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History Department
Medieval History Course 301

History 253 The Medieval Church

History 301 Martyrdom as Social Protest: Resistance Sumission and Honor

History 351Medieval Monasticism


History Department

Medieval Sourcebook

Oral Report Information

Written Exposition versus Oral Presentation

History and Public Speaking

Online Links

The Military Martyrs

Martyrs of the Paris Commune

The Great Sikh Martyrs

Martyrs of Pesticide Poisoning

Position of Martyrs

The Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador

Nagasaki Martyrs

Mormon Martyrs

Yad Vashem

Fox's Book of Martyrs

The voice of the Martyrs

Christian Martyrs

Martyrdom as Social Protest:

Resistance Sumission and Honor

Not all victims of tyranny and persecution become martyrs, nor are all martyrs victims of tyranny. What social and political conditions foster the choice of martyrdom? What cultural values drive this form of self-immolation? What's worth dying for? In antiquity, the word "martyr" meant an active "witness." Today, it can mean a passive "victim." Our approach uses cross-cultural comparisons and psychoanalytic theory to help understand how martyrdom shaped the history and culture of antique Europe and Japan. Subjects: Imperial suicides, child sacrifice, political martyrs, gladiators, Samuri and kamikaze, women martyrs, soldiers, and virgins.

Satisfies Humanities I-B requirement

Prereq. written application and permission of instructor; 4 credits; enrollment limited to 15; 1 meeting (3 hours)

Office Hours

Please Call 536-8984 for an appointment


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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 30, 2002.