The High Middle Ages
Winter Semester 2005
113 Classic Hall
M W F: 10:00-11:00 and by appointment
Course Description and Objectives
This course is a discussion-oriented seminar on the history of Western Europe from roughly the eleventh- through the early fourteenth-centuries, with particular emphasis given to political, religious, and cultural history. Readings include a detailed narrative of the Crusades, an interpretive essay on Medieval magic, and a wide variety of primary sources. In addition to increasing your understanding of the High Middle Ages, the course is designed to promote an understanding of historical context and perspective and to encourage the skills essential to historical inquiry, including the capacity to define historical questions, analyze primary documents, evaluate alternative interpretations, develop coherent arguments, and write and speaking clearly and effectively.
(Book Order Information)
1. William Chester Jordan, Europe in the High Middle Ages
2. Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades
3. Richard Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages
4. Patrick Geary, ed., Readings in Medieval History vol. 2, 3rd edition
5. Betty Radice, ed., Letters of Abelard and Heloise
6. Readings from the Internet (links to which can be found in the schedule below)
Final grades will be based on an evaluation of the following.
1. Three exams (20% each)
The exams will consist of essay questions.
2. Research paper (20%)
Your paper may be on any topic in the era of the High Middle Ages. The paper is to be analytical and interpretive, not simply descriptive. It should present a thesis and develop an argument (and include potential counter-arguments). The length of the paper should be 5-6 pages. You are expected to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain sources.
3. Prospectus and in-class presentation (10%)
The grade will be based on the quality of the thesis and argument, the quality of the evidence and logic, and the quality of the writing.
The prospectus should include (1) a draft of the first paragraph of the research paper (including the thesis statement), (2) an outline of the entire research paper (no more than one page), and (3) a bibliography of the research paper consisting of at least five substantive sources (this may vary depending on the topic).
5. Class participation (10%)
The six-minute presentation functions as a first draft of the research paper. It should identify the problem addressed in the paper, develop a thesis and argument, and entertain counter-arguments. The grade will be based on the quality of the thesis and argument, the quality of the evidence and logic, and the quality of the speaking.
The success of this class depends upon the quality of the dialogue in class. It is expected that you will attend every class and that you will be fully prepared to discuss the material assigned for that day. Class participation grades will reflect your attendance record, the frequency of your contributions to class discussions, and the quality of your questions, observations, and conclusions. Commentary on the presentations of others is included in the class participation grade.
Jan. 12: Jordan, 1-51
Jan. 14: Jordan, 52-79; Geary, ix-x, 60-80
Jan. 17: Jordan, 83-99; Geary, 274-300
Jan. 19: Jordan, 143-160; Geary, 302-311, 424-441
Jan. 21: Jordan, 161-169; Geary, 467-8, 479-80; Jordan, 100-112; Riley-Smith, xxv-xxx, 1-17
Jan. 24: Riley-Smith, 18-39; Geary, 81-99
Jan. 26: Geary, 99-116; Riley-Smith, 40-60
Jan. 28: Riley Smith, 61-108; Jordan, 169-176
Jan. 31: Riley-Smith, 109-151
Feb. 2: Jordan, 283-285; Riley Smith, 179-207, 255-257
Feb. 4: No Class
Feb. 7: EXAM 1
Feb. 9: Jordan, 113-137; The Marriage of Sir Gawain
Feb. 11: Geary, 9-32
Feb. 14: Geary, 33-59
Feb. 16: Abelard, 57-106
Feb. 18: Abelard, 109-156
Feb. 21: No Class
Feb. 23: Abelard, 159-179; Jordan, 179-193
Feb. 25: Jordan, 194-212; Geary, 144-166
Mar. 7: Geary, 198-218
Mar. 9: Jordan, 213-225; Aquinas
Mar. 11: Geary, 167-197
Mar. 14: EXAM 2
Mar. 16: Jordan, 226-258, 271-282; Geary, 446-453
Mar. 18: Presentations; PROSPECTUS DUE
Mar. 21: Presentations
Mar. 23: Presentations
Mar. 25: Presentations
Mar. 28: No Class
Mar. 30: Kieckhefer, ix-x, 1-42
Apr. 1: Kieckhefer, 43-94
Apr. 4: Kieckhefer, 95-150
Apr. 6: Kieckhefer, 151-201
Apr. 8: Jordan, 289-328
Apr. 11: Geary, 241-273, 481-489
Apr. 13: Jordan, 137-142, 259-270
Apr. 15: Romanesque; Gothic; Music; RESEARCH PAPER DUE
Exam Week: EXAM 3
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