Introduction to Western Civilization: Circa A.D. 843 to circa 1715

Taught: Spring 2016


May 23, 2017

This second in the series of three courses on Western Civilization covers a period of almost 1,000 years from the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire, created during the reign of Charlemagne, to the death of Louis XIV, the Sun King and builder of the magnificent palace of Versailles. It was during this period — from 843 to 1715 — that the concept of Europe developed and the structures of modern Western society were put in motion. The course covers the main social, political, cultural, and economic trends of medieval and early modern Europe, while also introducing students to forms of historical thinking. The course is divided into two parts. The first part covers medieval Europe, which came to a close with the flourishing of the Renaissance and the discovery of the New World. The second part of the course discusses the early modern world created by the Age of Discovery, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution in which the antecedents of modern Europe were constructed.

Syllabus PDF