Medieval Studies

If you think that the Middle Ages—the thousand-year period spanning from the fall of Rome in the fifth century to the start of the sixteenth century—aren’t really that important, just reflect on what happened when President George W. Bush used the term “crusade” to describe U.S. efforts to respond to terrorism. 

He stepped into a rhetorical minefield dating back centuries and aroused fears of conflicts that have their roots in the Middle, or Medieval, Ages.

Medieval studies focuses on this seminal period in Western and Mediterranean civilizations.  Through the study of art, history, languages, literature, music, and religion, the program leads students to explore the character and creative contributions of the period, to investigate the dynamic interactions of its diverse Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures, and to assess the impact of the Middle Ages on the formation of the New World and the shaping of modern societies.