School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

MHY7078 - New Approaches to Ancient, Medieval & Early Modern History

MHY7078 - New Approaches to Ancient, Medieval & Early Modern History

The aim of this module is to continue students’ historical training through a detailed exploration of a number of significant case studies. The topics will cover a broad chronological range and draw upon the expertise of particular members of staff. Students are also offered the opportunity to assess the value of different types of documentary sources and methods of research. Students who take the Ravenna mini-module will be eligible to join a three-day field trip to see the historic sites of the city.

Topics have previously included:

  • The Severans
  • Ancient Jewish History
  • Roman, Gothic and Byzantine Ravenna
  • John Scottus Eriugena
  • Frontier Societies in the Writings of Gerald of Wales
  • Death, Burial, and Succession of High Medieval Kings
  • Medieval Civic Rituals
  • Street Entertainment, 1400-1650
  • The Varieties of Reformation

How will this module be taught?

Four topics will be offered each year and each topic is studied in three two-hour seminars.

How will this module be assessed?

The module is assessed by one essay of 4,500-5,000 words (70%); short assignments (eg. presentation; gobbet commentary) for each topic (20%); and seminar participation (10%).

What can I read over the summer vacation?

During the summer months students may wish to dip into some of the historiographical material they will be encountering on this strand of the MA. This includes the following items: 

Lukas de Blois and Robert J. van der Spek (transl. S. Mellor), An Introduction to the Ancient World (Routledge, London, 2008)

John H. Arnold, What is Medieval History (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2008)

Marcus Bull, Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2005)

Beat Kümin (ed.), The European World 1500-1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History (Routledge, London & New York, 2009)