History 123

The Middle Ages

Assignments and


1. C. Warren Hollister, Medieval Europe, A Short History.

2. Joseph Strayer, On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State;

3. Brian Tierney, ed., The Crisis of Church and State, 1050-1300;

4. Brian Tierney, ed., The Middle Ages, 2 vols.


General Resources:
Citing Sources
How to Read Primary and Secondary Sources
On Plagiarism
On Citing Internet Sources



History Resources:

Course Objectives under "Intellectual Perspectives" (Humanities and Cultures):

Assignments and Expectations:

1. Examinations. There will be a midterm and comprehensive final exam.

2. Quizzes. Four quizzes, one of which will be a map quiz. All quizzes will be announced in advance. Make-ups are given only in extreme cases and only at the discretion of the professor.

3. Paper. 7-page paper on a topic or source to be agreed upon between the student and professor. Please note well: late papers are penalized one-third of a grade for every weekday late.

4. Participation. Students will be expected to attend class and to have prepared for lectures and for discussion by having read and thought about the assigned readings. Of particular importance is the discussion of the source texts, which will occupy a large portion of class time. Unexcused absences will lower the participation component of student grades.

5. Movies. There will also be a number of films on medieval topics that we shall screen, some in class, others at night. All out-of-class events are optional for students, but strongly recommended.


1. The final grade will be determined according to the following breakdown:

Midterm: 20%
Final: 30%
Paper: 20%
Quizzes: 20%
Participation: 10%

2. Grades will be assigned according to the follow numerical equivalencies:

93-100 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B



80-82 B-, .....Etc.

Academic Integrity

Please refamiliarize yourself with the blurb on academic honesty in the 2000-01 Undergraduate Catalog, p. 79. There you will find a definition of Academic honesty, and the following paragraph, to which I draw your particular attention: Academic dishonesty…can take several forms, including, but not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, misrepresentation of facts or experimental results, unauthorized use of or intentional intrusion into another’s computer files and/or programs, intentional damage to a computer system, and unauthorized use of library materials and privileges. Of special concern is the issue of plagiarism. Stated briefly, plagiarism is leading your reader or listener to believe that what one has written or said is one’s own work, when, in fact, it is not. The range of plagiarism includes word-for-word copying of another’s text without quotation marks and appropriate citation, to inappropriate paraphrasing of another’s text, to "cutting and pasting" portions of another text into your own, to even the unattributed borrowing of apt phrases or terms. All of these degrees of plagiarism are equally unethical and may be penalized with failure for the assignment or, in extreme cases, failure of the course.

If you are at any time unsure as to whether your work is plagiaristic, you should consult with the professor.

See the "Links" section above for more resources on plagiarism.

Course Schedule

Week I.
January 22:  The Middle Ages:  Wrestling with a Concept

January 24:  Christianized Rome
January 26:  Rome Falls
                Read:   Hollister, chs. 1, 2;
                            Tierney, vol. I, nos. 2, 5-7;
                            Tierney, vol. II, ch. 3.
    Week II.
January 29:  The Byzantine East

January 31:  Islam
February 2:  Discussion
                Read:   Hollister, chs. 3, 5;
                             Tierney, vol. I, nos. 9, 11, 23;
                             Tierney, vol. II, chs. 4-6.

Week III.

February 5:  The Barbarians

February 7:  Law and Society
February 9:  The Christian West
                 Read:   Hollister, ch. 4;
                              Tierney, vol. I, nos.  12-18, 20;
                              Tierney’s Church and State (hereafter, Tierney C/S), pp. 1-11, 13-14.

Week IV.

February 12:  The Carolingians

February 14:  Carolingian Civilization
February 16:  Discussion
                 Read:  Hollister, ch. 6;
                             Tierney, vol. I, nos. 24-28;
                             Tierney C/S, pp. 16-19, 20-23.

Week V.

February 19:  The New Round of Invasions

February 21:  Feudalism
February 23:  Feudalism, continued
                 Read:  Hollister, chs. 7, 8;
                             Tierney, vol. I, nos. 32-35;
                             Tierney, vol. II, ch. 8-10.

Week VI.

February 26:  Reform

February 28:  Crusade
March 2:  Discussion
                 Read: Hollister, ch. 10;
                            Tierney, vol. I, nos. 40-43;
                            Tierney, vol. II, chs. 22-24;
                            Tierney, C/S, pp. 24-33.   Week VII.
March 5:  Church and State

March 7:  The Investiture Crisis
March 9:  Midterm Examination
                 Read: Hollister, ch. 12;
                            Tierney, C/S, pp. 33-97.

Week VIII.
Mid Break

Week IX.

March 19:  Economy and Society

March 21:  Art and Literature
March 23:  Women and Family
                 Read:  Hollister, chs. 9, 14;
                             Tierney, vol. I, nos. 51-53, 56-59;
                             Tierney, vol. II, chs. 11, 12, 14.   Week X.
March 26:  Medieval Thought and Philosophy

March 28:  The Chivalric Society
March 30:  Discussion
                 Read: Hollister, ch. 11;
                            Tierney, vol. I, nos. 44-46, 93, 97;
                            Tierney, vol. II, chs. 18, 20, 21, 31.

Week XI.

April 2:  Feudal France

April 4:  Feudal England
April 6:  Feudal Germany
                 Read:  Tierney, C/S, pp. 159-72;
                             Tierney, vol. I, nos. 60, 61, 63, 72-76, 78, 100-102.

Week XII.

April 9:  The University

April 11:  Discussion
                 Read,  Tierney, vol. I, nos. 82-84.   Week XIII.
April 18:  Boniface and Philippe

April 20:  The 100-Years War
                 Read: Hollister, ch. 15;
                            Tierney, C/S, pp. 172-93;
                            Tierney, vol. I, nos. 85-87;
                            Tierney, vol. II, chs. 25-27.
    Week XIV.
April 23:  The Making of Modern Government

April 25:  The Making of Modern Government, continued
April 27: Discussion
                 Read:  Hollister, ch. 16;
                             Strayer, Medieval Origins, all;
                             Tierney, vol. I, nos. 88-92.
    Week XV.
April 30:  The Black Death and the Crisis of the 14th Century

May 2:  New Structures of Economy
May 4:  The Birth of Humanism
                 Read: Tierney, C/S, pp. 193-211;
                            Tierney, vol. I, nos. 106-109;
                            Tierney, vol. II, chs. 15-17.   Week XVI.
May 7:  Summary

May 8:  Review