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, this course will introduce students to 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;
- conduct research 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 for different audiences in both written and oral modes of communication.
- Tutorial and forum participation (10) [LO 1,2,4,5]
- Source analysis, 750 words (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Essay, 2000 words (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Reflective thematic essay, 2250 words (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of face-to-face contact, to be distributed between lectures and tutorials across 12 weeks (3 hours/week).
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 the Indicative Readings.
Students are encouraged to consult the following studies:
Robert Bartlett,The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350 (London: Penguin, 1993) provides an overview of our period and themes.
John A. Arnold, What is Medieval History? (Cambridge: Polity, 2008) and Marcus Bull, Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2005; ANU e-bk) offer good introductions to studying the Middle Ages generally.
As this is a later-year unit, familiarity with the basic skills required for historical source analysis and essay writing at undergraduate level is highly recommended.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
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- 6 units
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