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Now that you have learned to analyze historical documents you will be using this skill to support a larger historical argument. The larger issue you are analyzing is the origins and components of the civilization of the High Middle Ages in Western Europe, sometimes called â€œWestern Christendom.â€ There are two topics and all three ask you to analyze the major cultural and religious transformation(s) taking place over three distinct periods:
1. Classical Antiquity (ca. 800 BC-180 AD: old Greece and Rome)
2. Late Antiquity and/or the Early Middle Ages (ca. 313-1000: declining and Christian Rome, Carolingian Empire)
3. The High Middle Ages and the society of Western Christendom (ca. 1000-1350)
Topic 1: The Evolution of Christianity: From Christ to Christendom
The story of the Christianization of the West is a long and protracted process that lasted about a millennium. What changes can you discern between the teachings of Christ from the Bible, Saint Augustineâ€™s theology of the fourth century, the conversion process of the Germanic pagans, and the crusading Christianity and feudal system of the High Middle Ages? Where did these changes come from? What influence do the Germanic and/or Graeco-Roman â€œpaganâ€ values (aretÃ© or virtus) have on Christianity over the course of its expansion in Europe? How can the rise of the papacy to the pinnacle of secular power in the High Middle Ages be explained? You must use sources from all three periods to make your case and support your argument.
Your paper should be four to five pages in length (12 pt. font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins). You must cite your sources using footnotes or inline citation (Augustine, 190) AND a separate bibliography. Please list the primary documents you use at the end of your paper. You should NOT be using outside sources for this paper, just use the assigned documents we have read throughout the semester. You must use and analyze at least THREE SOURCES from the three distinct periods between classical antiquity and the High Middle Ages in order to support your argument. That is, at least ONE from Classical Antiquity, ONE from Late Antiquity or the Early Middle Ages, and at least ONE from the High Middle Ages. Note that in order to be ready you need to look ahead at the documents from the High Middle Ages. You may use more than three but I don’t recommend going much beyond 5.
In order to successfully write this paper you need to formulate a thesis, which is your argument. A thesis is NOT a topic and a general overview of what youâ€™re going to write about but rather an explicit statement of exactly what youâ€™re arguing. Your thesis should lay out the question you are answering and as such may easily be more than one sentence. So essentially, your thesis should be the answer to the question you pose: 1) How and why did Christianity evolve from Classical Antiquity to the High Middle Ages, 2) How and why did Germanic culture evolve from Classical Antiquity to the High Middle Ages, or 3) How and why did the classical notion of arete‘/virtus evolve from Classical Antiquity to the High Middle Ages?
List of Documents you can use
Thucydides, Pericles Funeral Oration
Platoâ€™s Apology of Socrates
Plato, The Republic
Aristotle, Science, Politics, and Ethics
Polybius on the Roman Army
Caesar, Gallic Wars
Augustus, Achievements of the Divine Augustus
Aristides on the Pax Romana
Tacitus on the Pax Romana
Paul of Tarsus
Tacitus, On Germania
Gospel of Saint Matthew (Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount)
If you would like to use other parts of the New Testament please clear it with me first.
Late Antiquity/Early Middle Ages
the Burgundian Code
Salvian, Political and Social Injustice
Saint Augustine, City of God
Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks
Bede, History of the English Church
Beowulf excerpts (Optional document from Threaded Discussion 9 Extra Credit)
Einhard, Life of Charlemagne (two documents)
The Annals of Xanten and the Siege of Paris
High Middle Ages
Liutprand of Cremona, Report to Otto I
Feudalism documents (Galbert of Bruges, Obligations of Lords and Vassals and Fulbert of Chartres, Letter to William of Aquitaine, Bishop Adalbero on the Tripartite Society)
Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory II (Investiture Controversy)
Robert the Monk, Pope Urban Speech
William of Tyre, Capture of Jerusalem
St. Francis of Assisi, Admonitions