Accessibility statement

From Rome to the Renaissance: The Transformation of Traditional Societies, c.400-1650

Convenor: Craig Taylor

Module type: Survey module

Module code: HIS00004C

Term: Spring-Summer

The module provides an introduction to history from late antiquity to the beginning of the early modern era. It will offer a variety of approaches to this period, including political, social, cultural and economic history, and expose students to the wide range of critical methodologies and skills which underpin the practice of history in this period. Core lectures will offer a broad chronological overview of the period and expose students to practical cases relating to the abstract questions raised in concurrent first year modules. Discussion groups will address a selection of more focused topics and case studies emerging from the lectures.

The provisional outline of titles for the lecture series is as follows:

Peoples, Nations and States

      • Rome and its Successors: Winners and Losers, c.400-c.1000
      • Peoples, Nations and States, 1000-1500
      • Political Organisation in the Early Modern World

Economic and Social Development

      • From Gift Economy to Profit Economy, c.400-1000
      • The Black Death
      • The First Globalisation?

Power and Rulership

      • Early Medieval Kings: from c.400-c.1000
      • Papacy and Empire
      • Kings and Communes
      • Theatres of Rule: Courts East and West

Intellectual and Court Culture

      • ‘Turtles all the way down?’ Renaissances before the Renaissance
      • The Twelfth-Century Renaissance
      • The Italian Renaissance
      • The ‘Print Revolution’

Religion and the Church

      • The Christian Transformation of the Post-Roman World  A.D. 400-1000
      • Medieval piety and dissent, c.1000-c.1450
      • A Religious Revolution? Part I: The European Protestant Reformations
      • A Religious Revolution? Part II: The Making of Roman Catholicism as a World Religion

Aristocracies and Ruling Elites

      • Early Medieval Aristocracies, c.400-c.1000
      • Chivalry
      • The Civilising of the Aristocracy in the Early Modern Period

The Other: Europe and the Outside World

      • A Second Age of Invasions
      • The West Looks East
      • New Worlds in the Old World

To find out more:

You might like to look at the following:

    • Wickham, Chris. Medieval Europe, London/New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016
    • Wiesner-Hanks, Merry. Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789. 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013


For more information on the module, please visit the module catalogue.