The Early Middle Ages, 284–1000

About the Course

Major developments in the political, social, and religious history of Western Europe from the accession of Diocletian to the feudal transformation. Topics include the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of Islam and the Arabs, the "Dark Ages," Charlemagne and the Carolingian renaissance, and the Viking and Hungarian invasions.

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Course Structure

This Yale College course, taught on campus two times per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2011.

Course Materials

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About Professor Paul Freedman

Paul H. Freedman is the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale. He received an MLS and PhD in History from University of California at Berkeley, and specializes in medieval social history, the history of Spain, comparative studies of the peasantry, trade in luxury products, and history of cuisine. Since coming to Yale, Professor Freedman has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in History, Director of the Medieval Studies Program and Chair of the History Department. He also published his third book, Images of the Medieval Peasant (1999) and two collections of essays: Church, Law and Society in Catalonia, 900-1500 and Assaigs d'historia de la pagesia catalana (writings on the history of the Catalan peasantry). More recently Freedman edited Food: The History of Taste, an illustrated collection of essays about food from prehistoric to contemporary times. His book on the demand for spices in medieval Europe was published in 2008 by Yale University Press; it is entitled Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination

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Syllabus

Professor

Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History

Description

Major developments in the political, social, and religious history of Western Europe from the accession of Diocletian to the feudal transformation. Topics include the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of Islam and the Arabs, the "Dark Ages," Charlemagne and the Carolingian renaissance, and the Viking and Hungarian invasions.

Texts

Central Texts

Charlemagne’s Courtier: The Complete Einhard. ed. Paul Edward Dutton, Broadview Press, 1998.

Gregory of Tours: The Merovingians. ed. Alexander Callander Murray, Broadview Press, 2006.

Procopius, The Secret History. ed. Richard Atwater, University of Michigan Press, 1961.

Wickham, Chris, The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000. Viking, 2009.

Richards, Julian, The Vikings: A Very Short History. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Course Packet

Augustine, Confessions, ed. James Joseph O’Donnell. Oxford University Press, 1992.

Berkey, Jonathan Porter, The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800. Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Brown, Peter, The World of Late Antiquity: AD 150-750. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971.

The Burgundian Code: Book of Constitutions or Law of Gundobad, ed. Katherine Fischer Drew. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972.

Fichtenau, Heinrich, The Carolingian Empire. Blackwelll, 1957.

Jones, A.H.M., Constantine and the Conversion of Europe. English Universities Press, 1948.

Rule of St. Benedict, ed. Ruth J. Dean. Blackwell, 1964.

Requirements

Short paper, mid-term exam, and long research paper.

Grading

Short paper: 20%
Mid-term exam: 30%
Long research paper: 40%

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

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