Symbols of power: the Medieval monarch
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HEH04
Duration: 2 sessions
What is the course about?
We will spend the day looking at the symbolism used, in art and the written record, to portray kings in medieval Europe who gained the throne in varying circumstances.
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?
‘He must be a king. Why? He hasn’t got shit all over him!’ so said Eric Idle in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
There were of course other ways in which to recognise a medieval monarch. We begin this course by looking at the origins and symbolism behind some of the royal regalia that served as outward manifestations of royal authority. We then go on to consider aspects of kingship such as: the elected king; the saintly king; the usurper king and the captive king. Case studies include: Roger of Sicily, John II of France, Edward the Confessor and the ‘perfect king’ Edward III.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Identify heraldic symbols associated with royalty
• Describe how the Wilton Diptych reflects Richard II’s view of kingship
• Explain how Henry IV used art and literature to justify his usurpation of Richard II
• Consider how King John II of France sought to regain the confidence of his subjects on release from captivity.
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 essentia.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
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
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You need only bring note-taking materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in British and European history. Please see the City Lit website.You might consider enrolling on other day courses run by Vanessa King. Details will be provided in class.
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.