The death of Charlemagne in 814 ushered in a period critical to the formation of medieval Europe. From the ninth to the thirteenth centuries, Europe experienced significant migration of peoples and witnessed the emergence of enduring political, legal, and social institutions. At the same time, divisions between and consolidation of religious institutions took place alongside the flourishing of dynamic intellectual and cultural centres, while expanding horizons to the north, south and east of Europe led to both productive and violent exchanges with peoples and places beyond the continental mainland.
Adopting a Global Middle Ages approach, this course will examine medieval Europe between c. 850 and 1300 from the twin perspectives of cultures and conflicts. To consider the important role these interlinked facets of medieval life played in shaping the European world, this course will explore a range of topics, including Viking raids and Norse settlement in Europe; the spread of Christianity; Angevins and empire; crusades; Mediterranean cultures, including those in Sicily and Al-Andalus; heresies and religious persecution; and Mongol invasions. By assessing cultures and conflicts across Europe in the centuries after the reign of Charlemagne, students will analyse, interpret, and develop arguments about political structures, social systems, and cultural phenomena that shaped medieval Europe and would have a lasting impact on the centuries to come.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- identify and critically discuss key social, political, and cultural events/structures shaping medieval Europe;
- evaluate and analyse medieval sources for and scholarly debates about key events/structures shaping medieval Europe at an advanced level;
- develop and execute an historical research project critically engaging with medieval sources and relevant historiography;
- formulate logical arguments substantiated with medieval evidence; and
- express ideas and arguments about medieval Europe effectively and clearly in both written and oral modes of communication.
- Tutorial and forum participation (10) [LO 1,2,4,5]
- Source analysis, 1000 words (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Research proposal, 1500 words (20) [LO 2,3]
- Research Essay due in Examination Period, 3500 words (55) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
There are no prescribed texts, although students are strongly encouraged to read the preliminary texts listed in Indicative Readings.
The following items are recommended as preliminary readings in order of priority:
Bartlett, Robert , The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350 (London: Penguin, 1993)
Arnold, John A., What is Medieval History? (Cambridge: Polity, 2008)
Bull, Marcus, Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2005); ANU e-book
As this is a graduate unit, some familiarity with source analysis and essay writing skills is highly recommended.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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