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Rome to Renaissance: An Introduction to the Middle Ages


Value: one unit


Taught through weekly lectures and weekly follow-up seminars


Best 2 Essays out of 4 (30%) and 2-hour Exam (70%)

The terms 'Middle Ages' and 'Medieval' are often used to evoke a dark and bigoted world, wracked by war, pestilence and superstition and oppressed by tyrannical kings and prelates. The image is not entirely false as all those things can be found in medieval history but it is by no means the full picture. The period from c.400 to c.1500 saw Western Europe transform itself from the poorer part of the retreating Roman empire to a wealthy and dynamic society that was starting to explore the world far beyond its borders. This course explores some of the changes that took place along the way and answers some of the questions that you may always have wanted to ask: What was 'feudalism'? How were castles and Gothic cathedrals built? Why did the Pope become so powerful? What were the Crusades? And does any of this have any relevance whatsoever to the modern world?

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