Honors | Medieval Studies
M200 | 3273 | Merceron


This course is an introduction to medieval cultures and societies as seen
through the lenses of some of their main "actors": the warrior class,
women of various social status, the clergy, as well as others. It will
focus on the kinds of activities in which they engaged on a daily basis
and on special occasions. These include: training to become a knight,
preparing and waging war; marriage and child-rearing; care of the estate;
pilgrimages and relics; praying for the dead and for one's soul; caring
for the sick; feeding and clothing the body; hunting and tournaments;
feasting and banqueting. We will also examine how these figures and
activities are portrayed in works of fiction, such as Arthurian
narratives, epic poetry, fabliaux, saints' lives, etc. We will work
towards an understanding of the conflicting values and models of medieval
society, as seen in fictional and historical documents. Although 11th
-13th century French society will serve as the main reference, students
will have opportunity to investigate and compare the cultures and
societies of other Western European countries or regions. Aside from the
discussions based on the readings and my classroom presentations, there
will be a series of short papers.