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Medieval & Renaissance Perspectives
 of Western Civilization


HHD 2011R
Spring 2004
Thursday, 9:00 am-11:50 am
Room 310a, East 21st St. bldg.


Prof. V. Eads
Office: 819B, 2nd Ave. bldg.
Hrs: before/after class
or by appt.


Required Texts:

JoAnn H. Moran Cruz and Richard Gerberding, Medieval Worlds: An Introduction to European History, 300-1492 (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) [text]

Merry E. Weisner et al., Discovering the Medieval Past: A Look at the Evidence (Houghton Mifflin, 2003) [sources]

Handouts: Additional reading material will occasionally be distributed in class.

The Web: A number of assignments will be made from the websites on your syllabus.

Ever wonder how profs select web sites? Ask the librarians at The Citadel:

Course Requirements:

-regular class attendance and active participation (20%)

-all assigned readings

-assigned individual or small group presentations

-three one-hour exams (20% each)

-museum report (20%)

Be sure to read the Information for All Students on Prof. E's website.

----------------------------Reading Assignments------------------

Readings must be completed before the class for which they are assigned. Because each class meeting is a full week's work, more than one topic may be discussed in a single class. Organizing your reading will keep confusion to a minimum.

I. January 15

1. Administrivia: objectives, requirements, grading, class procedures

2. Defining terms: Middle Ages, medieval, Renaissance, primary and secondary sources

3. The end of the ancient world and the beginning of the Middle Ages

text: pp. 1-15

"Introduction," Debating the Middle Ages, edited by Lester K. Little and Barbara H. Rosenwein (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998) pp. 1-4.

[Obviously, you couldn't prepare this material in advance, but if your notes are not clear or you registered late, these readings will allow you to get the material that was presented on the first day of class.]


II. January 22

4. Decline & Fall (?)

text, chap. 1

handout: from Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

When did Gibbon write this? What else was going on at that time? How might this have affected his view of history?

Pay particular attention to the primary source excerpts in both your textbook and your sourcebook. These are the foundation of the course, the records that medieval people have left of themselves. What is the purpose of each illustration? Be sure you can identify each source by author (if known), title, date, etc. It is not acceptable to refer to "no. 6" or "p. 19" in class discussion or exams.

5. Christianity & Rome

text, chap. 2

handout: Heresy Hunter's Handguide


II. January 29

6. The Barbarians

text: chapter 3

sources: chapter 1

HINT: It will probably be helpful to read the short sections labeled "The Problem," "Sources and Method" and "Questions to Consider" before you read the sources themselves. Be aware of the amount of time and space that these law codes cover. Where and when did Alfred the Great reign? Justinian? (If you haven't a clue, check the index and appendices--OK, appendixes--in in your text.) What do you know about Justinian's law code that could raise a question about the time and place information?


IV. February 5

6. The Eastern Empire & Islam

text: chap. 4

You will notice that this chapter on the Eastern Mediterranean covers quite a long period of time. In the class discussion for today we will emphasize the earlier centuries. As the course progresses through time, refer back to the appropriate sections of this chapter. Record a few sound bites for the later centuries in your notes.

7. Early Western Europe

text: chap. 5


V. February 12

8. The Carolingians

text: chap. 6

OK. Why, after more than three centuries does "The West" feel the need to have an emperor again?

9. The British Isles

text: chap. 7

video: Old English lit


VI. February 19

First examination: 1 hr., closed book, through topic 7

10. Vikings and Saracens and Magyars, Oh my!

text: chap. 8

presentation: Prof. E's slides of the only Viking site in the New World

VII. February 26

11. Land and People: A Social Summary

text: chap 9

sources: chapter 2

This should give you some idea of how difficult it is to find out about everyday life in the Middle Ages! We will go over the sources in some detail in class, so be sure you have read up on the problem, sources and methods and questions.


VIII. March 4

12. Rulers and Religion: A Political-Institutional Summary

text: chap. 10

Roswitha, the loud voice of Gandersheim, is a fascinating figure, a tenth-century Saxon nun who wrote plays in the manner of classical Roman playwrights. Here's a great Bippie Op for anyone with an interest in drama.

13. Beginning the Central (aka The High) Middle Ages

text: chap. 11

March 11 Spring Break---No Class---Gaudeamus igitur!!


Deadline for withdrawals without penalty is March 15!!


IX. March 18

14. The Crusades

text: chapter 12

sources: chap. 5


Jonathan Riley-Smith is one of the leading scholars of the Crusades. Can you guess the political leaning of the National Review? Would the sources you have read support or refute that view of history?


X. March 25

15. Political/Institutional Summary

text: chap. 13

16. The Medieval University (What other kind is there?!)

text: chapter 14

sources: chapter 4


XI. April 1

Second 1-hr. Exam

17. Social History Summary, 12th & 13th centuries

text: chapter 15

XII. April 8

18. 13th Century, Political/Institutional

text: chap. 16

19. 13th Century, Cultural

text: chap. 17

XIII. April 15

20. The Autumn of the Middle Ages I

text: chap. 18

sources: chap. 8

21. The Autumn of the Middle Ages II

text: chap. 19


XIV. April 22--Museum Report due.

22. The Autumn of the Middle Ages II

sources: chap. 11

23. The Renaissance?

text: Epilogue, pp. 526-535


XV. April 29--Final Exam

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