History | B351 2822 West Eur-Early Middle Ages 1:00-2:15 MW BH140 Deliyannis
B351 | 2822 | Deliyanis


A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section carries culture studies credit

The Early Middle Ages was a time of dramatic cultural, political, and
social change. In the year 300, the Roman empire was a more or less
unified entity that embraced most of western Europe, as well as much of
eastern Europe, the Levant, and North Africa. People belonged to a variety
of different religious, cultural, and ethnic groups, but all coexisted
under a common Roman administrative and social umbrella. In the year 1100,
western Europe was divided into various different political units, but
again shared similar sorts of economic and social institutions, and had a
common religion centered on Rome. The civilization of 1100 was very
different from that of 300, during these eight hundred years, Europe
experienced invasion, conversion, and other upheavals that overturned the
old Roman order and shaped an entirely new system. Europe in 1100
contained many of the political, cultural, religious, ethnic, and
linguistic boundaries that we know today, and thus the Early Middle Ages
can be regarded as the period in which the foundations of modern western
society were put into place. And yet, information about this period is
difficult to come by; surviving written records are scarce, and do not
always tell us what we would like to know about the process of
transformation that took place during this period. One of the focuses of
this class will be the sources which provide us with information about the
period - textual, archaeological, and artistic - and how they are to be
interpreted.

Assignments: five or six short essays (2-3pp) on primary source readings,
a paper 9-10pp), and a final exam.