Module Code ME2003

Module Title

Mediaeval Europe (11th - 15th c.)

Module Description

This module surveys the history of Europe and the Mediterranean world from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. The module takes thematic cross-sections which will enable students to understand not just the crucial events that shaped the period (such as the Crusades, the fall of Constantinople, the Black Death, the threat of Mongol invasions and popular rebellions), but also the mentalities of the people who experienced them. The thematic structure of tutorials will allow comparison within each theme, covering not just Europe but also the Byzantine and Islamic worlds. Possible themes may include political structures, popular devotion, religious dissent, transmission of intellectual thought, violence and warfare, marriage, childhood, the persecution of minorities, assimilation and co-existence and travel and exploration.


List of Lecture Titles

1. Introduction to Mediaeval Europe (11th - 15th c.)
2. Mediaeval Europe
3. Christendom
4. Social Structures
5. Towns and Trade
6. Language and Literacy
7. Saints and Sanctity
8. Old and New Monasticisms
9. The Friars
10. Judaism and Jewish Life
11. Heresy and Heretics
12. Inquisition
13. The Investiture Contest
14. From Papal Monarchy to the Great Schism
15. Schools and Universities
16. Empire, Kingship, Lordship
17. War and Chivalry
18. France: Monarchy and Sanctity
19. Germany: Empire and Fragmentation
20. Italy:Communes and Signori
21. Spain: Coexistence
22. Gender and Sex
23. Marriage, Family and Household
24. Birth and Death
25. The First Crusade and the Idead of Crusading
26. Outremer and the Expansion of Latin Christendom
27. Crusading and Latin Europe
28. Denmark and the Northern Crusades
29. Norway and the North Atlantic
30.The Swedes and the Goths
31. Economic Crisis and the Great Famine
32. The Black Death
33. Europe in 1400


List of Tutorial Topics

Students will register to a tutorial group through MMS.Tutors will then arrange for groups of six to eight students to come and meet with them at convenient times during the teaching day.  There will be a total of nine weekly tutorials, which will be devoted to discussion of key historical topics, through close analysis of selected primary source material, and through investigation of scholarly interpretations. 
Tutorials will be on a selection of the following topics:  Population Expansion and the land; Commercial Expansion; the Investiture Contest; Religious Orders; Heresy and dissent; the Ideology of Kingship; Nobility; Crusading and the expansion of Latin Europe; Intellectual life and the ‘Twelfth Century Renaissance’; Popes and kings – the ‘Outrage at Anagni’.


Recommended Reading

Barber, Malcolm, The Two Cities:  Medieval Europe 1050-1320 (London, 1992/2004)
Bartlett, Robert, The Making of Europe:  Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350 (London, 1993)
Jordan, William C., Europe in the High Middle Ages (London, 2001)
Rosenwein, Barbara H., A Short History of the Middle Ages (Peterborough, Ontario, 2002)
Southern, Richard W., The Making of the Middle Ages (London and New Haven, 1953)

Resource Lists