Europe and the Age of Discovery 1400-1500
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HEH10
Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
The political fortunes of France, the Holy Roman Empire, Italy and the Iberian peninsular between 1400 and 1500 CE.
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 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 is a lecturer in Medieval and early Modern History at Regents University. She also teaches at Birbeck and Goldsmiths Colleges, University of London. Her expertise in medieval matters means she is frequently called upon to give public lectures and speak on BBC Radio. At City Lit Vanessa teaches London history and offers day schools on all aspects of medieval and early modern history. She also runs bridge courses at all levels. Vanessa's philosophy of teaching is to make history come alive through informative presentations with a good sense of humour. In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys nothing better than talking history over a glass of red wine! For further information why not check out her website.
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.