, conversion of Clovis http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/gregory-clovisconv.html
Ordeal texts: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/ordeals1.html
« Procopius on Justinian: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/procop-anec1.html
Week 4: Irish and Anglo-Saxon Christianity; Islam (Chapter 6) [Comments: B; Responses: C]
Tuesday 21 September
Friday 24 September ► Essay topics due (1/2-1 page outline of your proposed essay topic)
St. Columbas Rule http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/columba-rule.html
« Bede: Conversion of England: The Ecclesiastical History http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/bede1.html
« The Quran: Surahs 1, 47 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/koran-sel.html
Yakut: Baghdad under Abbasids http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1000baghdad.html
The Thousand and One Nights: Lady and her suitors http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/1001.html
Week 5: Muhammad, Charlemagne, and the Dark Ages (Chapter 7) [Comments: B; Responses: A]
Tuesday 28 September
Friday 1 October: LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW WITHOUT INCURRING WF
Letter of Gregory II to Charles Martel http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g2-martellet.html
« The Donation of Constantine http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/donatconst.html
« Einhard: Selections from Life of Charlemagne http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/einhard1.html
Letter of summons to fight for Charlemagne http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/carol-sum1.html
Chronicles describe the ravages of the Northmen http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/843bertin.html
Week 6: Ruling the Unruly: Medieval Institutions (Chapters 8-9) [No Blackboard obligation]
Tuesday 5 October
Friday 8 October ► Draft of essay one is due by 4:00 p.m., if you decided to do two separate essays. If you chose to work on the large project, see schedule for week 8.
Fulbert of Chartres: on mutual obligations http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/fulbert1.html
« 12th century fief ceremonies http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/feud-fief1.html
Population estimates http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/pop-in-eur.html
Week 7: Dawn of a New Age (Chapter 10) [Comments: A; Responses: C]
Tuesday 12 October ► MIDTERM EXAM
Friday 15 October
William of Malmesbury: on the conquest of England http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1066malmesbury.html
Laws of William the Conqueror http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/will1-lawsb.html
« The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Domesday book http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1186ASChron-Domesday.html
Extracts from Domesday Book http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/domesday1.html
Week 8: Monks, Bishops, Emperors, and Popes (Chapters 10-11) [Comments: C; Responses: B]
Tuesday 19 October
Friday 22 October ► Essay 1 (if you are writing two separate essays) or Draft of the long essay is due by
« Gregory VII, Dictatus papae http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g7-dictpap.html
Henry IV deposes Gregory VII http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/henry4-to-g7a.html
Gregory VII deposes Henry IV http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g7-ban1.html
Gregory VII deposes Henry IV again http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g7-ban2.html
« Concordat of Worms, 1122 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/worms1.html
Week 9: Outer Reaches of the World (Chapters 12, 13) [Comments: A; Responses: B]
Tuesday 26 October
Friday 29 October
Russian Primary Chronicle: Conversion of Rus http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dml0www/christin.html
Raoul Glaber: On the Millennium http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/glaber-1000.html
« Versions of Urban IIs Clermont Address: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/urban2-5vers.html
Capture of Jerusalem http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/cde-jlem.html
The Fourth Crusade http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/4cde.html
King Richard Captures a Caravan http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1192caravan.html
Week 10: Building a Christian World (Chapter 14) [Comments: C; Responses: A]
Tuesday 2 November: ELECTION DAY: NO CLASS
Friday 5 November
On kinds of laborers http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1000workers.html
Cluny: property regulations http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1150Clunyprop.html
English kings grant trading rights to Cologne http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1194hanse-koln-london.html
« Guibert of Nogent: communal uprising in Laon http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/guibert-laon.html
Adalbert of Worms: fishermens guild http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1105fishermangild.html
Week 11: Dwarfs on the Shoulders of Giants (Chapter 15) [Comments: B; Responses: C]
Tuesday 9 November
Friday 12 November
« St. Anselm of Canterbury: Proslogion extracts http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/anselm.html
Adelard of Bath: preface to Difficult Questions http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/adelardbath1.html
Abelard: prologue to Sic et non http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/Abelard-SicetNon-Prologue.html
« Abelard: extracts from Historia calamitarum http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/abelard-sel.html
Heloise (?): letter to Abelard http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/heloise1.html
« St. Bernard of Clairvaux: Apology http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/bernard1.html
Week 12: Chivalric Society (Chapters 15-16) [Comments: B; Responses: A]
Tuesday 16 November
Friday 19 November ► Draft of essay two is due by 4:00 p.m., if you decided to do two separate essays. If you chose to work on the large project, you will have turned in your draft by now, and all that remains is finishing your essay and turning it in by 4:00 p.m., Friday, 3 December (See schedule for week 14).
Gratian on marriage http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/gratian1.html
« John of
« Chrιtien de Troyes: Lancelot http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1170chretien-lancelot.html
Capellanus: The Art of Courtly Love http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/capellanus.html
Riot at Chartres in 1210 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1210chartres.html
Week 13: The One and Only Catholic Church (Chapter 17) [No Blackboard obligation]
Tuesday 23 November
Friday 26 November: THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY: NO CLASS
Week 14: Stupor Mundi and Other, More Mundane Aspects of Medieval Government (Chapter 18) [Comments: A; Responses: C]
Tuesday 30 November
Friday 3 December ► Essay 2 or Large Essay Project Due by
Caesarius of Heisterbach on heretics http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/caesarius-heresies.html
« Innocent IIIs policies http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/innIII-policies.html
Select canons of the Fourth Lateran Council http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/lat4-select.html
Frederick IIs conflict with the Church http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1245FrederickII.html
St. Louis sends advice to his son http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/stlouis1.html
Week 15: A New Breed of Giants (Chapter 19) [Comments: C; Responses: B]
Tuesday 7 December
Friday 10 December ► SECOND EXAM
Robert de Courηon: Statutes of the University of Paris http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/courcon1.html
« St. Thomas Aquinas: the truth of reason is not contrary to the truth of faith http://www.nd.edu/Departments/Maritain/etext/gc1_7.htm
Boniface VIII: Clericis laicos http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/b8-clericos.html
Marsilius of Padua: Defensor Pacis conclusion http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/marsiglio1.html
Raimon de Cornet: corruption in Avignon http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/14Ccornet.html
SECTION 002 ONLY: Friday 17 December, ► FINAL EXAM
SECTION 001 ONLY: Monday 20 December, ► FINAL EXAM