These five class days are flexible and open to a class vote. Students in the past have chosen topics ranging from music to paleography to popular religion. I am willing to do almost anything, though I do have my personal favorites.
Thursday, 11/14: Travellers and Monstrous Races!
First off, everyone should read This Excerpt from St. Augustine. This is the first reference to the races in Christian writing. Unfortunately, the two main Roman sources for these stories are both not easily available in translated form. After that, please at least skim through This Article on race and travel narratives about how Europeans see foreigners. Then after these starts...
Choose one of the Following:
Either William of Rubruck or John of Pian Carpine, Both in One Volume
Or Marco Polo.
There´s also a pretty interesting podcast by a recent translator of John Mandeville's book of travels HERE. However, much of the first half is taken up talking about how the translation was actually prepared. If you want, it's still interesting, and there are stories and some questions about the tales themselves.
Monday 11/18: Research Day
Thursday 11/21: Warfare
King Rene’s Tournament Book
Also look at any chapter of:
Richard Barber, Richard W. Barber, and Juliet R. V.
Barker, Tournaments: jousts, chivalry and pageants in the Middle Ages. (In the Library)
Monday 11/25: Architecture
Toker, "Gothic Architecture by Remote Control," Courses Server
Murray, "The Choir of the Church of St. Pierre," Courses Server
Trachtenburg, "What Brunelleschi Saw," Courses Server
Chapter two of Hamerow, Early Medieval Settlements. - this discusses several types of buildings, all early medieval and includes Anglo-Saxon practices.
Chapter nine of Sheeran, Medieval Yorkshire Towns. - The chapter talks about Urban construction practices in Yorkshire during the later medieval period.
or Chapter one of Boas, Domestic Settings. This chapter is nice and convenient because the book is about the Crusader states and it begins with a brief overview of house construction practices in France, Byzantium and the Holy Land around that time.
Thursday 11/28: Thanksgiving!
Monday 12/2: Medicine
Everyone should start with this lecture by Frank Snowden (another Yale faculty) on the humoral understanding of disease. He covers both Hyppocrates and Galen who form the foundations of the medieval understandings of the body and medical practice.
Then pick one of the following:
An article about the changing nature of medicine for women by Monica Green
Thursday 12/1: Nobles Behaving Badly
So there are nobles behaving Really badly, but that's just despressing...and you didn't vote on this category to be depressed, you wanted Scandal! Impropriety, Indecency, the obloquy of their compatriots. Anyway. This was supposed to be fun, so really you wanted people like:
Eleanor of Aquitaine - There are several great books in the library, so just pick one and start reading.
Stephen of Blois (and the Empress Matilda, who is his chief opponent) - Again, there are a couple of books in the library and several articles. Pick something.
Berenguela of Castile - Start with chapter one of the Biography of Alfonso X (her grandson) and then poke around from there.
Monday 12/9: Final words on Medievalism
Final Day of Class - Note! All essays that require final comments before the Thursday Portfolio Submission Deadline are due Today by class-time!
All remaining fourth papers for those not submitting a portfolio are due by Saturday at Midnight.