History 211 - Fall 2003
The Emergence of Europe, 400-1715

Professor M.S. Mahoney


Books to be purchased: Jackson W. Spielvogel, Western Civilization, 5th ed., Vol. I, Antiquity to 1715 (Thompson Wadsworth)

Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West, Vol. I (Columbia University Press; denoted as ICCW below) (Amazon)

Merry E. Wiesner et al., Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence, 5th ed. (Houghton-Mifflin)

A packet of supplementary readings, available through Pequod at the U-Store

Lectures take place on Monday and Wednesday at 11:00 AM in [location to be determined]. Late arrivals are distracting to your fellow students, so please be punctual.

Precepts will meet at times and places given on the lists posted here and outside the History Department Office, 129 Dickinson Hall. They form an integral part of the course, and regular attendance and participation are essential to its successful completion.

Essays will be due at 3:00 on the Monday of Weeks 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, and the first week of Reading Period. Papers should be placed in your preceptor's box in the History Department Office. Details of each assignment will appear on the course web page as it comes up.   The essays are subject to Academic Regulations, not the Honor Code.  Hence, they require your signature under the statement, "This paper represents my own work in accordance with University regulations."  In signing that statement you attest that you have read and that you understand the provisions set forth in Academic Integrity at Princeton

There will be two Examinations, a Midterm and a Final.  These are subject to the Honor Code.


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12

Week I (15 September) The Beginnings

1. The Frontier
2. Christianization
Spielvogel, Chap. 7
St. Augustine, The City of God, ICCW, 129-­74 [complete text online]

Week II (22 September) Church and Empire

3. The vestiges of Empire: Charlemagne and his successors
4. The Church of Rome
Spielvogel, Chap. 8 (190-202; 209-214) and Chap. 10 (255-63)
Rule of St. Benedict ICCW, 176-­89 (
full text)
Church and State, ICCW, 265-­301

FIRST ESSAY: Reading a Historical Document

Week III (29 September) Feudalism

5. Mill and Manor
6. Feudalism
Spielvogel, Chap. 8 (203-9), Chap. 9 (218-224), Chap. 10 (244-54)
The Manor, ICCW, 341-348

Wiesner et al, Chap. 6
Magna carta, ICCW, 416-­27
Packet: Joseph R. Strayer, Feudalism (selections)

Week IV (6 October) Other People

7. Islam: the Crusades
8. The Far East: The Mongol Missions
Spielvogel, Chap. 10 (264-71)
Wiesner et al., Chap. 8
The Crusades, ICCW, 385-399

Packet: Philip K. Hitti (trans.), An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades: Memoirs of Usâmah ibn Munqidh and John of Plano Carpini, History of the Mongols (selections)

SECOND ESSAY:  Town and Gown in the Middle Ages

Week V (13 October) The World of Aristotle

9. The Gothic Cathedral
10. Scholasticism and the University
Spielvogel, Chap. 9 (225-41)
Wiesner et al, Chaps. 7, 9

The Town, ICCW, 349-361, 376-378

Week VI (20 October) The Waning of the Middle Ages

11. Death and Disintegration
Spielvogel, Chap. 11

MIDTERM BREAK (25 October - 2 November)

THIRD ESSAY: Understanding Columbus Historically

Week VII (3 November) New Worlds

13. Antiquity: the Renaissance
14. America: voyages of discovery
Spielvogel, Chap. 12,  Chap. 14 (pp.368-90)
Wiesner et al, Chap. 10

Petrarch, ICCW, 557-­64
Machiavelli, ICCW, 459-479
Columbus, ICCW, 515-­22
The New World (Sepulveda, de las Casas), ICCW, 523-­543

Week VIII (10 November) The Crisis of Authority

15. Reformation and Counter­reformation
16. The New World of the Heavens: Copernicus and Galileo
Spielvogel, Chap. 13
Wiesner et al, Chap. 12

Luther, ICCW, 699-­730
Loyola, ICCW, 767-­69
Packet: Copernicus, Preface to On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
Galileo, ICCW, 791-­98

FOURTH ESSAY: The Basis of Authority

Week IX (17 November) The Nation State

17. The Estate of the King and the State of the Realm
18. Scepticism and its cures
Spielvogel, Chap. 13 (pp. 359-66), Chap. 14 (pp. 391-98)
King vs. Constitution, ICCW, 923-61
Bacon, ICCW, 779-85
Descartes, ICCW, 812-35

Week X (24 November) The Clockwork Universe

19. Machines and Metaphysics
20. "Fleas, lice, and themselves": The Microscopic Cosmos
Spielvogel, Chap. 16
Robert Hooke, Micrographia, Dedication and Preface
Newton, ICCW, 836-52

Week XI (1 December) The Balance of Forces

21. Political Settlements
22. Commerce and industry
Spielvogel, Chap. 15
Wiesner, et al., Chap. 14
Elaboration of the Sovereign State, ICCW, 867-95

FIFTH ESSAY: The Nature of Law

Week XII (8 December) Modern Europe

23. Paris, London and St. Petersburg
24. "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"
Hobbes, Harrington, and Locke, ICCW, 961-1053
Packet: Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, 1776

Reading Period



Tuesday, 20 January 2004, 1:30 PM - Frick Chem Lab 324