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Course: The Middle Ages

 

 

Class Hours and Room: Wednesday 6-8:30 P.M. Rm. H-515

 

 

 

 

 

Course Number: HIS 120-001

 

 

Semester: Fall 2010

 

 

 

 

 

Credits/Hours: 3 credits, 3 hours

 

 

Instructor: Nicolás Agrait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Information:

 

 

History Department

 

 

Rm. H-838

 

 

Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 2-3:30 and by appointment.

 

 

Tel. 718-488-1357

 

 

e-mail: nicolas.agrait@liu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.                       Course Description:  Europe from the last centuries of the Roman Empire through the fourteenth century. The origin and development of attitudes and institutions characteristic of the Medieval period, including feudalism and the emergence of centralized government, the organization and spiritual mission of the church, commerce and the guild system, the place of women and children in society, and art and architecture. ((from L.I.U. Brooklyn Bulletin 2007-2009).

 

 

 

 

 

II.                    Course Goals and Objectives:

 

 

 

 

1)        Diligent students, through lectures, tests, and discussions, will understand the chronology, circumstances, processes and historiography of the Middle Ages.

 

 

2)        Diligent students will develop analytical skills by reading both secondary and primary sources.

 

 

3)        Diligent students will further develop writing and critical-thinking skills through the completion of at least two term papers.  This will include the proper development of a paper thesis and the development of an argument from it.

 

 

4)        Diligent students will be prepared to move on to more advanced History courses.

 

 

 

 

 

III.                 Resources:

 

 

1)        The required books are:

 

 

a.         Textbook: Bennett, Judith. Medieval Europe: A Short History. 11th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2006 (ISBN 10: 0073385506; ISBN 13: 978-0073385501). (Textbook)

 

 

 

 

 

b.        Tierney, Brian. Ed. The Crisis of Church and State, 1050-1300.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988 (ISBN 10: 0802067018; ISBN 13: 978-0802067012)

 

 

 

 

 

c.         Peter Abelard and Heloise. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise. New York: CreateSpace, 2010. (ISBN 10: 1450586805; ISBN 13: 978-1450586801)

 

 

You can get these books at the campus bookstore, on your own, or online.

 

 

 

 

 

2)        Students need to bring a notebook, paper, or computer with which to take notes.

 

 

3)        Students absolutely need to have access to a computer with Internet access to complete reading assignments and papers.

 

 

4)        Extra Source Readings: see below under Course Calendar.

 

 

5)       Web Links:

 

 

a.         L.I.U. Prof. Agrait’s History Web Site (nagrait.tripod.com/historysite)

 

 

This is the instructor’s personal and academic web site. You can find information regarding his schedule, specialty and office hours. Most importantly, you can get copies of the course syllabus if you need it.

 

 

b.        Internet Medieval Sourcebook: www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html

 

 

c.         Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook.html

 

 

d.        L.I.U. Brooklyn Electronic Reserves: http://breserves.liu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

6)       How to access ERES:

 

 

a)        Whenever a reading has the letters (ERES) right behind it, it means that it is in the Electronic Reserves section of the library and not on the public Internet.

 

 

b)        Go to L.I.U. Brooklyn Electronic Reserves: http://breserves.liu.edu and then click on “Electronic Reserves and Materials”

 

 

c)        Look for the course in the main index or using my name.

 

 

d)       Enter the course password: 120AGR

 

 

e)        Click on the text you need and you will be able to view and/or print a .pdf version of the readings.  You may not be able to save it to your computer because it may copyright protected.

 

 

 

 

 

7)       L.I.U. Attendance and Tardiness Policies: (from L.I.U.-Brooklyn Bulletin)

 

 

a)        Attendance: All students are expected to attend classes and to participate in classroom activities. Instructors have the right to weigh attendance and class participation in determining grades. Consequently, excessive absences may negatively affect the evaluation of a student’s performance. Freshmen and probationary students are allowed no more than two class-hour absences per credit hour. All students enrolled in science laboratory courses may not be absent for more than 20 percent of laboratory time. Instructors are urged to record attendance in all classes for counseling purposes.

 

 

b)        Tardiness: Students are expected to be present from the beginning of a class until the instructor dismisses it. If students arrive late, they may be denied admission or marked absent.

 

 

 

 

 

8)        Additional Course Policies:

 

 

a)        Cell Phone, Text-Messagers, Wireless E-mail: these are strictly prohibited during class.  Turn cell phones and pagers off (off, not vibrate, not silent). Any student caught surfing the web or checking e-mail in class will be expelled. Furthermore, any use of electronic devices during quizzes or tests will result in the student failing the test and possibly being referred to the proper L.I.U. authorities for further disciplinary action.

 

 

b)        Academic Dishonesty: All dishonest behavior (cheating, plagiarism, disruption) will be subject to severe punishment including grade reduction, expulsion from the class, or other disciplinary action.

 

 

 

 

 

IV.                 Course Requirements/Assignments

 

 

A.       Grading Breakdown

 

 

Papers

 

 

50%

 

 

Class Participation

 

 

30%

 

 

Final Examination

 

 

20%

 

 

 

 

 

The Final Examination: this will be in class test scheduled for the end of the semester and will consist of identifications and long discussion questions.  As soon as the final examination schedule is set, the instructor will let the students know when it will take place.

 

 

 

 

 

V.                    Papers: all papers are to be handed into my mailbox in the History Department or to me personally in my office or in class.

 

 

Students are required to write three 4-5-page typewritten, double-spaced essays (handwritten papers will be ignored) on topics provided by the instructor.   The instructor will only count the highest two grades. , but you still have to hand in three separate essays (NO REWRITES).   Students who do not hand in three papers will automatically receive an “F” for the paper segment of their grade or an incomplete course grade (INC).  These deadlines are final and essays will be downgraded one half-grade per day the paper is late.  It is the student’s responsibility to make the instructor aware of any potential problems at any stage with the papers. Students are also required to hand in a printed copy of the essay AND an electronic copy (floppy disk, e-mail attachment, e-mail message text, CD-Rom, USB flash drive, etc.). The electronic copy will be used to check against plagiarism.  Any papers handed in without an electronic copy will not be graded until the electronic version is received. Remember, that for your second paper you may not write on any of the papers topics slated for the first due date, even if it is an extra paper. The deadlines are Wednesday, October 6, 2010, Wednesday, November 24, 2010 (even though there is no class), and Wednesday, December 15, 2010.


Anyone caught cheating (misrepresenting information copying papers, buying papers off the web, using cliff-notes, Wikipedia, etc.) will receive an “F” in the first offense.  If the student cheats again, he or she will automatically fail the course and will also be referred to the proper L.I.U. authorities.

 

 

 

Paper #1 Topics:

 

 

1)        Read Rudolf of Fulda, Life of St. Leoba. (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/leoba.html). What are some of the qualities that make Leoba holy or saintly? What do you think was the purpose for writing this text? Please use specific examples from the text as to what actions, abilities or characteristics make her extraordinary in the author’s view.

 

 

2)        Read Rudolf of Fulda, Life of St. Leoba. (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/leoba.html). What is the role, negative and positive, played by the human body in this text? Please use specific examples from the text.

 

 

3)        Read the Rule of St. Benedict (http://rule.kansasmonks.org). Use the whole text (download it, print it or read it), not just an excerpt.  What is the role of the abbot in a monastery? Why is he such an central and important figure?

 

 

4)        Read the Rule of St. Benedict (http://rule.kansasmonks.org). Use the whole text (download it, print it or read it), not just an excerpt. What is the daily routine of the monks?  What do they do to occupy their time?  How is this part of their lives as monastics?

 

 

5)        Read the Rule of St. Benedict (http://rule.kansasmonks.org). Use the whole text (download it, print it or read it), not just an excerpt. Look at the chapters on Instruments of good works, obedience, silence and humility.  What is the ideal behavior and goals that all monks strive for and why are these qualities so important?

 

 

 

 

 

Hand in a paper on ONE of the topics above on or before Wednesday, October 6, 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

Paper #2: Topics

 

 

1)        Using the relevant sections in Tierney’s The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300, explain in detail what were the fundamental issues that caused the conflict between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV.  What does the resolution of this conflict say about the struggle between secular and spiritual matters at the time. Remember that you can use the whole book, but can only paraphrase or cite the primary sources in order to support your argument.

 

 

2)        Using the relevant sections in Tierney’s The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300, explain in detail what were the fundamental issues that caused the conflict between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV.  What does the resolution of this conflict say about the struggle between secular and spiritual matters at the time. Remember that you can use the whole book, but can only paraphrase or cite the primary sources in order to support your argument.

 

 

3)        Using the relevant sections in Tierney’s The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 and keeping in mind both the conflicts between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV and Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV, what weapons, instruments, or methods did both sides possess and use to further their goals.  Remember that you can use the whole book, but can only paraphrase or cite the primary sources in order to support your argument.

 

 

4)        Read Judith M. Bennett, “The Village Ale-Wife: Women and Brewing in Fourteenth-Century England,” in Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe, Ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 20-36 (On Reserve or ERES).  What were “ale-wives?” In what terms does the author the condition of these women in fourteenth-century rural England?  How does she support her arguments?

 

 

5)        Read Maryanne Kowaleski, “Women’s Work in a Market Town: Exeter in the Late Fourteenth Century,” in Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe, Ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 145-64 (On Reserve or ERES). 

What types of work did women perform in medieval Exeter?  What are the author’s conclusions regarding women and work?

 

 

 

 

Hand in a paper on ONE of the topics above on or before Wednesday, November 24, 2010.

 

 

 

 

Paper #3

 

 

1)        Re-read the Letters of Abelard and Heloise.  What image of the Christian faith and religion is presented in these texts?  Positive or negative?  Be sure to support your arguments with specific examples from the text.

 

 

2)        Re-read the Letters of Abelard and Heloise.  How would you characterize Abelard? Be sure to support your arguments with specific examples from the text. (Refrain from handing in an “Abelard is bad person” paper.  This is NOT an exercise in character assassination. This is meant for you to present is negative and positive qualites as you see them.)

 

 

3)        Re-read the Letters of Abelard and Heloise.  How would you characterize Heloise, considering all her travails? Be sure to support your arguments with specific examples from the text.  Remember not to project your own Twenty-First Century values unto the text, but to critique her on her own terms.

 

 

6)        Read Maryanne Kowaleski and Judith M. Bennett, “Crafts, Gilds and Women in the Middle Ages: Fifty Years after Marian K. Dale, in Sisters and Workers in the Middle Ages, ed. Judith M. Bennet et al. (Chicago, 1976), pp. 11-38) and reread Judith M. Bennett, “The Village Ale-Wife: Women and Brewing in Fourteenth-Century England,” in Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe, Ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 20-36 (On Reserve or ERES) and Maryanne Kowaleski, “Women’s Work in a Market Town: Exeter in the Late Fourteenth Century,” in Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe, Ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 145-64 (On Reserve or ERES).  What was the relationship of women, work and gilds in the Middle Ages?  What factors determined women’s place in the work and market place?  How could historians looking at the same evidence come to such different conclusions? (You may exceed paper length to six pages).

 

 

 

 

Hand in a paper on ONE of the topics above on or before Wednesday, December 15, 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VI.                 Course Calendar (Classes, Topics, Reading Assignments): remember that computers are supremely stupid things. Therefore, it is best to go to nagrait.tripod.com/historysite, find your syllabus and then click on the reading assignments web sites.  If you do not type them perfectly your computer (dumb thing) will not know where to send you.

 

 

 

 

September

 

 

 

 

Weds. 8

 

 

First Day of Class: Administrative, Historiography of the Middle Ages, Fall of the Roman Empire

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 15

 

 

Rise of Christianity, Germanic Tribes

 

 

Readings Due: Bennett, Medieval Europe, chaps. 1-2. (Hereafter, Medieval Europe); Passion of Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas(203) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/perpetua.html); Julius Caesar, The Germans (exc.), c. 51 B.C.E. (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/51caesar-germans.html),

 

 

Tacitus, Germania (exc.) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/tacitus-germania-excerp.html).


Weds. 22

 

 

Monasticism, Rise of Islam

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chap. 3; Lausiac History, chap. VII “The Monks of Nitria 1” (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/palladius-lausiac.html); Benedict of Nursia, Rule of St. Benedict (exc.) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/rul-benedict.html); Qu’ran, Surah 1, 47 (exc.) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/koran-sel.html).

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 29

 

 

The Carolingians and Empire, Medieval Kingship, Warfare

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chap. 4; Anonymous Arab Chronicler, Battle of Poitiers (exc. (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/arab-poitiers732.html); Arabs, Franks and the Battle of Tours (Poitiers): Three Accounts, 732 (exc.) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/732tours.html); Annals of Lorsch: The Pope makes Pepin king (exc.) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/lorsch1.html); Einhard, Life of Charlemagne (exc.) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/einhard1.html).

 

 

 

 

 

October

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 6

 

 

Spain under Muslim Rule, Cordoban Caliphate, Reconquest

 

 

First Paper Due!

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 13

 

 

The Vikings, Rise of Knighthood, Code of Chivalry

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chaps. 5-7; “Vikings!”

 

 

Regia Anglorum (http://www.regia.org/history/vik1.htm); “Viking Military Organization” (http://www.regia.org/warfare/viking3.htm); The Viking Ship (Chicago World’s Fair),late 19th century (http://www.abc.se/~m10354/bld/viking.htm).

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 20

 

 

Church vs. State Conflict: Growth of Church Power, Temporal vs. Spiritual

 

 

Readings Due: Brian Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 (Toronto, 1988), Introduction, II. The Investiture Contest, 2. The Program of Gregory VII, 3. The Struggle with Henry IV, 5. End of the Contest; IV. Aristotle & the National State, 1. The Kingdom & The Empire, 3. Boniface VIII & Philip IV: The First Dispute, 4. Boniface VIII & Philip IV: The Second Dispute. (pp. 1-5, 45-73, 85-95, 159-64, 172-92).

 

 

 

 

Weds. 27

 

 

Rural Society (Peasantry and Feudalism), Rise of Commerce and Towns, Women and Work (Discussion Section)

 

 

Readings Due: Judith M. Bennett, “The Village Ale-Wife: Women and Brewing in Fourteenth-Century England,” in Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe, Ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 20-36; (On Reserve or ERES) and Maryanne Kowaleski, “Women’s Work in a Market Town: Exeter in the Late Fourteenth Century,” in Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe, Ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 145-64 (On Reserve or ERES).

 

 

November

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 3

 

 

Crusades: East and West: Crusading, First Crusade, Spanish Reconquest

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chaps. 9-10.

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 10

 

 

Religious Reform Movements: Popular, Monastic (Dominicans and Franciscans), Heresy

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chaps. 8, 11; Leonardo Benevolo, “European Cities in the Middle Ages,” in Perspectives on Urban Society, ed. Efren N. Padilla (New York, 2006), pp. 75-79 (Handout)

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 17

 

 

Creation of the University, Rediscovery of Classical Learning, Abelard and Heloise (Discussion Section)

 

 

Readings Due: The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Introduction, The Personal Letters, Letters of Direction, Abelard’s Confession of Faith (pp. 9-32, 109-271).

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 24

 

 

Friday Schedule (No Class!), but Second Paper Due!

 

 

 

 

 

Nov. 25-28

 

 

Fall Recess

 

 

 

 

 

December

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 1

 

 

Medieval Warfare: One Hundred Years War, Battle of Agincourt (1415) (Discussion Section)

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chap. 13; John Keegan, “Agincourt, 25 October 1415,” chap. in The Face of Battle (New York, 1978), pp. 78-118 (On reserve and ERES); Castle Video On Reserve at L.I.U. Library Media Center. Castle video is part of this discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 8

 

 

Black Death, The Great Schism, Challenges to Papal Authority

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chaps. 12; Boccaccio, The Decameron: Introduction (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/boccacio2.html) or ERES.

 

 

 

 

 

Weds. 15

 

 

Last Day of Class!!! Renaissance, Rise of the Modern State?, Endings

 

 

Readings Due: Medieval Europe, chap. 14.

 

 

 Paper # 3 Due!

 

December 16-22, 2010 Finals Period