HS2O9-Moslems, Jews, Byzantines and Mongols: Medieval France and the Other

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Lindy Grant

Email: l.m.grant@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Part 2 Options can be either chronological or thematic. Chronological Options will usually take the form of a survey of a particular geographical area or nation over a defined period of one or two centuries. These Options aim to acquaint students with the causes and consequences of continuity and change over the long term in the political, social, economic and cultural systems under study. Thematic Options take key concepts, ideas, or debates in history and study them in a number of different contexts, either geographically or across historical periods. The aim again is to acquaint students with the causes of continuity and change, but this time by a more comparative approach.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
• identify and explain the main issues and events studied
• appraise critically the primary sources and historiographical interpretations of the subject
• think comparatively about aspects of African, American, British, European, Middle Eastern and South Asian history over a substantial period
• assess the nature of social, economic, political and cultural change and the particular methodologies associated with tracing it
• organise material and articulate arguments effectively in different kinds of written exercises and orally
• locate and assemble bibliographic and other information by independent research, using IT as appropriate

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations and team-working. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources and databases, where appropriate.

Outline content:
The thirteenth century English chronicler Matthew Paris described France as the greatest of terrestrial kingdoms. The French kings saw themselves as the true descendants of Charlemagne, and their kingdom as the new Carolingian, indeed the new Roman, Empire. Some Frenchmen thought that their king would be Last World Emperor who would launch the Reign of Anti-Christ and the End of Time. The city of Paris attracted students and scholars from the whole of Europe – it was called the new Athens. The Crusades were so dominated by those of French origin that all Crusaders were called Franks. The rulers of the Crusader states, of Sicily and Southern Italy, and for 50 years, of the Eastern Empire at Constantinople, were almost invariably French, at least in origin. So, after 1066, were the rulers of England. The French church and French monasticism was a driving force in the Reconquest of Spain from the Moslems. In Germany, England and Spain, kings, princes and great churchmen demanded that their churches were built ‘in the French fashion’. Marriage alliances saw French princesses like Eleanor of Aquitaine, and foreign princesses like the Russian Anna of Kiev or the Spanish Blanche of Castile who became queens of France, acting as agents of cultural transmission – taking or bringing burial practices or exotic luxuries or courtly culture into or out of France. The great fairs of Champagne made France the market where the cloths, grains and furs of northern Europe were exchanged with the luxury silks, gold, ivories and spices from the south and the east – from Islamic Spain, from Cairo and north west Africa, from Constantinople and from the silk route as far away as India and Afghanistan. The French king Louis IX exchanged embassies and gifts with the Assassins of Syria, the Ayyubid Caliphs of Cairo, and with the great Khan of the Mongols. They were as fascinated by him, his kingdom and his culture, as he was by them and theirs. This course will explore the diplomatic, cultural and economic interactions between the kingdom of France and the known world in the high middle ages.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars, requiring preparatory reading and investigation, may include informal and interactive presentations by the module teacher; structured group discussion; short seminar papers by students; occasional tutorials; team-based simulation exercises and debates; examination of primary and secondary sources, as appropriate. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 169
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write ONE essay of 2,500 words, to be handed in by 12 noon on the Monday of week 11 of term, which should be submitted electronically via Blackboard. Five marks will be deducted if the coursework essay exceeds 2,625 words (ie 5% over the word limit).

Formative assessment methods:
1,000 words or 2 pages of A4 maximum to include, at the module convenor’s discretion, an essay plan, bibliography, book review or other preparatory work towards the summative essay.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 2 examinations.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: Purchase of textbooks is not compulsory, but students should consider setting aside £25 per course to cover the purchase of useful books.
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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