Course Information

Medieval World

HN202-01S | Spring 2024

01S TTH 9:25-10:40; Humanities Center, 232

01S Enrichment Hour F 1:00pm-1:50pm; Humanities Center, 232

Plenary Seminar 3-3:50pm; Thea Bowman Hall, 230

Dr. Jeffrey C. Witt | jcwitt [at] loyola [dot] edu | ext. 2947

Philosophy Department 050M

Office Hours: By Appointment Tues: 1pm-3pm; Wed: 1pm-3pm; Thurs: 1pm-3pm

Course Description:

This seminar course will examine the period of history spanning from 400 to 1500 C.E., often referred to as the Middle Ages. We will examine this period from multiple dimensions, looking at the historical development of social ideas, theology, philosophy, and literature. As we will see, it is an extremely diverse period, and the seminar format will provide us with significant time to reflect and debate the ways in which this period does and does not represent a unified whole. Further, in keeping with our Messina theme, "Self and Other," this course will consider the ways different thinkers, writers, and political actors have thought about the individual and the pursuit of happiness in the context of society and the outsider. Finally, the course aims to provide space to reflect on the ways in which the Middle Ages influence and challenge our own assumptions about ourselves and our place in society.

Course Learning Aims and Expected Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of principle actors, historical developments, and foundational texts from the period 400-1500 C.E.

Students will be able to examine and articulate connections between developments in medieval history, literature, philosophy, and theology.

Students will be able to converse cogently about the Middle Ages as an idea and as a historical reality.

Course Readings

Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages (SHMA), 6th ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2023)

Augustine, The City of God (COG), trans. Marcus Dods (New York: The Modern Library, 1993)

Rule of St. Benedict (RSB) (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1982)

Two Lives of Charlemagne (TLC), trans. David Ganz (New York: Penguin, 2008)

The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Material (TFC), ed. Edward Peeters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998)

Beowulf (B), trans. Seamus Heaney (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002)

Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (AR), trans. William Kibler (New York: Penguin, 2004)

Dante, Purgatorio (P), trans. Robert Durling (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)

Course Requirements

Participation (15%)

Class involvement means, first of all, coming to class. Secondly, it means coming to class prepared. This primarily means both having read the assigned text and having the day's reading out and ready to be marked. Thirdly, it means being an active participant in the classroom. Finally, participation includes attendance and engagement during Messina EH, Messina events (and post event discussions), and plenary lectures. Lack of participation in these areas will negatively affect your overall participation grade. After 3 missed classes, participation grade will be reduced by 3% per missed class.

Class Notes Discussion (10%): To encourage you in the above three areas, we will collaboratively prepare for class using a common set of class notes, with reading/discussion notes. Student will be expected to read and interact with the class notes using the Hypothesis Annotation Tool.

A participatory grade is meant to motivate the goal of active engagement. Thus genuine and sincere engagement, rather meeting a certain threshold or quota is the goal. Those who engage in a sincere way will generally automatically find themselves fulfilling the requirements of participation. What if follows is a general rubric to help clarify expectations.

Meets expectations (100): student contributes around 2-3 substantial posts (at least 1 of which is a response to a "discussion block" and at least one of which is a reply to another student's post). (As a rule of thumb a "substantial" post is usually between 100-200 words.) In addition to posting, the student is adding links, responding to others, and asking clarifying questions. During our in person class the student will also be prepared and willing to provide summaries of class notes and previous asynchronous discussions.

Approaches expectations (80): student occasionally posts, perhaps just once per class; comments are short, rote, showing a lack of genuine engagement with material and peers.

While I'll generally expect participation in each class, because I know everyone has busy weeks, I will grant you 2 participation passes prior to the mid-term and 2 participation passes prior to our final. I participation score will be recorded in the grade book at the midterm and at the end of the semester and will represent an cumulative average of your overall participation.

Plenary and Messina Reflection (2.5%): We will have plenary lectures through the semester. Using our annotation tool, I will ask you to respond to posted prompts or discussion questions for 8 out of approximately 12 plenary lectures. Likewise, as part of Messina, we may occasionally have Messina events or lectures that we ask you to respond to in a similar way.

Reading Guide (2.5%): In groups of 4, students will take turns preparing the "reading guide" for 4 strategic readings and leading the class discussion: Beowulf, Knight of the Cart, and Purgatory 1-15 and 16-33

Papers (40%)

Paper 1 (20%) (5-6 pages)

Paper 2 (20%) (5-6 pages)

Exams (45%)

Mid Term Exam (20%)

Cumulative Final Exam (25%)

Final Grade Distribution

93% A, 90% A-, 88% B+, 83% B, 80 B-, 78% C+, 73% C, 70% C-, 68% D+, 60% D

University Policies

Honor Code and Plagiarism: Students are expected to follow the university's honor code: "The Honor Code states that all students of the Loyola community have been equally entrusted by their peers to conduct themselves honestly on all academic assignments. Our goal is to foster a trusting atmosphere that is ideal for learning. In order to achieve this goal, every student must be actively committed to this pursuit and its responsibilities, and is therefore called to be active in the governing of the community’s standards. Thus, all students have the right, as well as the duty, to expect honest work from their colleagues. From this, we students will benefit and learn from the caring relationships that our community trustfully embodies. The students of this University understand that accepting collective and individual responsibility for the ethical welfare of their peers exemplifies a commitment to the community. Students who submit materials that are the products of their own mind demonstrate respect for themselves and the community in which they study. These students possess a strong sense of honor, reverence for truth, and a commitment to Jesuit education. Accordingly, students found violating the Honor Code will be reprimanded appropriately in the belief that they will, with the support of their peers, learn from the mistake. This Code not only requires students to understand the ideals of truth and personal care as the two strongest educational factors expressed in cura personalis, but also calls them to demonstrate a general concern for the welfare of their colleagues and for the University." See the honor code for further information.

Title IX Loyola University Maryland is committed to a learning and working environment free from sexual and gender-based misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual verbal abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation. Reports of such offenses are taken seriously, and Loyola encourages students experiencing sexual misconduct to report the incident in accordance with the University’s policy on Reporting Misconduct (PDF) (pages 36-37). Loyola is also committed to an environment free of other forms of harassment and discrimination. For information about policies and reporting resources, please visit harassment and discrimination policy (PDF).

Email Policy

Remember that while you have five teachers, I have more than 70 students. Thus, while I'm eager to connect with you, I can do this best by enforcing a few procedures.

For questions about the course, both content and procedure questions, please use our moodle help discussion board. Using this system will help ensure that I see and respond to your email. It will additionally ensure that others who have similar questions can also receive an answer. So, if you send me a direct email about course content and procedure, I will politely ask you to ask it again via our moodle "help" discussion board and I will be eager and glad to respond.

For other issues, I will be glad to discuss these with you. But I would ask that you use our office hours booking service and reserve a time slot to discuss it with me. We can generally always communicate better when we speak in person and this is an opportunity for me to get to know you better. This also helps me manage my time and provide you with the best response I can. So again, if you send me a direct email, I'll will be glad to discuss it with you, but I will often direct you to the booking system so that we can schedule a chance to talk about the issue.

Course Schedule

**This is a tentative schedule, subject to revision depending on our progress and extenuating circumstances**

Week 1

Tue Jan 16 (Class 1) - Intro and Welcome;

Thu Jan 18 (Class 2) - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 2, pp. 40-73; SHMA, Chapter 1, pp. 1-26

Week 2

Tue Jan 23 (Class 3) - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 19, pp. 669-709.

Thu Jan 25 (Class 4) - "Introduction to the Rule of St. Benedict" (RSB); Rule of St. Benedict (RSB); SHMA, Chapter 1, pp. 27-38.

Week 3

Tue Jan 30 (Class 5) - Isabelle Cochelin, "When the Monks were the Book" in The Medieval Bible as a Way of Life ed. Susan Boyton and Diane Reilly, pp. 61-83 (Moodle); Joseph Lynch, "Monastic Life: The Twelfth Century" in The Medieval Church: A Brief History, pp. 197-215 (Moodle).

Thu Feb 1 (Class 6) - "The Siege of Constantinople: Easter Chronicle", pp. 55-59 (Moodle); "The Quinisext Council", pp. 60-62 (Moodle); "The iconoclastic argument: The Synod of 754", pp. 62-66 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 2, 41-49; SHMA, Chapter 3, pp. 85-90.

Week 4

Tue Feb 6 (Class 7) - Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, "Muhammad the Model," pp. 26-79 (Moodle). SHMA, Chapter 2, 49-58.

Thu Feb 8 (Class 8) - "Muhammad's words in the Hadith: Al-bukhari, On Fasting," pp. 147-151 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 3, pp. 90-102.

Week 5

Tue Feb 13 (Class 9) - The Life of Charlemagne (TLC), "General Introduction," pp. ix-xx and “Introduction,” pp. 3-13; Einhard, The Life of Charlemagne (TLC), pp. 15-44; SHMA, Chapter 2, 58-77; SHMA, Chapter 3, pp. 102-117.

Thu Feb 15 (Class 10) - The First Crusade (TFC), "Introduction," pp. 1-24 and Part I, "Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont," pp. 25-46; SHMA, Chapter 4, pp. 119-156.

Week 6

Tue Feb 20 (Class 11) - The First Crusade (TFC), Part II, "The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres, Book I," pp. 47-101; SHMA, Chapter 5, pp. 163-189.

Thu Feb 22 (Class 12) - The First Crusade (TFC), Part III.1-6, "Peter the Hermit and the 'Crusade of the People'," pp. 102-150.

Week 7

Tue Feb 27 (Class 13) - Review day (Paper 1 Due).

Thu Feb 29 (Class 14) - Midterm Exam

Week 8

Tue Mar 12 (Class 15) - Anglo Saxon History; Beowulf Background; SHMA, Chapter 4, pp. 148-149. SHMA, Chapter 5, pp. 192-193. Make progress on Beowulf reading for Thursday

Thu Mar 14 (Class 16) - Beowulf (B), "Introduction" and Text; Beowulf (B), pp. 3-78

Week 09

Tue Mar 19 (Class 17) - Court life in the 12th Century; Chretien de Troyes Background; SHMA, Chapter 6, pp. 209-240. Make progress on Chretien de Troyes reading for Thursday

Thu Mar 21 (Class 18) - Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (AR), "The Knight of the Cart" (AR), pp. 207-294.

Week 10

Tue Mar 26 (Class 19) - Richard Southern, "The Tradition of Thought" in The Making of the Middle Ages, pp. 170-218 (Moodle); Philipp Rosemann, "From Story to System" in Peter Lombard, 8-33 (Moodle);

Week 11

Tue April 2 (Class 20) - Aquinas, Treatise on Happiness, Questions 1 and 5 (Moodle); Dante, De Monarchia III.16, pp. 91-94 (Moodle). SHMA, Chapter 7, pp. 280-286.

Thu April 4 (Class 21) - Introduction to Dante's Purgatory; Aristotle's Ethics in the Christian Context; Dante, Inferno, Canto 1 (Moodle); Dante, Inferno, Canto 2 (Moodle);

Week 12

Tue Apr 9 (Class 22) - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 1-15;

Thu Apr 11 (Class 23) - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 15-33.

Week 13

Tue Apr 16 (Class 24) - John Kelly, The Great Mortality, c. 3, pp. 53-77 (Moodle) SHMA, Chapter 7, pp. 255-280 and pp. 290-292 SHMA, Chapter 8, pp. 295-316.

Thu Apr 18 (Class 25) - Julian of Norwich, Showings, Revelation XIV, pp. 248-304 (Moodle).

Week 14

Tue Apr 23 (Class 26) - Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, "The Pardoner’s Tale," pp. 329-341 (Moodle) Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, "The Prioress’s Tale," pp. 354-359 (Moodle) SHMA, Chapter 8, pp. 316-335.

Thu Apr 24 (Class 27) - Review Session

Thursday May 2nd, 9:00am Final Exam