Europe and the Age of Discovery 1400-1500

Course Dates: 29/09/23 - 01/12/23
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
Explore the growth and expansion of post-plague Europe that witnessed not only the splendour of Burgundy, the rise of printing, unification of Spain and the Renaissance, but also the Age of Exploration that led to colonialism and slavery.
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Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00

This course has now finished

Course Code: HEH10

Finished Fri, day, 29 Sep - 01 Dec '23

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

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What is the course about?

The political fortunes of France, the Holy Roman Empire, Italy and the Iberian peninsular between 1400 and 1500 CE.

What will we cover?

We begin by looking at the European situation in 1400 and the themes and issues we will explore during throughout the course. We then move on to look at the history of the individual nations: the Holy Roman Empire, Burgundy, France, Italy and Spain. Other topics will include: trade and commerce; European travel; the early Italian Renaissance and Beyond Europe. We will conclude by looking at Europe in 1500. Please note that reference to England will be minimal as there is a separate English Cycle of courses run by City Lit.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Identify the issues faced by Holy Roman Emperors and how they sought to remedy them
• Assess the validity of the term ‘the Theatre State’ used to describe the Burgundian territories
• Compare and contrast the Portuguese and Spanish approaches towards exploration
• Debate on whether or not there was a crisis of belief in fifteenth-century Europe
• Consider why the renaissance occurred in Italy and why Florence in particular?

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is for anyone with an enquiring mind and an enthusiasm for medieval history. No previous knowledge is
necessary but a good understanding of English is essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Each week there will be an informative talk, using PowerPoint, during which class discussion will be encouraged.
We shall use small group work to analyse original sources and a range of handouts will be available for discussion
purposes. Occasionally small pieces of homework reading will be distributed to augment your knowledge. You are
encouraged to bring along/describe items you have read in newspapers/heard on radio/seen on TV you think may be of interest to the group. If you wish to purchase a book before the course I would recommend: D.Waley, and P. Denley (2001) Later Medieval Europe:1250-1520 3rd edn. Abingdon: Routledge.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs other than note-taking materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HEH11: Reformation Europe.

Vanessa King Tutor Website

Vanessa King is a lecturer in Medieval and early Modern History at Regents University, and Birkbeck College University of London. At City Lit, Vanessa offers courses and day schools on London, as well as European history from the Fall of Rome to 1800. She has published widely on the Anglo-Norman period (1066-1154), and is currently writing a book on Early English Queenship 600-1066 for Routledge. You can follow her progress via her website: Vanessa’s expertise in medieval matters means she is frequently called upon to give public lectures and speak on BBC Radio. Vanessa's philosophy of teaching is to make history come alive through informative presentations with a good sense of humour. In her spare time, she enjoys nothing better than talking history over a glass of red wine!

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.