The High Middle Ages was a period of fundamental transformations. A world of peasant communities, with a small elite of aristocrats dominating and feeding itself from the labors of the peasantry, Europe after AD 1000 underwent exceptionally intense changes. Economic growth, territorial expansion, and dynamic cultural and social change, all marked the vitality of European society between 1000 and 1400. For four hundred years, before the slump and crisis of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, population grew, the cultivated area expanded, urbanization and commercialization restructured economic and social life. Through incorporated towns, universities, central representative bodies, and the international orders of the Roman Catholic Church, Europe of the High Middle Ages first began to define itself in expansionary terms. For the first time, the High Middle Ages witnessed what Robert Bartlett called "the making of Europe."
In this course we will examine the various aspects of this transformation. We will initially follow a topical, rather than chronological order. We will then move along chronological and geographical lines, as we will tackle the issue of state centralization. Our focus will be on Western Europe, but we will also look at some of the neighboring areas, such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
NOTE: It is recommended that you read
assigned sections in your textbook(s) before the time they are due in
Class meetings will be organized around a lecture/discussion format and
quizzes will necessitate familiarity with the material.
There is no attendance policy, but you are responsible for attending all lectures and reading the required texts. Class participation may be taken into account to determine the overall grade. The basis for evaluation of performance will be four quizzes and two exams (Midterm and Final). The unannounced quizzes are exclusively based on primary source readings from your Andrea book and the web readings and will consist only of questions (no essay). A careful study of these texts is necessary for a good performance at the quiz. The Midterm and Final exams will cover everything from lectures and readings. Both will consist of a short answer portion and a longer essay. Make-up Midterm and Final exam will be given for very serious reasons. There is no make-up for quizzes. Extra-credit work will be accepted only for students with active participation in class discussions. You should discuss with me the format of the extra-credit option during regular office hours. The following point system will be used in determining the final grade:
Quizzes: 40 points
Midterm: 30 points
Final exam: 30 points
Total: 100 points
|Agriculture and rural society|
|The revival of commerce|
|Medieval Christian faith|
|Monasticism and Church reform|
|Crusades and crusaders|
|The world of thought and art|
|The community of the realm|
|Centralization and war|
|On the fringes|
|Monarchs and popes in conflict|
|Crisis and expansion|