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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "HS 235 "
COURSE NAME: "The Birth of Medieval Europe: from Constantine to the First Crusade "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Fabrizio Conti
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 4:30-5:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course explores the major events, intellectual developments, and artistic achievements that shaped the history and culture of Europe and Byzantium from the 4th to the 11th centuries. The course treats such issues as the migrations and political restructuring of Late Antiquity, the Christianization of Europe, the development of feudalism, the rise of the Dar al-Islam and its relations with Europe and the Byzantine world, heresy and orthodoxy, and religious reform movements.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

This course focuses on the examination of societies, cultures and politics in medieval Europe between 300 and 1100.  We will consider comparatively the three main civilizations of the medieval world: Byzantium, the Islamic World and the Medieval West, although our main focus will be Western Europe. Some of the topics we will explore include: the development of the medieval Papacy, the First Crusade and its aftermath, medieval monasticism, the Celts and the Vikings, heresy and magic, the Lombards in Italy, military and religious architecture, Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance, the developments after the year 1000

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

The aim of this course is not only to guide students through the discovery of the main events and characters in Medieval Europe between the 4th and the 11th centuries, but also and especially to give them the opportunity to build their own ideas of the multifaceted ways in which cultures, societies and mentalities developed and interacted during the early Middle Ages. Outcomes: 1. students will acquire basic skills in methodologies involved in historical research, writing, and communication, also by working with primary sources in English; 2. students will acquire a progressively more deepened grasp of early medieval developments by advancing from identifying and recognizing historical issues to classifying, interpreting, analysing, comparing, and explaining them, to finally generating their own reflections

 
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Readings in Medieval History, Volume I: The Early Middle Ages, Fifth EditionPatrick J. GearyUniversity of Toronto Press, 20159781442634336  
The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000Chris WickhamPenguin Books, 2010978-0143117421  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
2 Short Reaction Papers These are short essays/analysis on a specific topic based on the reading of scholarly articles. You will be given a list of topics, among which you will pick the one you prefer and develop it in about 1200 words. The relevant readings and the questions which serve as guidelines for the analysis will be posted on MYJCU. All written assignments should be submitted to the instructor electronically by 3pm of the due date at the latest. No late assignments will be accepted.30% (15% each)
1 Source Analysis This is an analysis of a primary source in English. You will be given a list of topics with the relevant sources among which you will pick the one you prefer and develop it in about 1200 words. The readings and the questions which serve as guidelines for the analysis will be posted on MYJCU. All written assignments should be submitted to the instructor electronically by 3pm of the due date at the latest. No late assignments will be accepted. 10%
Mid-Term ExamThis will be an in-class written exam composed of short answer and essay questions. Your grade on this exam will depend upon the analytical strength and persuasiveness of your arguments as well as the factual accuracy of your answers. More information about these exams will be provided as their dates near.25%
Final ExamThis will be an in-class written exam composed of short answer and essay questions. Your grade on this exam will depend upon the analytical strength and persuasiveness of your arguments as well as the factual accuracy of your answers. More information about these exams will be provided as their dates near.25%
Attendance and ParticipationIt is mandatory that: 1. you are in class, 2. have done the readings, 3. express your views and questions orally in class and are able to make connections with the topics that have been already covered. You will get points for participation for being active in class, rather than for being (always) right. Persistent absence or having failed to do the readings will affect your final grade.10%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the c
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

It is mandatory that: 1. you are in class, 2. have done the readings, 3. express your views and questions orally in class and are able to make connections with the topics that have been already covered. You will get points for participation for being active in class, rather than for being (always) right. Persistent absence or having failed to do the readings will affect your final grade.

Late arrivals will be noted and will affect your grade. Students cannot leave the classroom before the end of the lecture. Please note that behaving in ways that create distractions for other members of the class (messaging, checking social networks, catching up on e-mail and so on) will lower your participation grade.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

One class will be held in a site within downtown Rome (experiential learning)

AUGUST

Week 1

28 M Course Structure and Objectives. Intro: Historical Methods and the Early Middle Ages

-          Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft, pp. 17-24, online (MY JCU)

 

30 W Constantine the Great: the First Christian Roman Emperor

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 50-75 (Part I, ch. 3)

-          Lactantius, On the Death of the Persecutors, Ch. XLVIIIEusebius, Life of Constantine, Book I, Ch. XXVIII, XXIX, XXX, XXXI;
           Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book X, Ch. II, VI, VII, IX. Links to the texts online (MY JCU)

 

SEPTEMBER

Week 2

4 M The Fall of the Roman Empire and the Transition To the Medieval World

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 76-95 (Part I, ch. 4)  (pp. 95-108: optional)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 1; 10-13 (Theodosian Code: Title 7: Marriage; Title 8: Subsequent Marriages)

 

6 W A Giant of Early-Medieval Culture and His "Modern" Insights: Augustine of Hippo and Albert Einstein

-        Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 28-29 (On Christian Doctrine, Book II, Ch. 1: Signs; Ch. 2: Of the kind of signs; Ch. 3: Among
          signs); pp. 30-31 (Ch. 20: The superstitious nature of human institutions; Ch. 21: Superstition of astrologers; Ch. 22: The folly of
          observing the stars); p. 32 (Ch. 24: The intercourse and agreement with demons); pp 40-41 (City of God, Book I, Preface; Ch. 1: Of the
          adversaries of the name of Christ)

-        Discussion: Augustine, Confessions, Book XI on Time, selections online (MYJCU); Einstein, Letter to Solovine On the Rational Order of
         the World
, online (MY JCU); Geary, Readings in Medieval History, p. 37 (On Christian Doctrine, Book II, Ch. 38: The science of
         numbers)

 

Week 3

11 M The Germans: Cultural Identities, Mythologies, Migrations

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 111-129 (Part II, ch. 5)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 58-59 (Tacitus, Germania, paragraphs: 1, 2, 4, 5), pp. 60-63 (paragraphs: 8, 9, 10, 11, 16,
           18, 19, 20, 23); pp. 69 (Jordanes, History of the Goths, paragraph IV), p. 76-78 (paragraphs XXI,  XXIV, XXV, XXVI)

 

13 W Post-Roman Societies in the West: the Franks and the Rest of Continental Europe

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 130-140 (Part II, ch. 6)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 105-108 (Salic Law, Titles I, II, XIII, XIX, XLI); p. 111 (Title LXII); pp. 112-113 (Bishops
           Remigius of Reims and Avitus of Vienne, Letters to Clovis); p. 114 ff. (Gregory of Tours, Histories, paragraphs 12, 27)

 

Week 4

18 M The Romans and the Lombards in Italy

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 140-149 (Part. II, ch. 6 cont.)

-          Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards, selections online (MY JCU)

 

20 W St. Benedict of Norcia: the Birth and the Role of Western Monasticism

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 170-187 (Part II, ch. 8)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 136 ff. (St. Benedict, Rules for Monasteries, Prologue, Ch. I, II, V, VI, VIII, XXII, XXXIX, XL,
           LIII, LXIV)

 

22 F  Make-Up for Wednesday, November 1 
         
         Celts, Vikings, and Anglosaxons: Britain and Ireland

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 150-169 (Part II, ch. 7)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 182-188 (Bede, History of the English Church and People, Book One, Ch. XXIII, XXV, XXX,
           XXXII)

 

Week 5

25 M Reaction Paper Due

     Insular and Celtic Cultures: Spiritualities, Literary Traditions, and Archaeology  

-        Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 191-194 (Bede, History of the English Church and People, Book Three, Ch. XXV); pp. 215-216
         (Theodore, Penitential, Preface, Book 1, Ch. I); pp. 218-219 (Ch. V); p. 222 and p. 223 (Ch. XIV, XV); p. 228 (Book 2, Ch. IX, X)

 

27 W The Byzantine Civilization

-           Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 255-265 (Part III, ch. 11)  (pp. 265-278: optional); pp. 298-317 (Part III, ch. 13)

 

OCTOBER

Week 6

2 M Charlemagne

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 375-404  (Part IV, ch. 16)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 233 ff. (Einhard, The Life of Charlemagne, Ch. 3, 6, 7, 8, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29)

 

4 W The Carolingian Empire and the Carolingian 'Renaissance'

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 405-413 (Part IV, ch. 17)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 247 ff. (Selected Capitularies: Herstal, 779; Concerning the Saxons, 797; Charles the Great on
           the study of Literature; De villis)

 

Week 7

9 M Mid-Term Exam

 

11 W The Transition to the Post-Carolingian World

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 427-444 (Part IV, ch. 18) (pp. 444-452: optional)

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 267 ff (Duoda, Handbook for her Son, Ch. 1, 4, 5, 10, 11)

 

Week 8

16 M Feudalism and the Tripartite Nature of Medieval Society

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 508-528 (Part IV, ch. 21)

-          Adalbero of Laon, Poem for King Robert, selections online (MY JCU)

 

18 W Cluny

-          Geary, Readings in Medieval History, pp. 286-292 (Cluniac Charters)



Week 9

23 M  Reaction Paper (Source Analysis) Due

      War, Violence and Peace: the Peace and the Truce of God

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 529-543 (Part IV, ch. 22) (pp. 543-551: optional)

-          Reading the Middle Ages, ed. by Barbara H. Rosenwein, document 4.5 ‘The Peace of God’, online (MY JCU)

 

25 W Microcosm and Macrocosm: Humans, Nature, and Magic in the Early Middle Ages

-          Aron Gurevich, Medieval Popular Culture, selections online (MY JCU)

-          Burchard of Worms, Decree, ‘On superstitions’, online (MY JCU)

 

Week 10

30 M  Heresy and Heretics

-          Heresies of the High Middle Ages, ed. by Wakefield and Evans, selections online (MY JCU)

 

NOVEMBER

1 W Holiday (make-up class on 22 September)

Week 11

6 M The Islamic Civilization

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 279-289 (Part III, ch. 12); 318-319 (Part III, ch.14); 324-330 (Part III, ch. 14); 338-347 (Part III,
            ch. 14)

-          Al-Qabisi, On Teachers and Students; Al-Farabi, The Perfect State; in Rosenwein (ed.) Reading the Middle Ages (MY JCU)

 

8 W The Year 1000: A 'White Mantle of Churches' or the Romanesque Side of Medieval Europe

-          Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 552-564 (Ch. 23: Conclusions); R. Landes, The White Mantle of Churches, in Idem, ed. by H.
            Nigel (2003) (MY JCU)

-          Ralph Glaber, On the First Millenium, selections online (MY JCU)

 

Week 12

13 M Universal Powers: Empire, Church Reform, and the Investiture Controversy

-         Gregory VII Dictatus Papae, selections online (MYJCU); Reading the Middle Ages, ed. by Rosenwein, documents: 5.4 (Henry
          IV, Letter to Gregory VII); 5.5 (Gregory VII, Letter to Hermann of Metz), selections online (MY JCU)

 

15 W Documentary followed by discussion

 

Week 13

20 M The Expansion of Europe: The First Crusade

-          Andrew Jotischky, Crusading and the Crusader States (2004), selection online (MY JCU)

-          The First Crusaders,
ed. by Brian Tierney, selections online (MY JCU); Reading the Middle Ages, ed. by Rosenwein, doc. 5.9
           (Martyrs in the Rhineland), and 5.10 (Stephen of Blois, Letter to His Wife); selections online (MY JCU)

 

22 W The First Crusade and Its Aftermath: Knighthood, Military Architecture, Pilgrimages

-          John France, The Crusades and The Expansion of Catholic Christendom (2006), selections online (MY JCU)

-          Reading the Middle Ages, ed. by Rosenwein, doc. 5.11 (Ibn al-Athir, The First Crusade), selections online (MY JCU); Bernard of
            Clairvaux, In Praise of the New Knighthood, selections online (MY JCU)

 

Week 14

27 M Last Reaction Paper Due

    The Christian, Knightly, and Seigniorial Early Middle Ages in Rome: Experiential Learning on the Aventine Hill 

 

29 W Final discussions: A 'Dark' and 'Middle' Ages?

-         Jacques Le Goff, Must We divide History Into Periods? Selections online (MY JCU)

Final Exam