Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Medieval Europe 1

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION Medieval Europe offers an introductory course in the history of Europe in the Middle Ages between 400 and 1500, the emphasis throughout being the formation of factual knowledge and interpretation of the subject. The themes discussed include: the break-up of the Roman Mediterranean; the Germanic kingdoms and the making of Christian Europe; the evolution of the Eastern Roman empire; the expansion of Islam in the Mediterranean; Charlemagne’s Empire; feudal society and the 'transformation of the year 1000'; the rise of towns and long-distance trade; the Crusading movement; the struggle between Popes and Emperors; the ‘Twelfth-Century Renaissance’; the Avignon Papacy and the Great Schism; the Hundred Years War; the Black Death and the late medieval crisis; late medieval nonconformity and social unrest.


To offer students insights into the main themes of medieval European history;
To make students aware of the various phases marking the key developments of European history across a chronological spectrum of more than one thousand years;
To emphasize divergent points-of-view about Europe in the Middle Ages;
To underscore the interaction between the different parts of medieval Europe;
To alert students about key historiographical contributions in the field of medieval European history.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Explain what the key themes in medieval European history are;
Highlight how this field of study has evolved to encompass the experiences of a whole continent across more than one thousand years;
Describe developments in the history of medieval Europe, in relation to developments in the Mediterranean world.

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Read critically and selectively and make sense of a range of secondary sources;
Write under examination conditions essay-type answers to questions posed, showing a clear structure and logical presentation of arguments;
Demonstrate an awareness of the long-term development of different experiences across medieval European history, and the importance of being aware of these.

Reading List

Main Texts:
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
• R.Bartlett, The Making of Europe. Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350 (Penguin, 1993)
• M. Bloch, Feudal Society (London, 2 vols, 1961)
• C.Brooke, Europe in the Central Middle Ages, 962-1154 (Longman, 1987)
• R.Collins, Early Medieval Europe, 300-1000 (Macmillan, 1991)
• G.Holmes, The Oxford History of Medieval Europe (Oxford, 1988)
• G.Holmes, Europe: Hierarchy and Revolt 1320-1450 (Fontana, 1975)
• W.C.Jordan, Europe in the High Middle Ages (Penguin, 2004)
• J.Mundy, Europe in the High Middle Ages, 1150-1309 (Longman, 1973)

Supplementary Readings:
• D.Abulafia, The Great Sea. A Human History of the Mediterranean (Penguin, 2011)
• C.T.Allmand, The Hundred Years War: England and France at War, c.1300-c.1450, (Cambridge University Press, 1988)
• S.K.Cohn, Popular Protest in Late-Medieval Europe (Manchester University Press, 2005)
• A.F.Havighurst ed., The Pirenne Thesis: Analysis, Criticism and Revision (London, 1976)
• S. Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals. The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (Oxford University Press, 1996)
• J.Riley-Smith ed, The Oxford History of the Crusades (Oxford University Press, 2002)
• S.Runciman, The Sicilian Vespers. A History of the Mediterranean World in the Later Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, 1958)
• C.Wickham, Framing the Middle Ages. Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 (Oxford University Press, 2007)


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Charles Dalli

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.