H306: Early Medieval Mediterranean (proposed course)


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Course Meetings
M-F, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Sample Semester: Aug 29 - Dec 11, 2011, Finals week Dec. 12-16, 2011
Instructor
Kalani Craig</p>

Email: [craigkl@indiana.edu](mailto:craigkl@indiana.edu)
Website: [www.kalanicraig.com](http://www.kalanicraig.com)

Information & Policies

  1. [Course Description](#CourseDescription)
  2. [Early Medieval Readings and Texts](#Early Medieval Readings and Texts)
  3. [Assigned Readings and Absences](#Assigned Readings and Absences)
  4. [Assignment Description](#Assignment Description)
  1. [Grading](#Grading)
  2. [Student's Conduct](#Student's Conduct)
  3. [Teacher's Conduct](#Teacher's Conduct)
  4. [COURSE CALENDAR](#CourseCalendar)

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Course Description

What happened when there were no more Roman emperors in Italy? According to the History Channel, the years between 500 and 1000 C.E. are dominated by uncivilized barbarians and marauding Vikings, with an occasional powerhouse king like Charlemagne dominating the wild hordes by converting them to Christianity and threatenting them with doom.

This topical course tackles some of these cliches and stereotypes by exploring the history of the early medieval Mediterranean world through the eyes of people who lived through the Middle Ages. We'll look at the "fall of Rome" and decide whether there were really barbarians. We'll examine the rise of the world's largest monotheistic religions (Christianity and Islam) and the political, social and economic shifts that characterized urban and rural Mediterranean and European life in the years between 500 and 1000 C.E.

In addition to surveying major events and trends in medieval history, students will be introduced to a systematic process for creating historical arguments using primary sources (documents created by people who lived during the time period under examination). Students will present these arguments to their peers in several forms (online, in-class presentations and short papers) and examine the ways in which these different forms affect argumentation strategies.

Early Medieval Readings and Texts

The reading for this course comes in three forms: a textbook, which students can purchase from the bookstore or Amazon.com; several longer primary sources, also available at Amazon or the bookstore; and excerpts from primary sources made available by the instructor. The syllabus indicates whether a primary source reading is posted in the OnCourse Resources folder or from a book. Students are expected to bring assigned readings and the textbook to each class meeting.

Textbook: Chris Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 (Penguin: 2010).

Other required books for purchase:

  • The History of the Franks, translated by Lewis Thorpe (Penguin Classics) -- Ignore Thorpe's introduction, and DO NOT BUY translations by Ernst Brehaut
  • Dhuoda, Handbook for William, translated by Carol Neel (Catholic University of America Press)
  • Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred & Other Contemporary Sources, translated by Simon Keynes (Penguin Classics)</p>

    Assigned Readings and Absences

    You are expected to complete assigned readings by the date on which the readings appear in the syllabus. You should attend lecture and participate in discussion regularly. Attendance will be assessed based on short in-class responses.

    You may miss three classes without penalty. I will deduct 1 participation point for each additional absence (see grading below). Note that this policy does not distinguish "excused" from "unexcused" absences--such a distinction puts me in a role I don't want to play. SPECIAL H1N1 CAVEAT: H1N1 ("swine") flu guidelines suggest remaining out of school for 24 full hours beyond the last fever.

    Assignment Description

    [View full assignment schedule and details here](http://www.kalanicraig.com/courses/h306-early-medieval-mediterranean-proposed-course/h306-assignment-descriptions-and-due-dates/)

    Constructing and presenting a valid historical argument--or an argument in almost any setting, academic or otherwise--consists of several steps. We'll use a history-oriented way of thinking about those steps to help organize the readings from this class:

    1. 5Ps: Describing a primary source by applying the 5Ps (see attachment)
    2. Evidence: Extracting and categorizing individual pieces of historical evidence from a primary source.
    3. Evidence Questions: Learning to ask the right detailed historical questions--and to answer those questions--by tying individual pieces of evidence to secondary sources and contextual information.
    4. Broad Historical Question: Asking a more broadly-based historical question--and finding preliminary answers to that question--by combining the smaller questions drawn from individual pieces of historical evidence.
    5. Historical Synthesis: Learning how to effectively synthesize steps 1-4 in order to present and organize the explanation of a historical question using cited evidence.
    6. Revision Workshop: Applying peer and instructor review to refine the evidence in the face of questions and counterarguments.</p>

      Assignments in this course divide the art of argumentation into these five individual steps, each of which contributes to the completion of a successful final paper. Assignments will introduce students to each new step one by one and demonstrate the piece-by-piece process historians use to analyze small excerpts from historical texts in service of a larger big-picture argument.

      Grading

      Grades are based on class participation (including debates and peer-review workshops) and assignments (submissions and revisions). There will be no midterms or finals.

      Assignment points: Assignment points will be divided between the initial submission and the revised submission.

      You are expected to prepare a complete assignment for your initial submission. If your initial submission evidences significant effort to meet the requirements of the assignment (e.g. you would have earned a C+ or greater) and your revision demonstrates significant reorganization and argumentative change, I will award the revision grade in full. If your initial submission evidences a lack of effort (a C or worse), or your revision makes only spelling and/or grammar changes with no argumentative changes, I will average the two grades.

      Initial assignment submissions must be submitted online by the beginning of each peer-review workshop session. You should bring a printed copy to class with you for the peer-review workshop. Final revisions must be submitted online by the beginning of the next class.

      Demonstrable improvement throughout the semester will be rewarded. Late penalties: Assignments handed in after the first 15 minutes of class will be considered late and will be penalized (10% of assignment point value if handed in during class, 15% if handed in after class plus 5% per day assignment is late)

      Participation points: Students who attend regularly but do not contribute to class discussions, debates and peer-review workshops will not earn full participation points. Demonstrable improvement throughout the semester will be rewarded. Class disruptions, such as audible talking or cellphones ringing, will lead to deductions from the participation grade.

      You may miss three classes without penalty. I will deduct 1 participation point for each additional absence.

      Student's Conduct

      Personal conduct

      I expect you to treat course participants and instructional staff with respect. Respect is not the same as agreement: it means using respectful language when stating your ideas, asking questions or disagreeing with others. In class it means avoiding disruptive behavior (talking to other students outside of discussion, using laptops or cellphones for unrelated work). Please try to remember to turn off cellphones before class.

      Academic conduct

      "Plagiarism--A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, words, or statements of another person without appropriate acknowledgment. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge an indebtedness whenever he or she does any of the following:

      1. Quotes another person's actual words, either oral or written;
      2. Paraphrases another person's words, either oral or written;
      3. Uses another person's idea, opinion, or theory; or
      4. Borrows facts, statistics, or other illustrative material, unless the information is common knowledge."</p>

        (Quoted from Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, Part III, Student Misconduct, Academic Misconduct)

        This is the grossest form of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism will result in an automatic failing grade in the course. The case will also be forwarded to the appropriate administrators for disciplinary action.

        Teacher's Conduct

        This syllabus has thus far emphasized what you are supposed to do, but I have responsibilities too. I will treat you with respect, encourage a comfortable classroom environment, and return your assignments with constructive comments in a timely fashion. I will be in class as scheduled, on time, and in my office during office hours, barring unforeseen circumstances (notice will be posted in case of unavoidable absence). I will answer email promptly (within 24-36 hours, again barring unforeseen circumstances) and am happy to schedule additional office hours to discuss your work, any difficulties you may be having or to answer any questions you may be worried about asking in class. I'm happy to talk more about the class but you need to take the first steps and ask.

        If you have a learning disability, a time conflict, or another issue that may impact your involvement in the course, please come see me as soon as possible. You are encouraged to make an appointment with me to discuss papers and/or issues raised in class.

        Course Calendar

        Unit 0: Introduction

        Class Session Topic Readings Due Before Class Starts Assignment?
        0.01 Tue Aug 30 Introduction and Background

        What is medieval? For that matter, what is history?
           
        0.02 Thu Sep 01 From the Roman Empire to the medieval world

        A brief survey of the late Roman world and a look at our first assignment
        The Syllabus; Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 2 ("The Weight of Empire")  

        Unit 1: Rome and the "other": Assimilation, rejection and adoption

        Class Session Topic Readings Due Before Class Starts Assignment?
        1.01 Tue Sep 06 Constantine
        Begin reading Eusebius, Life of Constantine [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/vita-constantine.asp](http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/vita-constantine.asp))  
        1.02 Thu Sep 08 Christianity vs "paganism"
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 3 ("Culture and Belief in the Christian Roman World"), p 48-68; Aelius Aristides, excerpts from Sacred Tales;  
        1.03 Tue Sep 13 Christianity vs itself
        Inheritance of Rome, Finish reading chapter 3 ("Culture and Belief in the Christian Roman World"); Life of Antony, chapters 69-74, 93-4; Continue reading Life of Constantine  
        1.04 Thu Sep 15 The Roman Empire in crisis?
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 4 ("Crisis and Continuity, 400-550"), p 74-90; Excerpts from Ammianus Marcellinus, Priscus and Jordanes.  
        1.05 Tue Sep 20 Romans vs barbarians
        Wiki debate: Were "barbarians" and non-Romans really all that barbarian?  
        1.06 Thu Sep 22 Workshop
          Power in Late Antiquity
        5 Points
        Due before class starts on Sep 22
        [View assignment details](http://www.kalanicraig.com/courses/h306-early-medieval-mediterranean-proposed-course/h306-assignment-descriptions-and-due-dates/)

        Unit 2: The "fall" of Rome

        Class Session Topic Readings Due Before Class Starts Assignment?
        2.01 Tue Sep 27 Justinian and the Nika Riots
        Inheritance of Rome, Finish chapter 4 ("Crisis and Continuity, 400-550"), p 90-108 and read Chapter 11 ("Byzantine Survival, 550-850"), p253-260); Procopius, The Secret History  
        2.02 Thu Sep 29 Barbarian Empires, Part I: Franks and Goths
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 5 ("Merovingian Gaul and Germany, 500-751"); Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, Books 2 and 5.  
        2.03 Tue Oct 04 Barbarian Empires, Part II: islands and oceans
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 7 ("Kings without States: Britain and Ireland"); Accounts of the Vandal conquest of North Africa  
        2.04 Thu Oct 06 The Rise of Islam
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 12 ("The Crystallization of Arab Political Power"); Ibn Sadiq, excerpts from Life of Muhammad; Al-Baladhuri, "The Conquest of Alexandria"; The Pact of Umar  
        2.05 Tue Oct 11 The Roman Empire in crisis? Again?
        Wiki debate: Did Rome fall?  
        2.06 Thu Oct 13 Workshop
          Power in the "Barbarian Kingdoms"
        10 Points
        Due before class starts on Oct 13
        [View assignment details](http://www.kalanicraig.com/courses/h306-early-medieval-mediterranean-proposed-course/h306-assignment-descriptions-and-due-dates/)

        Unit 3: The new Rome

        Class Session Topic Readings Due Before Class Starts Assignment?
        3.01 Tue Oct 18 Charlemagne and the "Carolingian renaissance"
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 12 ("The Carolingian Century"); Einhard, Life of Charlemagne, chapters 1-3, 16-30; Begin reading Asser, Life of Alfred  
        3.02 Thu Oct 20 The first "Arab Spring": Abbasid uprising and Umayyad survival
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 14 ("From 'Abbasid Baghdad to Ummayad C√≥rdoba"); Al Maggari: Tarik's Address to His Soldiers, 711 CE, from The Breath of Perfumes; Anonymous Arab Chronicler: The Battle of Poitiers, 732;  
        3.03 Tue Oct 25 Byzantium and Kievan Rus: the Old Rome and another New Rome
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 15 ("The State and the Economy: Eastern Mediterranean Exchange Networks, 600-1000"); Ibn Fadlan's account of the Rus; Begin reading Asser, Life of Alfred  
        3.04 Thu Oct 27 Why the Anglo-Saxons were really Carolingians
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 19 ("'Carolingian' England"); Asser, Life of Alfred  
        3.05 Tue Nov 01 Imperial legitimacy and cultural artifacts
        Wiki debate: Were the new "imperial" powers legitimate?  
        3.06 Thu Nov 03 Workshop
          Power in the Carolingian world
        10 Points
        Due before class starts on Nov 03
        [View assignment details](http://www.kalanicraig.com/courses/h306-early-medieval-mediterranean-proposed-course/h306-assignment-descriptions-and-due-dates/)

        Unit 4: We aren't in Rome anymore...

        Class Session Topic Readings Due Before Class Starts Assignment?
        4.01 Tue Nov 08 Was there Carolingian feudalism?
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 22 ("The Caging of the Peasantry"); Fulbert of Chartres, On Fidelity"  
        4.02 Thu Nov 10 Carolingians in crisis!
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 20 ("Aristocrats between the Carolingian and the 'Feudal' Worlds"); Begin reading Dhuoda, Handbook for William.  
        4.03 Tue Nov 15 Going Viking
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 20 "Outer Europe"; Excerpts on Viking attacks from Annals of St. Bertin, the poem of Abbo on the siege of Paris, and the Chronicle of St. Denis; Continue reading Dhuoda, Handbook for William  
        4.04 Thu Nov 17 Another great Caliphate (or two)
        Excerpt on Harun al-Rashid from Einhard, Life of Charlemagne; Ibn Sina (Avicenna), "On Medicine"; Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masu'di (Masoudi), The Book of Golden Meadows  
        4.05 Tue Nov 22 Divide and reconquer
        Wiki debate: Was splintering caused by external pressure or internal pressure?  
        Thu, Nov 24 Thanksgiving Holiday
        4.06 Tue Nov 29 Workshop
          Power after Charlemagne
        20 Points
        Due before class starts on Nov 29
        [View assignment details](http://www.kalanicraig.com/courses/h306-early-medieval-mediterranean-proposed-course/h306-assignment-descriptions-and-due-dates/)

        Unit 5: Roman Catholicism and Millenialism

        Class Session Topic Readings Due Before Class Starts Assignment?
        5.01 Thu Dec 01 Latin gives way: the rise of the vernacular and the splintering of Europe
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 18 ("Tenth-century Successor States")  
        5.02 Tue Dec 06 Why Easter changed everything
        Inheritance of Rome, Chapter 17 ("Intellectuals and Politics")  
        5.03 Thu Dec 08 Where do we go from here?
        Final paper workshop, part 1  
        5.04 Tue Dec 13 Workshop/Final
          Power in the early medieval world
        30 Points
        Due 11:59 pm, Dec 15
        [View assignment details](http://www.kalanicraig.com/courses/h306-early-medieval-mediterranean-proposed-course/h306-assignment-descriptions-and-due-dates/)
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