Rachel Fulton Brown

Department of History

The University of Chicago


Autumn 2015






(All books also on reserve in Regenstein Library)


Beowulf, Second Edition, trans. Roy Liuzza (Peterborough: Broadview, 2012) [ISBN 9781554810642]

The Song of Roland, trans. Dorothy Sayers (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978) [ISBN 9780140440751]

Jocelin de Brakelond, Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmonds, trans. Diana Greenway and Jane Sayers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989) [ISBN 9780199554935]

Joinville and Villehardouin, Chronicles of the Crusades, trans. Caroline Smith (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2009) [ISBN 9780140449983]

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy: Paradise, trans. Mark Musa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1980) [ISBN 9780140444438]

Alessandra Macinghi Strozzi, Selected Letters, trans. Heather Gregory (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997) [ISBN 9780520203907]

Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty, trans. W. A. Lambert, rev. Harold J. Grimm (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003) [ISBN 9780800636074]

Ignatius Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: Based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph, trans. Louis J. Puhl (Chicago: Loyola, 1968) [ISBN 9780829400656]

John Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration, ed. James Tully (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983) [ISBN 9780915145607]

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters (London: Virago Press, 1993) [ISBN 9781853816796]

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003) [ISBN 9780141439822]



1.     Careful study of the assigned readings. As one of the main purposes of this course is to enable you to read different kinds of texts from different historical periods and to develop your confidence in approaching unfamiliar texts in the future, it is very important that you read each of the assigned selections as carefully as possible before coming to class each day. As you are reading, pay careful attention to what the author tells us (explicitly or implicitly) about why he or she was writing and for whom. Why was the author’s subject so important that he or she considered it worth writing about? What does the author’s interest in the subject tell us about the historical circumstances in which he or she was writing? Try, if you can, to imagine a context in which the text you are reading would have been of vital importance, so important that an author felt the need to commit its contents to writing. What was the text that you are reading intended to do?


2.     Attendance and participation in class discussion (20% of your final grade).  


3.     Two textual analyses (5-6 pages, double-spaced, each 25% of your final grade).  First paper due October 22 in class. Second paper due November 24 in class.


4.     Final paper (7-8 pages, double-spaced, 30% of your final grade).  Paper due December 10 in the Chalk Dropbox.





September 29 Why study history? Analogies, deep patterns, and roots


October 1  Teaching the faith I

Augustine of Hippo, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed (AD 400), trans. S.D.F. Salmond, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. 3, ed. Philip Schaff (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1887), pp. 277-314 [http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1303.htm]


October 6  Monsters of God

Beowulf (earliest manuscript copied around AD 1000), trans. Liuzza [PR1583 .L58 2013]

Appendix A, nos. 1-4, pp. 255-57

Appendix C, nos. 1-2, 4-5, pp. 275-77, 281-85

Appendix D, nos. 1 and 3, pp. 287-91, 297-99


October 8  Fighting for God I

The Song of Roland (twelfth century), stanzas 1-92, 112-15, 127-37, 142-51, 171-89, 209, 226-39, 253, 258-62, 266-68, 271-91 [PQ1521.E5S3]


October 13  Life in the monastery

Jocelin de Brakelond, Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmonds (1173-1202) [BX2595.B78J630 1989]

Aelfric, “Life of St. Edmund” (c. 995), in Liuzza, ed., Beowulf, pp. 292-96.


October 15  Defining Christendom

Canons of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) [http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.asp]

Eyewitness Account of the Fourth Lateran Council (RWC 4, pp. 369-76) [on Chalk]


October 20  Fighting for God II                                          

Joinville, Life of St. Louis (1309), in Chronicles of the Crusades, pp. 141-181, 208-261, 328-36 [D164.A3 M46 2008]


October 22 Keeping count I                                                                        

The Manor of Alwalton (1279) [http://legacy.fordham.edu/Halsall/source/alwalton.asp]


October 27  Contemplating the Rose

Dante Alighieri (d. 1321), The Divine Comedy III: Paradise, especially cantos 1-4, 11-12, 16, 19, 22-24, 28, 31-33 [PQ4315.M97]


October 29 NO CLASS  Talk with TA about your papers


November 3  The Black Death

Rosemary Horrox, The Black Death (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994), pp. 14-26, 67-73, 111-12, 158-63, 177-82, 184-93, 221-22, 271-73, 285-87, 344-46 [RC178.A1B580 1994]

Jonathan Daly, The Rise of Western Power: A Comparative History of Western Civilization (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), chapter 2, pp. 29-51 [on Chalk]


November 5  Keeping count II

Alessandra Macinghi negli Strozzi (d. 1471), Selected Letters [DG737.​58.​S7A5 1997]


November 10  Teaching the faith II

Martin Luther, “95 Theses” (October 31, 1517) [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/95_Theses]

________, On Christian Liberty (1520) [BR332.S6 G7 2003]

Twelve Articles of the Peasants (1525) (RWC 5, pp. 333-38) [on Chalk]

Martin Luther, Admonition to Peace (1525) (RWC 5, pp. 339-57) [on Chalk]


November 12  Teaching the faith III

Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises (1522-1524) [BX2179.L9E81P9]

The Canons and Decrees of the Sacred Council of Trent, ed. and trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848) [http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent.html]

Š       Bull of Indiction (1542)

Š       First through Sixth Sessions (1545-1547)


November 17  Fighting for God III

Bartolomé de las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1542, published 1552), trans. Nigel Griffen (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992), pp. 3-13, 42-56, 127-30 [on Chalk]

Bernal Diaz del Castillo (d. 1584), The Conquest of New Spain,

Volume 1, chaps. LXXIV-XCIII, CXXV-CXXVI, pp. 175-247, 333-45 [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32474/32474-h/32474-h.htm]

Volume 2, chapters CCVII-CCXI, pp. 387-401 [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32475/32475-h/32475-h.htm]


November 19 Teaching the faith IV

[Fourth Session of Council of Trent]

Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615), trans. Maurice A. Finocchiaro, in The Essential Galileo (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2008), pp. 109-145 [on Chalk]

Preface to the King James Bible (1611) [http://www.kjvbibles.com/kjpreface.htm]

John Milton, Areopagitica (1643) [http://legacy.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/1643milton-areo.asp]


November 24 Teaching the faith V            

John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) [BR1610.L823 1983]

Russel Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America (New York: Vintage, 2004), chapter 5, pp. 93-109 [on Chalk].




December 1  What is civilization?

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters (1716-1718), letters VI-VII, X, XII-XIII, XXI, XXIII-XXIV, XXVII-XXXVI, XL-XLI, XLVIII, L, LV [DA501.M7A40 1993]

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719), pp. 5-108 (up to "I cannot say that after this, for five years, any extraordinary thing happened to me") [PR3403.A2 R53 2001]


December 2 Prof. Fulton Brown Office hours 10:00am-12:00noon


December 3 and 4 TA Colin Office hours by appointment


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