Fall 2020

Medieval Europe (1000-1500)

Listed in: History, as HIST-128

Moodle site: Course


Jutta G. Sperling (Section 01)


[EU/TE/TC/P] In about the year 1000, a new European civilization came into being. Its center of gravity lay in France, England, and Central Europe, but it preserved parts of its ancient Roman heritage and engaged with Islamic regions of the Mediterranean. In the countryside, feudalism emerged as a new legal, economic, and political system. The Catholic church consolidated itself alongside the new order and competed for dominance. But in towns and cities, burghers swore oaths to each other and established the principles of personal freedom and communal self-governance. Rapidly, new mercantile elites emerged. In this course, we will discuss the most innovative and influential scholarship on these main aspects of medieval history and study accompanying primary records. Students will be introduced to different historical methods such as structuralism and the anthropologically inflected works of the Annales school. Classes include a mix of brief lectures, discussion, group work, and in-class assignments. Students will complete three short papers that analyze the reading materials. Two meetings per week. This course will be conducted in class but also include remote students via zoom.

Fall semester. Professor Sperling.


Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022