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Medieval Studies

Medieval Cultures offers two distinct areas of historical focus: the Medieval and the Late Antique. The former focuses on the sixth through the fifteenth centuries, combining interdisciplinary perspectives with in-depth study of one or two related disciplines. Late Antique Cultures deals with the third through the ninth centuries, when ancient cultural forms were still in place but medieval cultures were beginning to take shape simultaneously. The first undergraduate degree of its kind in this country, Late Antique Cultures facilitates the study of human activity in all of its variety. A traditional area of study in Medieval Cultures is Western Europe, but students are encouraged to work in other cultural areas such as Byzantine, Islamic, Judaic and Slavic. The concentration serves students interested in the changing relation of cultural practices, social patterns, political and economic forms, and artistic and literary traditions in this important transitional period.

For additional information, please visit the department's website: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Medieval_Studies/

Course usage information

MDVL 0015. Sacred Stories (RELS 0015).

Interested students must register for RELS 0015.

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MDVL 0025. Wealth: Religious Approaches (RELS 0025).

Interested students must register for RELS 0025.

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MDVL 0041. The Architectures of Islam (HIAA 0041).

Interested students must register for HIAA 0041.

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MDVL 0100D. Matters of Romance (ENGL 0100D).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0100D.

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MDVL 0110. Christianity (RELS 0110).

Interested students must register for RELS 0110.

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MDVL 0150. Islam: An Introduction (RELS 0150).

Interested students must register for RELS 0150.

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MDVL 0150B. The Philosopher’s Stone: Alchemy From Antiquity to Harry Potter (HIST 0150B).

Interested students must register for HIST 0150B.

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MDVL 0150C. The Medieval King Arthur (ENGL 0150C).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0150C.

Fall MDVL0150C S01 16806 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 0150E. Skill: From the Medieval Workshop to the Maker Movement (AMST 0150E).

Interested students must register for AMST 0150E.

Fall MDVL0150E S01 17645 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 0290D. Women, Sex and Gender in Islam (RELS 0290D).

Interested students must register for RELS 0290D.

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MDVL 0300F. Beowulf to Aphra Behn: The Earliest British Literatures (ENGL 0300F).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0300F.

Course usage information

MDVL 0310F. Prose Sagas of the Medieval North (ENGL 0310F).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0310F.

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MDVL 0310G. Gender and Genre in Medieval Celtic Literatures (ENGL 0310G).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0310G.

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MDVL 0321. Toward a Global Late Antiquity: 200-800 CE (HIAA 0321).

Interested students must register for HIAA 0321.

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MDVL 0360. Cities: Medieval Perspectives.

Where did our modern cities come from? How does the medieval city still live in modernity? In this course, we study histories of cities, their making, transformation, or disappearance, through the lens of a series of medieval urban centers (such as Rome, London, Damascus, Constantinople/Istanbul, and Toledo), some of which had a continued existence into the modern world. We will focus on such topics as: the end of ancient cities; religious beliefs, conflict, and tolerance; the city and its margins; citizens and foreigners; societies without cities; book culture and bureaucracy; the city as metaphor; sex (and romance) and the city.

Spr MDVL0360 S01 25676 M 3:00-5:30(13) (E. Papaioannou)
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MDVL 0410. Christianity in Late Antiquity (RELS 0410).

Interested students must register for RELS 0410.

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MDVL 0415. Ancient Christian Culture (RELS 0415).

Interested students must register for RELS 0415.

Fall MDVL0415 S01 17644 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 0460. Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Iberia (HIAA 0460).

Interested students must register for HIAA 0460.

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MDVL 0510K. The 1001 Nights (COLT 0510K).

Interested students must register for COLT 0510K.

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MDVL 0521A. Christianity in Conflict in the Medieval Mediterranean (HIST 0521A).

Interested students must register for HIST 0521A.

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MDVL 0600. Literary Worlds of Late Antiquity (CLAS 0600).

Interested students must register for CLAS 0600.

Fall MDVL0600 S01 17327 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 0620. Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia.

The cultural diversity of medieval Spain and Portugal is proclaimed by their Christian cathedrals, Islamic palaces, and Jewish synagogues. The three distinct cultures that produced these buildings lived together for centuries in medieval Iberia, sometimes in peace, sometimes not. This convivencia of Jews, Muslims, and Christians will be examined from the perspectives of literature, art, architecture, archaeology and history.

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MDVL 0640. Dying to Be With God: Jihad, Past and Present (RELS 0640).

Interested students must register for RELS 0640.

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MDVL 0660. The World of Byzantium (CLAS 0660).

Interested students must register for CLAS 0660.

Spr MDVL0660 S01 25881 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 0681. Great Jewish Books (JUDS 0681).

Interested students must register for JUDS 0681.

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MDVL 0683. Jews and Money (JUDS 0683).

Interested students must register for JUDS 0683.

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MDVL 0710D. History of the Spanish Language (HISP 0710D).

Interested students must register for HISP 0710D.

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MDVL 0750E. Topics in Hispanic Culture and Civilization (HISP 0750E).

Interested students must register for HISP 0750E.

Fall MDVL0750E S01 17652 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 0812H. Literary Bestsellers of the Islamic World (COLT 0812H).

Interested students must register for COLT 0812H.

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MDVL 0910. Medieval and Renaissance Music (MUSC 0910).

Interested students must register for MUSC 0910.

Spr MDVL0910 S01 25921 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1010. Dante in English Translation: Dante's World and the Invention of Modernity (ITAL 1010).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1010.

Fall MDVL1010 S01 17410 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1020. Living Together: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Iberia (HIST 1020).

Interested students must register for HIST 1020.

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MDVL 1030. The Long Fall of the Roman Empire (HIST 1030).

Interested students must register for HIST 1030.

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MDVL 1100C. Medieval Arabic Philosophy (PHIL 1100C).

Interested students must register for PHIL 1100C.

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MDVL 1110F. Fortunatus (LATN 1110F).

Interested students must register for LATN 1110F.

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MDVL 1110G. En Marge: Exilés et Hors-la-Loi au Moyen Age (FREN 1110G).

Interested students must register for FREN 1110G.

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MDVL 1110H. Literature at the Court of Charlemagne (LATN 1110H).

Interested students must register for LATN 1110H.

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MDVL 1110L. Medieval Latin Lyric (LATN 1110L).

Interested students must register for LATN 1110L.

Fall MDVL1110L S01 17328 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1110Q. Greek Erotic Literature: From Plato to the Medieval Romances (GREK 1110Q).

Interested students must register for GREK 1110Q.

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MDVL 1110T. Rhetors and Philosophers: Intellectual Thought and Sophistic Style in the Ancient World (GREK 1110T).

Interested students must register for GREK 1110T.

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MDVL 1120C. Survey of Late and Medieval Latin (LATN 1120C).

Interested students must register for LATN 1120C.

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MDVL 1120D. Alcuin (LATN 1120D).

Interested students must register for LATN 1120D.

Spr MDVL1120D S01 26246 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1120G. The Idea of Self (CLAS 1120G).

Interested students must register for CLAS 1120G.

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MDVL 1120V. The Age of Constantine: The Roman Empire in Transition (CLAS 1120V).

Interested students must register for CLAS 1120V.

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MDVL 1205. The Long Fall of the Roman Empire (HIST 1205).

Interested students must register for HIST 1205.

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MDVL 1210C. History of the Spanish Language (HISP 1210C).

Interested students must register for HISP 1210C.

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MDVL 1211. Crusaders and Cathedrals: Europe in the High Middle Ages (HIST 1211).

Interested students must register for HIST 1211.

Course usage information

MDVL 1220. Byzantine Art and Archaeology: Material Stories of a Christian Empire (ARCH 1220).

Interested students must register for ARCH 1220.

Course usage information

MDVL 1260D. Living Together: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Iberia (HIST 1260D).

Interested students must register for HIST 1260D.

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MDVL 1280. Death from Medieval Relics to Forensic Science (HIST 1280).

Interested students must register for HIST 1280.

Spr MDVL1280 S01 25927 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1300. Ancient Christianity and the Sensing Body (RELS 1300).

Interested students must register for RELS 1300.

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MDVL 1310E. A Classical Islamic Education: Readings in Arabic Literature (COLT 1310E).

Interested students must register for COLT 1310E.

Fall MDVL1310E S01 17411 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MDVL 1310T. Chaucer (ENGL 1310T).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1310T.

Fall MDVL1310T S01 16807 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1310V. Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales (ENGL 1310V).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1310V.

Course usage information

MDVL 1311E. History of the English Language (ENGL 1311E).

Interested students must register for ENGL1311E.

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MDVL 1311H. Sagas Without Borders: Multilingual Literatures of Early England (ENGL 1311H).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1311H.

Course usage information

MDVL 1311L. From Mead-Hall to Mordor: The Celtic and Germanic Roots of Tolkien’s Fiction (ENGL 1311L).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1311L.

Spr MDVL1311L S01 26247 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1325C. The Virgin Mary in Christian Tradition (RELS 1325C).

Interested students must register for RELS 1325C.

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MDVL 1325D. Desire and the Sacred (RELS 1325D).

Interested students must register for RELS 1325D.

Spr MDVL1325D S01 25877 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1330T. El amor en español (HISP 1330T).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330T.

Fall MDVL1330T S01 17651 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1360F. Quest, Vision, Diaspora: Medieval Journey Narratives (ENGL 1360F).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1360F.

Course usage information

MDVL 1360H. Introduction to the Old English Language (ENGL 1360H).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1360H.

Fall MDVL1360H S01 17405 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1360J. Middle English Literature (ENGL 1360J).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1360J.

Course usage information

MDVL 1360U. Europe in the Vernacular (ENGL 1360U).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1360U.

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MDVL 1361D. Women’s Voices in Medieval Literature (ENGL 1361D).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1361D.

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MDVL 1361J. Seminar in Old Norse-Icelandic Language and Literature (ENGL 1361J).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1361J.

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MDVL 1440. The Ottomans: Faith, Law, Empire (HIST 1440).

Interested students must register for HIST 1440.

Spr MDVL1440 S01 25924 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1440B. Architecture of Solitude: The Medieval Monastery (HIAA 1440B).

Interested students must register for HIAA 1440B.

Course usage information

MDVL 1520. Pilgrimage and Sacred Travel in the Lands of Islam (RELS 1520).

Interested students must register for RELS 1520.

Course usage information

MDVL 1530. Methods and Approaches to Islamic Studies (RELS 1530).

Interested students must register for RELS 1530.

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MDVL 1530D. Islamic Sectarianism (RELS 1530D).

Interested students must register for RELS 1530D.

Spr MDVL1530D S01 25922 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1560A. Italy and the Mediterranean (HIAA 1560A).

Interested students must register for HIAA 1560A.

Spr MDVL1560A S01 25926 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1600. Astronomy Before the Telescope (ASYR 1600).

Interested students must register ASYR 1600.

Spr MDVL1600 S01 25928 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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MDVL 1630. The Talmud (JUDS 1630).

Interested students must register for JUDS 1630.

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MDVL 1744. Difficult Relations? Judaism and Christianity from the Middle Ages until the Present (JUDS 1744).

Interested students must register for JUDS 1744.

Course usage information

MDVL 1750L. Erotic Desire in the Premodern Mediterranean (CLAS 1750L).

Interested students must register for CLAS 1750L.

Course usage information

MDVL 1813P. Captive Imaginations: Writing Prison in the Middle Ages (COLT 1813P).

Interested students must register for COLT 1813P.

Course usage information

MDVL 1900Y. Medieval Manuscript Studies: Paleography, Codicology, and Interpretation (ENGL 1900Y).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1900Y.

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MDVL 1963L. Barbarians, Byzantines, and Berbers: Early Medieval North Africa, AD 300-1050 (HIST 1963L).

Interested students must register for HIST 1963L.

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MDVL 1963Q. Sex, Power, and God: A Medieval Perspective (HIST 1963Q).

Interested students must register for HIST 1963Q.

Course usage information

MDVL 1970. Independent Study.

Tutorial instruction on an approved topic in Late Antique and/or Medieval cultures, supervised by a member of staff. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course. May be repeated once for credit.

Course usage information

MDVL 1971U. Kabbalah: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism (HMAN 1971U).

Interested students must register for HMAN 1971U.

Course usage information

MDVL 1972H. Sex, Power, and God: A Medieval Perspective (HIST 1972H).

Interested students must register for HIST 1972H.

Course usage information

MDVL 1976R. Early Modern Globalization: Jewish Economic Activity, 1500-1800 (HIST 1976R).

Interested students must register for HIST 1976R.

Course usage information

MDVL 1979H. Prostitutes, Mothers, + Midwives: Women in Pre-modern Europe and North America (HIST 1979H).

Interested students must register for HIST 1979H.

Fall MDVL1979H S01 17415 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MDVL 1990. Honors Thesis.

Independent research and writing on a topic of special interest to the student, under the direction of a faculty member. Required of candidates for honors. Permission should be obtained from the Director of the Program in Medieval Studies.

Course usage information

MDVL 2030D. Fifteenth-Century Sentimental Romances and Celestina (HISP 2030D).

Interested students must register for HISP 2030D.

Course usage information

MDVL 2040D. Arts du récit, 1100-1400 (FREN 2040D).

Interested students must register for FREN 2040D.

Course usage information

MDVL 2110F. Greek Palaeography and Premodern Book Cultures (GREK 2110F).

Interested students must register for GREK 2110F.

Course usage information

MDVL 2360Q. Manuscript, Image, and the Middle English Text (ENGL 2360Q).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2360Q.

Course usage information

MDVL 2400J. Stories of the Prophets in Medieval Islamic Literature (RELS 2400J).

Interested students must register for RELS 2400J.

Fall MDVL2400J S01 17414 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MDVL 2970A. New Perspectives on Medieval History (HIST 2970A).

Interested students must register for HIST 2970A.

Course usage information

MDVL 2971I. New Perspectives on Medieval History (HIST 2971I).

Interested students must register for HIST 2971I.

Director

Efstratios Papaioannou

Associate Professor

Efstratios Papaioannou
Associate Professor of Classics

Medieval Cultures

Medieval Cultures offers two distinct areas of historical focus: the Medieval and the Late Antique. The former focuses on the sixth through the fifteenth centuries, combining interdisciplinary perspectives with in-depth study of one or two related disciplines. Late Antique Cultures deals with the third through the ninth centuries, when ancient cultural forms were still in place but medieval cultures were beginning to take shape simultaneously. The first undergraduate degree of its kind in this country, Late Antique Cultures facilitates the study of human activity in all of its variety. A traditional area of study in Medieval Cultures is Western Europe, but students are encouraged to work in other cultural areas such as Byzantine, Islamic, Judaic and Slavic. The concentration serves students interested in the changing relation of cultural practices, social patterns, political and economic forms, and artistic and literary traditions in this important transitional period.

Medieval Cultures Track

 It is recommended that prospective concentrators take the introductory course, Medieval Perspectives, during their freshman or sophomore year.

Requirements

Ten courses approved by the Program in Medieval Studies, including two courses in medieval history and one 1000- or 2000-level course that uses primary texts in a medieval language other than Middle English. Interested students are invited to discuss their plans with an appropriate faculty member of the Program. A concentration proposal should be prepared in consultation with the faculty advisor and submitted to the Program Chair for approval.

Under the supervision of the director of the program, students may choose courses from the following:
The World of Byzantium
The Idea of Self
The Age of Constantine: The Roman Empire in Transition
Erotic Desire in the Premodern Mediterranean
The 1001 Nights
Captive Imaginations: Writing Prison in the Middle Ages
Matters of Romance
The Medieval King Arthur
Beowulf to Aphra Behn: The Earliest British Literatures
Prose Sagas of the Medieval North
Chaucer
Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
History of the English Language
Sagas Without Borders: Multilingual Literatures of Early England
From Mead-Hall to Mordor: The Celtic and Germanic Roots of Tolkien’s Fiction
Quest, Vision, Diaspora: Medieval Journey Narratives
Introduction to the Old English Language
Middle English Literature
Europe in the Vernacular
Women's Voices in Medieval Literature
Medieval Manuscript Studies: Paleography, Codicology, and Interpretation
Manuscript, Image, and the Middle English Text
Greek Erotic Literature: From Plato to the Medieval Romances
Rhetors and Philosophers: Intellectual Thought and Sophistic Style in the Ancient World
Greek Palaeography and Premodern Book Cultures
Toward a Global Late Antiquity:200-800 CE
Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Iberia
Architecture of Solitude: The Medieval Monastery
Fifteenth-Century Sentimental Romances and Celestina
The Philosophers' Stone: Alchemy From Antiquity to Harry Potter
Christianity in Conflict in the Medieval Mediterranean
The Holy Grail and the Historian's Quest for the Truth
The Search for King Arthur
The Long Fall of the Roman Empire
The Viking Age
Living Together: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Iberia
Crusaders and Cathedrals, Deviants and Dominance: Europe in the High Middle Ages
Barbarians, Byzantines, and Berbers: Early Medieval North Africa, AD 300-1050
Sex, Power, and God: A Medieval Perspective
Charlemagne: Conquest, Empire, and the Making of the Middle Ages
Early Modern Globalization
New Perspectives on Medieval History
Difficult Relations? Judaism and Christianity from the Middle Ages until the Present
Great Jewish Books
The Talmud
Fortunatus
Literature at the Court of Charlemagne
Survey of Late and Medieval Latin
Alcuin
Cities: Medieval Perspectives
Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia
Independent Study
Honors Thesis
Medieval Arabic Philosophy
Wealth: Religious Approaches
Christian Classics
Islam Unveiled
Islamic Sexualities
Christianity in Late Antiquity
Dying To Be With God: Jihad, Past and Present
Ancient Christianity and the Sensing Body
Pilgrimage and Sacred Travel in the Lands of Islam
Methods and Problems in Islamic Studies: Narratives
Medieval Islamic Sectarianism

Honors

This is awarded to students who present a meritorious honors thesis in addition to completing the required courses of the concentration. The thesis permits the student to synthesize various disciplines or interests, or to pursue a new interest in greater depth. To be eligible for Honors, candidates must complete a minimum of six approved courses in Medieval Studies by the end of their third year with more grades of A than B. Students should apply for admission to Honors and should meet with their faculty advisor(s) no later than spring of the junior year to plan the thesis project. Accepted candidates write the thesis in a two-semester course sequence under the supervision of a director and second reader drawn from the Medieval Studies faculty.

Interested students should contact the concentration advisor for further details or consultation (863-1994).

Late Antique Cultures Track

Requirements:

One course in Roman history:1
Roman History I: The Rise and Fall of an Imperial Republic
Roman History II: The Roman Empire and Its Impact (recommended)
One class in medieval history1
One course at the advanced level (numbered at least 1000) in one approved language 11
Six other courses drawn from appropriate offerings and with the approval of the concentration advisor. These courses should support a concentrational area of special interest. 6
Total Credits9
1

The language in most cases will be Latin, but students will present different competencies and interests; other languages, such as Greek, Hebrew, or one of the medieval vernaculars can be substituted for Latin, with the approval of the concentration advisor and in conjunction with a clearly articulated program of study.

Under the supervision of the director of the program, students may choose courses from the following:
The World of Byzantium
The Idea of Self
The Age of Constantine: The Roman Empire in Transition
Erotic Desire in the Premodern Mediterranean
The 1001 Nights
Captive Imaginations: Writing Prison in the Middle Ages
Matters of Romance
The Medieval King Arthur
Beowulf to Aphra Behn: The Earliest British Literatures
Prose Sagas of the Medieval North
Chaucer
Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Sagas Without Borders: Multilingual Literatures of Early England
From Mead-Hall to Mordor: The Celtic and Germanic Roots of Tolkien’s Fiction
Quest, Vision, Diaspora: Medieval Journey Narratives
Introduction to the Old English Language
Middle English Literature
Europe in the Vernacular
Women's Voices in Medieval Literature
Medieval Manuscript Studies: Paleography, Codicology, and Interpretation
Manuscript, Image, and the Middle English Text
Greek Erotic Literature: From Plato to the Medieval Romances
Rhetors and Philosophers: Intellectual Thought and Sophistic Style in the Ancient World
Greek Palaeography and Premodern Book Cultures
Toward a Global Late Antiquity:200-800 CE
Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Iberia
Architecture of Solitude: The Medieval Monastery
Fifteenth-Century Sentimental Romances and Celestina
The Philosophers' Stone: Alchemy From Antiquity to Harry Potter
Christianity in Conflict in the Medieval Mediterranean
The Holy Grail and the Historian's Quest for the Truth
The Search for King Arthur
The Long Fall of the Roman Empire
The Viking Age
Living Together: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Iberia
Crusaders and Cathedrals, Deviants and Dominance: Europe in the High Middle Ages
Barbarians, Byzantines, and Berbers: Early Medieval North Africa, AD 300-1050
Sex, Power, and God: A Medieval Perspective
Charlemagne: Conquest, Empire, and the Making of the Middle Ages
Early Modern Globalization
New Perspectives on Medieval History
Difficult Relations? Judaism and Christianity from the Middle Ages until the Present
Great Jewish Books
The Talmud
Fortunatus
Literature at the Court of Charlemagne
Survey of Late and Medieval Latin
Alcuin
Cities: Medieval Perspectives
Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia
Independent Study
Honors Thesis
Medieval Arabic Philosophy
Wealth: Religious Approaches
Christian Classics
Islam Unveiled
Islamic Sexualities
Christianity in Late Antiquity
Dying To Be With God: Jihad, Past and Present
Ancient Christianity and the Sensing Body
Pilgrimage and Sacred Travel in the Lands of Islam
Methods and Problems in Islamic Studies: Narratives
Medieval Islamic Sectarianism

Honors

When in Late Antique Cultures, these are awarded to students who present a meritorious honors thesis in addition to completing the required courses of the concentration. Application for admission to honors should be made in the spring of the junior year, by which time honors candidates must have completed a minimum of six approved courses in Late Antique Studies. Accepted candidates write the thesis in a two-semester course sequence (MDVL 1990) under the supervision of a director and a second reader to be determined in consultation with the advisor.