Medieval Europe from the Investiture Conflict to the 15th Century

History 155B

Spring 2018
120 Wheeler
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-3:30
Class Number: 
  • This course satisfies the Pre-Modern Requirement for the History Major.
  • This course will examine the profound economic, social, and spiritual changes that occurred in Western Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. The themes to be explored include the Crusades (the 7th Crusade of Louis IX and perhaps the 4th Crusade, which ended not in the Holy Land but with the conquest of Constantinople), inquisitions and heresy (the Cathars), the radicalization of the Franciscans, the quality of the papacy's religious leadership, law courts and justice, the acceleration of commercial activity, the transformation of lay piety, and above all the polarization of understandings of “gender.” Readings are largely from primary sources. The format is mostly discussion woven into informal lectures. Requirements are a midterm, a final, and regular reader-response exercises. Depending on enrollment, one or two short (3-5 pp.) papers may be required; if so, then one or both exams will be shortened, the papers effectively replacing one of the exam questions. If papers are assigned, they will require an in-depth analysis of one of the primary sources read.