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History 371: Medieval History

Course Syllabus

Course Description: This course will investigate the history of Europe and the Near East from the breakup of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance. It will study the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the three successor civilizations of classical Greece and Rome--Byzantium Islam and Western Christendom, with particular emphasis on the latter. It will look at how these civilizations arose and interacted in both peace and war. Among the topics to be covered in the course will be: the end of the ancient world; the Rise of Christianity; the era of migrations; the Germanic successor kingdoms; the Catholic Church in the West, the Carolingian Empire, the Vikings, Feudalism and Manorialsim, Holy Roman Empire Versus the Papacy, Byzantium and its civilization, the rise of Islam and its civilization, the advent of the Turks; the Crusades; the Medieval Kingdoms; the aristocracy and middle class in the Middle Ages; church and culture in the High Middle Ages; later islam and the Byzantine Commonwealth; the Mongols; and the crises of the 14th Century and the beginnings of the Renaissance.


PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE:

  • 1) To acquaint students with the political, social, economic and cultural history of Europe and the Near East from the third to the fifteenth century.
  • 2) To sharpen the students' skills in historical interpretation, research and writing.


CLASS SCHEDULE AND PROCEDURE:

  • 1) The class schedule will consist of two eighty-minute sessions per week. The major portion of each session is allotted to lectures by the instructor, while some time can be devoted to questions and discussion.
  • 2) Lectures both supplement and complement reading assignments, as well as introduce problems to be brought up in the discussion periods. Discussion periods investigate problems and look into interpretations of subjects in the readings and/or lectures.
  • 3) Brief outlines of lectures, maps and other supplementary materials will be distributed to students in electronic form.


STUDENT REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE:

  • 1) Attendance: Students are expected to regularly attend lectures and participate actively in classroom discussions. Attendence will be taken regularly. Since there is no penalty for absences, there will be no excused absences.
  • 2) Reading assignments: Text and supplementary source readings are given on a weekly basis.
  • 3) Geography Quizzes: Twelve brief geography Quizzes will be presented and are scheduled in the course outline. The two lowest of twelve geography quiz scores will be dropped. Each quiz will count for 10 points for a total of 100 points toward the course grade. Since the two lowest of twelve geography quiz scores will be dropped there will be no make ups for geography Quizzes.
  • 4) Examinations: Four exams will be presented during the semester. Each examination will include one essay section and one identification section. The lowest of the four exam scores will be dropped. Each examination will count 100 points toward the course grade. In total the three examinations will count 300 points toward the course grade. Since the lowest of the four exams will be dropped, no makeup exams will be given. No dropping of the fourth and final exam will be accepted.
  • 5) Essays: Four two-to-three-page essays will be assigned during the session. These essays will be based upon questions given on selected readings. Students are expected to express their reaction and answer each question in a two-to-three-page, typed,and double spaced paper. The lowest of the four essay scores will be dropped. Each essay will be worth 50 points for a total of 150 points toward the course grade. Each essay will be due by E-MAIL to his_ncp@shsu.edu by 12:00 PM on the day stated in the syllabus. Only those who can show that they have no possible access to a computer will be allowed to turn in a hard copies of the essay. Since the lowest of the four essay scores will be dropped, no essays will be accepted after this deadline, nor makeup papers accepted.
  • 6) Makeups: No makeup assignments for essays, exams, geography quizzes or multiple choice quizzes will be given. No exceptions will be made. Do not ask.
  • 5) Evaluation of student performance will be made upon:
    • a) the ten out of twelve geography quizes [18%];
    • b) the two examinations [40%].
    • d) the three out of three papers [30%]
  • 7) Grade scale: 495-550=A; 440-494=B; 380-439=C; 320-379=D; 0-319=F.


REQUIRED READINGS:


  • WEEK 1: The Transformation of the Ancient World. (8/23)
    • Greco-Roman Civilization and the Crisis of the Third century A.D.
    • The Christian Church and the Later Roman Empire.
    • Section 1-Rome and Christianity
    •  
  • WEEK 2: The Migration of Peoples.(8/28-30)
    • The Huns and Germans and the Fall of the Empire in the West
    • The Germanic Successor States
    • Section 2-The Era of Migrations
    •  
  • WEEK 3: The Formation of Western Christendom(9/4-6)
    • Civilization in the Germanic Successor States
    • Western Culture and Learning in the Early Middle Ages
    • Section 3--Frankish Kingdom
    • Section 4-Church & Culture
    •  
  • Week 4: The Frankish Kingdom and the Carolingian Empire (9/11-13). FIRST ESSAY DUE
    • Origins of the Carolingian Dynasty
    • Charlemagne
    • The Successors of Charlemagne
    • The New Invaders: Arabs, Northmen, and Magyars
    • Section 5-Carolingian Empire
    • Section 6-Later Carolingians
    •  
  • WEEK 5: Early Medieval Institutions: Feudalism, Manorialism, and the Church. (9/18-20)
    • First examination
    • The Development of Feudalism
    • The Manorial System
    • Section 7-Feudalism and State
    • Section 8-Manorialism & Peasant
    •  
  • WEEK 6: The Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church: Their Rise and Conflicts (9/25-27)
    • The Attempt at Imperial Restoration in Central Europe and Italy
    • Empire Versus Papacy
    • Emperor Versus Pope
    • Section 9: Empire and Papacy I
    • Section 10: Empire and Papacy II
    •  
    •  
  • WEEK 7: The Eastern Roman Empire and the Development of Eastern Christendom (10/2-4)
    • From the Eastern Roman to the Byzantine Empire
    • Byzantine Civilization
    • Section 11-Byzantium.
    •  
  • WEEK 8: The Islamic World (10/9-11). SECOND ESSAY DUE
    • The Origins and Expansion of Islam
    • Islamic Civilization and the Caliphates.
    • Section 12-The Rise of Islam
    • Section 13-Islam and the Caliphate
    •  
  • WEEK 9: The Crusades: The First Expansion of the West (10/16-18)
    • Background of the Crusade
    • The Early Crusades
    • The Fourth Crusade
    • The Later Crusades
    • Effects of the Crusades
    • Section 14-The Crusades.
    • Section 15-The Affects of the Crusades.
    •  
  • WEEK 10: Medieval Monarchy: The Holy Roman Empire versus French and English Kingdoms (10/23-25)
    • SECOND EXAMINATION
    • The Holy Roman Empire:
    • France: The Capetian Dynasty
    • Anglo Saxon and Norman England
    • Section 16-Holy Roman Empire to 1300.
    • Section 17-The Medieval French Kingdom
    • Section 18-The Medieval English Kingdom
    •  
  • Week 11: The Frontiers of Western Christendom (10/30-11/1)
    • The Iberian Peninsula
    • Scandinavia
    • East Central Europe
    • Section 19-Castille, Aragon and Portugal
    • Section 20-Scandinavia and East Central Europe.
    •  
  • WEEK 12: Apogee of the Church and Medieval High Culture, 12th and 13th Century (11/6-8)
    • THIRD ESSAY DUE
    • The Roman Catholic Church in the High Middle Ages.
    • Culture in the High Middle Ages
    • Medieval Thought and Education
    • Section 21-Church in the High Middle Ages
    • Section 22-Culture in the High Middle Ages
    •  
  • WEEK 13: Elite Society In the High Middle Ages (11/13-15)
    • The Feudal Aristocracy and the Manorial Peasants
    • Townsmen Rich and Poor
    • Section 23-Feudal Aristocracy
    • Section 24--Towns and Trade.
    •  
  • WEEK 14: The Byzantine Commonwealth and Islam in the Late Middle Ages. (11/20)
    • Byzantium and the Rise of the Ottomans
    • The Byzantine Commonwealth
    • Section 25-Byzantium/Ottomans
    • Section 26-Eastern Christendom
    •  
  • WEEK 15: The Transformation of the Medieval World. (11/27-29) FOURTH ESSAY DUE
    • The Mongol Invasions and the Harbinger of Crisis
    • The Crisis of the Fourteenth Century.
    • From Medieval to Modern
    • Section 27-The Mongol Impact
    • Section 28-Crisis of the 14th Century
    • Section 29-Medieval to Modern