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Academics: Courses

Medieval Studies courses

The medieval studies minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours, including required courses in history, language, and interdisciplinary studies. The remaining course requirements will be met by courses chosen from outside the student's major from amount those listed below, to meet the interests and needs of the student.

Information about course availability and faculty can be found in the college catalog or on Portal.

Required courses

History 263 Medieval and Renaissance Europe, 1000-1500 (3). A treatment of one of the most formative periods in the development of European culture and institutions, when strong monarchies emerged out of feudalism and a new religious vitality transformed Christian spirituality. These impulses are traced through the rise of schools and universities, the Crusades, and the role of the papacy as a unifying political force in Western Christendom, concluding with the late-medieval economic and demographic crisis and the break-up of the medieval worldview in Renaissance Italy.

IDIS 206 Introduction to Medieval Studies (3). Interim, offered biennially. A classroom introduction to the skills that are specific to the interdisciplinary method of studying the Middle Ages, structured around a specific theme. The theme for 2017 will be: The World of the Troubadours. This course is mandatory for those students who have selected a minor in medieval studies, but it is open to anyone with an interest in the Middle Ages. Not offered 2015-16.

Language courses: contact your medieval studies advisor for courses that fulfill the language requirement.

Elective courses

Art History 232 Early Christian and Byzantine Arts (3). A historical study of the form and function of visual images in the early Christian and the Byzantine traditions. Special attention will be given to the rise of the cult of saints, to the veneration and destruction of religious icons, and to the relationship between sacred images and the imperial court. Slide lectures and class discussions; a research paper is required. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above.

Art History 233 Medieval Art (3). A historical study of the form and function of visual images in Western Europe from 400 to 1400. Special attention will be given to the relationship between art and the crusades, to tensions between monastic orders, and to the role of visual images in various kinds of mysticism. Slide lectures and class discussions; a research paper is required. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above.

Art History 234 Northern Renaissance Art (3). A historical study of the form and function of visual images in Netherlandish and German cultures from 1400 to 1550. Special attention will be given to the rise of naturalism, to the relationship between art and religious devotion, and to the emergence of an art market. Jan van Eyck, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, and Albrecht Durer are some of the major artists studied. Slide lectures and class discussions; a research paper is required. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above.

Art History 235 Italian Renaissance Art (3). A historical study of the form and function of visual images in Italy from 1300 to 1550. Special attention will be given to the emergence of linear perspective, to the relationship between art and humanism, and to the invention of artistic genius. Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo are some of the major artists studied. Slide lectures and class discussions; a research paper is required. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above.

English 310 British Literature of the Middle Ages (3). This course examines the ways in which the literatures of the Anglo-Saxon and Middle English periods both reflect and impact the culture out of which they emerge. In studying an age in which art, philosophy, history, architecture, bookmaking, and social and language issues converge in the literature in strikingly uniform ways, students will understand the engagement of many cultural forces and the effect of that engagement upon a culture’s expression.

English 337 Chaucer (Major Authors) (3). An in-depth exploration of the works of a major literary figure. Normally, this course will alternate between a study of Chaucer and a study of Milton.

French 394 Medieval and Early Modern French Literature (3). One of three possible capstone courses in the French major, this integrative studies course is designed to nurture Christian reflection on issues related to French literary studies of narrative, theater and poetry in France from the Middle Ages to the end of the 17th century. Authors may include Chrétien de Troyes, Calvin, Du Bellay, Ronsard, Molière, Racine and Mme de Lafayette. Prerequisites: developing a Christian mind, philosophical foundations, biblical foundations I or theological foundations I, French 351. Conducted in French.

German 390 Independent Study. Prerequisite: Approval of the department chair.

History 262 Early Medieval Worlds, 300-1000 (3). The emergence of Europe out of the Roman Empire alongside the Byzantine Empire and Islamic commonwealth. Special attention is given to the Christianization of the Roman Empire, Christian missions to Western Europe, the role of monasticism, and the way that early medieval Europe, like its neighboring cultures, integrated its Roman-Hellenistic heritage into its new forms.

History 362 Studies in Ancient and Medieval Europe (3). Fall. Offers an in-depth analysis of a particular topic or period within ancient and/or medieval Europe. Calling upon the rich variety of sources in ancient and/or medieval European culture and society, it practices historical analysis on interdisciplinary materials. Possible topics include the Greek polis, the Roman Empire of Augustus, Late Antiquity, Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages, the Bible in the Middle Ages, and the Crusades. The topic for Fall 2015 is Sex, Gender, and Holiness in Medieval Europe.

IDIS 198 Classical And Medieval Palaeography (1). This course offers a practical introduction to reading Late Antique, Medieval, and Humanist Latin and vernacular script, from c. 200 AD until c. 1500 AD. we will master reading these scripts, while learning about their historical development and the production of written texts before the invention of the printing press. The script types studied in this course will range from square capital, cursive, uncial and half-uncial, Carolingian minuscule, Anglo-Saxon script, and the various forms of gothic and humanist script, while the texts we read will include classical and patristic texts, vernacular texts, and especially the Latin Bible. No prerequisites.

Latin 101 Elementary Latin I (4). For students who had only one unit of high school Latin or who have had no Latin. Emphasis is placed on the essentials of grammar and a basic vocabulary with constant comparison to English. Sententiae from the principal Latin authors will be read.

Latin 102 Elementary Latin II (4). A continuation of Latin 101. Emphasis is placed on grammar and the early reading of longer selections of authentic Latin dealing with Roman history and culture. Prerequisite: Latin 101 or its equivalent.

Latin 201 Intermediate Latin I (4). A thorough review of the essentials of grammar will accompany the reading of selected Latin prose. Prerequisite: Two years of high school Latin or two courses of college Latin.

Latin 202 Intermediate Latin II (3). This course involves a study of selected prose and poetry in Latin, which may include the Metamorphoses of Ovid and the Confessions of Augustine. Prerequisite: Three years of high school Latin or Latin 201.

Latin 206 Latin Poetry Survey (3). Readings in Roman authors selected to survey the development of Latin poetry, to build proficiency in reading, and to serve as an introduction to the advanced genre courses. Prerequisite: Latin 202, 205, or permission of the instructor. This course satisfies the core requirement in Literature for students who satisfy their foreign language requirement with other courses.

Latin 391Special Topics in Latin (3). Independent study of special topics. Offered as needed. May be repeated provided the course content is different. Prerequisite: At least two 300-level courses in Latin or permission of the instructor.

Music 205 Music History and Analysis I (3). A study, via listening, score study, and source readings, of music of Western civilization prior to 1750. After a brief introduction to world music, the course continues with study of musical thought in antiquity and the early Christian era, Gregorian chant, and the principal repertories of polyphony through the Baroque period. Prerequisites: music 105 and 108 or permission of the instructor. Students in music major programs take this course concurrently with Music 207 and 213.

Philosophy 251 History of Western Philosophy I (3). A survey of the major Western philosophers and philosophical movements of the ancient and medieval periods.

Philosophy 322 Aquinas (3). An intensive study of selected texts of Thomas Aquinas.

Religion 243 History of Christian Theology I (3). This is a historically-oriented study of Christian theology in the Patristic and Medieval periods (100-1500). Particular attention is paid to the development of key Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and the Incarnation and to questions such as the relationship between faith and reason.

Religion 341 Studies in Early and Medieval Theology: Medieval Scholastic Theology (3). This course studies Medieval scholastic theology first by reading portions of Peter Lombard's Sentences, a 12th century work that systematized Christian theology in a new way and served as the primary textbook for theological study in subsequent centuries, and then by examining how this systematic approach was developed in the work of Abelard, the Victorines, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and Bonaventure. Prerequisite: Religion 131 or an intermediate theological studies course.

Spanish 366 Spanish Literature from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance (3). An introduction to the world of Medieval Spain through its literature. Students explore the ways in which this literature reflects the social and political interactions between the Christians, the Muslims and the Jews that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula during this period of Spanish history. Through a close reading of a few works, the values and morals that shaped medieval society are examined. Daily homework, an oral presentation and a final research paper are required. Prerequisite: Spanish 308 and 309, or permission of the instructor.