What is the course about?
The middle ages were one of the most dynamic periods in European history. In the year 1000 much of Western Europe had been divided into numerous petty fiefdoms, united only by vague notions of loyalty to weak kings and the shared culture of the Christian Church. Over the next three hundred years it saw the establishment of strong and intensive monarchical government, laying the foundation for modern nation states. Externally it was a period of expansion, in which Western European knights established new kingdoms in Jerusalem and Spain. Internally it saw the growth of urban life, the establishment of the first European universities and a flowering of religious devotion, as people sought new ways to accommodate their faith to the changing times. In this course we explore the roots of the dynamic growth of European culture in this period and the way in which it shaped the future of Europe.Please note that there will be minimal reference to the United Kingdom as there is a separate English history cycle of courses on offer at City Lit.
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?
The year 1000; church reform; German kingship from Otto I to Frederick II; the early Capetians; Spain and the Reconquista; Islam, Byzantium and the West; the growth of urban life; and the twelfth century renaissance.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Briefly explain the background history of France, Germany, Italy and Spain between 1000-1300
• Explain what was meant by the ‘investiture dispute’
• Give reasons for the era of the crusades
• Explore and discuss whether or not there was a twelfth-century renaissance
• Assess the role of women in medieval society.
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 William Chester Jordon, Europe in the Each week there will be an informative talk, using PowerPoint, during which class discussion will be encouraged. High Middle Ages (Penguin, 2002).
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?
HEH12: Plague, famine and war- Fourteenth century Europe.