History | Historical Writing in the Middle Ages
H710 | 25016 | Shopkow

A portion of the above section reserved for majors

Paul Veyne, in _Did the Greeks Believe in their Myths?_ declares
that "History as we know it was born, not when criticism was
invented--for that happened long ago--but on the day when the work
of the critic and the work of the historian were joined in one
task." In looking at medieval histories, then, we are not
examining "history as we know it" but something else. But what?
During the course of the semester we will attempt to answer this
question by examining medieval historical writing of various kinds
and some of the secondary literature relating to it. Each of you
will write a paper examining a "genre" (another problematic term) of
historical writing or an individual historical work. At the end of
the semester you will present your findings to all of us.

Knowledge of French, German, and Latin are highly useful in this
course, but not required. We will not be reading texts in the
original as a class (although you are welcome, nay urged, to do a
paper involving original language research). I also urge you to sign
up for a two-credit H575 Graduate Readings in History (see Alexia
Bock), in which we will read medieval histories in Latin together to
improve your working knowledge of Latin. There will be no additional
work in this reading course, other than preparing the assigned
material. Please note: you are NOT required to take the reading
course to enroll in H710.