This survey introduces students to key actors, events and ideas that shaped culture, politics and religious affairs in the central middle ages—a period that saw great experimentation and expansion followed by the development of legal and administrative structures to centralise monarchs’ powers in both ‘church’ and ‘states’. Topics treated in lectures include how lordship shaped knightly, clerical, peasant and burgess communities; papal reform and Christian kingship; the Norman impact in England and south Italy; ‘reconquista’ and the first crusade; new religious movements, both orthodox and heterodox; the rise of universities. Lectures are complemented by the discussion in tutorials of primary sources devoted to such themes as medieval warfare; the relations of kings and prelates; the charismatic religious figures Peter Waldo and Francis of Assisi; the purpose and reach of inquisitors; and legal compiliations like the canons of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), Magna Carta (1215) and the Constitutions of Melfi (1231).
To prepare written work which is well-organised and well-presented
To construct coherent and well-informed arguments about Europe, c.1050-1250, in which primary source evidence is distinguished from interpretations of it used by historians in the construction of their secondary historical narratives
To grasp the historical significance to medieval people & modern folk of key events, trends and deeds of historical actors in Europe, c.1050-1250.