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Further Engaging Medieval Europe

HISTORY 70B (4.0 units)Session II

This course examines some of the major issues involved in the study of medieval European history and questions whether it is useful to challenge the traditional special, unitary, and thematic boundaries in studying the European Middle Ages. Textbook readings will provide students with a general survey of medieval European society. Supplementary readings, when necessary, will raise simple historiographical questions or concentrate on thematic studies on topics such as gender, identity, and violence. Students will also improve their qualitative analytical skills by discussing and writing about assigned primary source reading relevant to the lesson. The transformation of the Roman world of the fifth century into Germanic kingdoms marks the beginning of this course. We will discuss processes of syncretism and will talk about how the negative or positive portrayals of the early Middle Ages is dependent on evolving cultural attitudes and changes in the political climate in recent centuries and decades. We will then cover the different early medieval societies in Europe and discuss the degree to which there existed unifying social, cultural, or religious traits or institutions. Moreover, students will question whether Moorish Spain, Byzantium, pagan Europe, and the early medieval British Isles should be studied in closer proximity to the Latin Christendom(s) of continental Europe. We will then discuss the extent to which the ‚ÄúCarolingian Renaissance‚ÄĚ of the late-eighth and ninth centuries was more than just an effort to create a unifying imperial ideology. The course then covers the feudal society that emerged in Europe with the gradual disintegration of Carolingian royal rule and how various socioeconomic, cultural, and institutional factors produced the Crusades of the Central Middle Ages. We will discuss literature about the Saracens and the impact of crusading on Frankish identity, Latin Christendom, and on other Levantine societies. Next, we will talk about the emergence of an inquisitorial culture in the High Middle Ages and the degree to which it was related to a growing culture of persecution during that same period. We will end the class by discussing the makings of an increasingly homogenized and expansionist Europe by the Late Middle Ages, and whether we should consider this in the context of developments in the broader world economy.

Instructor(s) STAFF
Schedule MW 1:00 - 3:50pm, Room To Be Announced TBA
Units 4.0
Course Code 26640
UC Undergraduate (per unit) $ 279.00
UC Graduate (per unit) $ 349.00
Visitor (per unit) $ 349.00
Note(s) None