HIST 371: Early Medieval Europe: 400-1000 Report a Broken Link

History 371: Early Medieval Europe, 400−1000 surveys the most significant political, economic, social, intellectual, and religious events and trends in Europe from the collapse of the ancient Roman Empire in the 400s to about the year 1000. Historians have long debated whether this period was a dark age or the birth of Europe. To engage students with these and other historical questions, the course presents primary source readings from the period as well as current scholarly interpretations of the Early Middle Ages. Through researching a particular historical topic in detail, you will exercise the research, critical thinking, and writing skills you will need for success at university and beyond.

Required Readings


Unit 2


Gibbon, Edward. (1898). The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (excerpts), ed. J.B. Bury, vol.1 and vol. 4. London: Methuen and Co.
Brown, Peter. (1971). The World of Late Antiquity: From Marcus Aurelius to Muhammad, pp 7-21. London: Thames and Hudson.
Rolfe, John C. (ed. and trans.). (1939). Ammianus Marcellinus,  Book 28.5: 1-15; vol 3: 161-169.

Unit 3


Brown, Peter. (1969). Education. In Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, pp 35-39. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Brown, Peter. (1969). Doctrina Christiana. In Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, pp 259-269. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Green, R.P.H. (trans.). (1999).  De Doctrina Christiana. by Augustine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Unit 4


Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks. Translated by Lewis Thorpe. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974 (repr. 1985), 138−145

Unit 5


Dewing, H.B. and G. Downey (trans.). (1914-1940). The Buildings. In Procopius, Procopius [Works] vol 7: 5-13, 21-29. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Dewing, H.B. (trans.). (1914-1940, 1979). History of the Wars. In Procopius, Procopius [Works] vol 2: 91, 93, 95. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Atwater, R. (trans.). (1927). The Secret History of Procopius.

Read Chapters 8, 9, 11, and 12

Averil Cameron, “History as Text: Coping with Procopius.” In The Inheritance of Historiography, 350–900, edited by C. Holdsworth and T.P. Wiseman, 53–66. Exeter Studies in History, 12. Exeter, UK: University of Exeter Press, 1986.

Unit 6


Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain. Part 1.

Unity Productions Foundations and Gardner Films, 2007. 120 minutes.

Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain. Part 2.

Unity Productions Foundations and Gardner Films, 2007. 120 minutes.

Unit 7


Bede. A History of the English Church and People. Trans. Leo Sherley-Price. Rev. R.E. Latham. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1955 (Rev. 1968). 33–36, 66–71, 84–91, 100–105, 114–115, 126–128, 151–153, 185–192.

Unit 8


Lisa M. Bitel, “Survival by Kinship, Marriage, and Mothering.” In Women in Early Medieval Europe, 400–1100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 154–199

Unit 9


Dutton, Paul (trans.). (1998).  The Life of Charlemagne, in Einhard, Charlemagne's Courtier: The Complete Einhard. Peterborough ON: Broadview.

Unit 10


John J. Contreni, “The Carolingian Renaissance,” 59–74, 184–191 in Warren Treadgold, ed., Renaissances Before the Renaissance: Cultural Revivals of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1984).
The General Capitulary for the missi from 802, in Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, vol VI, no. 5 (Philadelphia: The Department of History of the University of Pennsylvania, 1899), pp. 16-27.
King, P.D. (trans.) (1987). On the cultivating letters. In Charlemagne: Translated Sources, 232-233. Kendal UK: P.D. King.

Unit 13


“On the Consecration of the King,” by Wipo of Burgundy (c.1046)