Spring 2013

Cultural History of France: From the Middle Ages to the Revolution

Listed in: French, as FREN-311

Formerly listed as: FREN-11


Jay L. Caplan (Section 01)


Between the year 1000 and the Revolution of 1789 France made some of the greatest and most enduring contributions to European literature, music, visual art, politics, and intellectual life. We shall examine some of the most significant aspects of French civilization during this period: from the spiritual power of Romanesque and Gothic art to the vibrancy of Renaissance humanism (Rabelais and Montaigne), and from the grandeur of classicism and the baroque (Descartes, Pascal, Molière) to the elegance and refinement of the rococo, as well as the Enlightenment (Voltaire, Diderot) and sentimental reactions to it. We shall discuss “courtly love,” the châteaux of the Loire, court society, the emergence of absolute monarchy (Versailles), theater, opera, and the status of women. Conducted in French.

Requisite: FREN 207 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Caplan.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Spring 2013