Instructors: Dr. Neven Leddy and Dr. Neil Thornton

Course Description (Fall Section):

The fall term of this course surveys the history of Europe from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Renaissance, with emphasis on three big themes:

1/Cross-cultural contacts and religious difference, especially in the Iberian Peninsula

2/ Interactions between Europeans and their environment, including the decline and reemergence of the European city

3/ Developments in military technology and the resulting changes in state-formation

Particular attention will be paid to periodization and the formulation of interpretative historical hypotheses.  A familiarity with Game of Thrones is not a prerequisite – but it will help.


A note on the Christmas hand-over:

This course is taught by two different instructors in sequence, each for one term.  At the end of the fall term, Professor Thornton will take over.  The instructors have harmonized some of the assignments, but students should expect changes in style, thematic emphasis and focus after the Christmas break.  Professor Thornton will circulate a syllabus for the winter term in January.


Required Texts (will be) Available at Haven Books:

De Vries, Kelly and Robert Douglas Smith.  Medieval Military Technology. 2nd Edition.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012. [9781442604971]

Hoffman, Richard C.  An Environmental History of Medieval Europe.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. [9780521700375]

Course Requirements (Fall Term):

  • Attendance                             10%
  • In-class quizzes                       20%
  • Source Analyses (x2)              10%
  • Participation                            10%
  • Exercises (x2)                         30%
  • Final Exam                              20%