Medieval queenship in Europe and the Near East
Time: 19:30 - 21:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HEH86
Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
This course will introduce you to the early history of queenship in Europe and beyond.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We begin by discussing women, gender and power The ways our primary sources wrote about powerful women and men were strongly influenced by Roman and Biblical ideas about (in)appropriate masculine and feminine behaviour. Thereafter, each week we will look at specific topics such as Byzantine empresses; Merovingian and Frankish queenship and Ottonian empresses. The last four weeks will be devoted to Abbasid royal women, Seljuk khatuns, Mongol Khatuns on the Steppe and in the Islamic world.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Define what is meant by gender history and explain how we can apply gendered perspectives better to understand the medieval past
• Make deductions about Merovingian queenship from a study of Radegund's career.
• Discuss the role of queens in Ottonian society and politics, including their important role as regents
• Discuss the impact of caliphal marriage and succession practices on the status and opportunities for Abbasid royal women, especially those with the status of um walad, the mothers of sons
• Compare and contrast women's roles and gender expectations in the Islamic world and steppe nomad society
• Reflect upon the extent to which steppe practices continued to shape the identities of Mongol royal women in the Ilkhanate.
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 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.
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?
Other courses in European history. Please see the City Lit 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: https://queenshipinpreconquestengland.wordpress.com/ 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.