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History Department
Medieval History Assigment

History 253 The Medieval Church

History 301 Martyrdom as Social Protest: Resistance Sumission and Honor

History 351Medieval Monasticism


History Department

Medieval Sourcebook

Write five to seven page essay analyzing one of the primary documents we have not covered extensively in class. Due Thursday, May 14th at 12:00 noon. You will have the opportunity of doing two drafts of this paper. The first draft will be due March 2nd. The second draft will be due the week ending April 13th. The topics suggested are not by any means exhaustive, so speak to me if you are interested in something in particular. Please clear your topic with me if you do not do one of my recommendations. NO secondary sources are to be consulted: this is not a research paper! This is an exercise designed to demonstrate your ability to interpret a primary document. It’s just you and the document in intimate conversation.

N.B. Almost many of the sources we cover in class are selections of larger documents. You may wish to return and read the entire source.

Augustine: some topic on from the Confessions (such as the idea of sin, or the pilgrimage of the soul; or something from The City of God (e.g., what is a “pagan”?)
Gregory the Great: The Dialogues, papal letters, or Homilies on the Gospels
Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, Lives of the Saints
Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Irish Penitentials
Adamnan, The Life of St. Columba
Alcuin, The Life of St. Vedastus
Eadmer’s Life of Anselm
Anselm, Prosologion; ideas of redemption
John of Salisbury, The Follies of Courtiers¸ The Policraticus (on Church-state politics)
Dhuoda, Handbook for William
Hrosthvit, Plays
The letters of Lupus of Ferrière
Women mystics: Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Mecthilda of Magdebeburg
Jonas of Orleans, de Instistutione Regia
Einhard, The Life of Charlemagne
Sedulius Scottus, On the Christian Ruler
Andreas Capellanus
The Goliard Poets
St. Thomas Aquinas (on free will, on evil, on sin, etc.)
St. Dominic
Villehardouin, Chronicle of the Crusades
Stories of Mary, particularly those from the Cantigas de Maria
Bernard of Clarveaux, The Steps of Humility
The letters of Abelard and Heloise

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Copyright © 2002 Mount Holyoke College. This page created by Professor Carole Straw ( and maintained by Maria Carolina Camargo. Last modified on September 18, 2002.