HS3S27-From Louis the Fat to Louis the Saint: The Image of Kingship in Capetian France, A

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: HS3S77 From Louis the Fat to Louis the Saint: The Image of Kingship in Capetian France, B
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Lindy Grant

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

Summary module description:

Aims:
Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to: • recognise and interpret a range of different primary materials • undertake detailed textual analysis and comment on the primary materials • achieve a detailed command of varying historical interpretations of the primary materials and subject as a whole • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student's effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
Soon after his death in 1270, the French King Louis IX was canonised, and by the mid 13th century he could be described by an English chronicler as “the king of terrestrial kings”. By contrast, his early 12th century predecessor, Louis VI, The Fat, as his soubriquet suggests, cut a less glamorous figure than the great princes of France, like the counts of Champagne and Flanders and, above all, the dukes of Normandy, who were also kings of England, and by the mid 12th century, rulers of Anjou and Aquitaine too. We shall examine the French kings’ real achievements in the development of administrative kingship, and victory in war, above all over the kings of England and the Angevin Empire, for these underlie and underpin the transformation in perception of the kings of France and, indeed, of France itself; but this course will concentrate on those perceptions. How far were the kings themselves, and their queens, conscious and active in manipulating the image of kingship; or how far was it the work of the counsellors and courtiers who surrounded them? How far were they influenced by their Angevin rivals, or by the Western or Eastern Emperors? How did they respond to and appropriate images of the great kings of the Old Testament, or their Merovingian and Carolingian predecessors? How did the refashioning of the image of the earthly ruler coexist with the reformist ideals of churchmen and the agenda of an ever more powerful and interfering papacy? How did they and their advisers develop the rituals of coronation, war and death, use luxury manuscripts and stained glass to refashion the image of rulership and commission magnificent castle and ecclesiastical architecture to provide a stage for the kings, their queens, families and courts? We will examine and analyse contemporary textual sources, including biographies of the kings, chronicles, charters, accounts, letters and mirrors for princes by their counsellors, their courtiers and their critics, including writers from the circle of the Angevin kings. In addition, we will investigate the evidence provided by material culture, notably buildings, manuscripts and stained glass.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The teaching for this module and for HS3S77 together involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars. Students will gain ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 11 11
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 88 89
       
Total hours by term 99.00 101.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Between two and four pieces of formative written work, for instance essays, seminar presentations, book reviews, posters, will normally be required for this Special Subject over the two terms. Students will be required to prepare for seminars through reading from both the primary sources and the secondary literature. Practice commentaries on the sources will be required for formative assessment.

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:
    A three-hour paper involving detailed commentary on extracts from the sources studied.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree, but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Re-examination in August, where students are permitted to re-sit this module.

    Last updated: 10 March 2016

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