History 211 - The Emergence of Europe, 400-1700

Fall 1998 Professor M.S. Mahoney

Final Examination 16 January 1999


Complete all THREE parts of the examination, allotting your time as indicated. Please use a separate booklet for each part, placing your name and your preceptor's name on each booklet. The honor pledge on the first booklet will suffice.

PART I (60 minutes)

Identify FIVE of the following passages taken from the sources read this term. In addition to the name of the work and its author, your identification should include a brief explanation of the historical context and significance of the ideas expressed in the passage.


And when, the blessed Sylvester preaching them, I perceived these things, and learned that by the kindness of St. Peter himself I had been entirely restored to health: I...considered it advisable that, as on earth he [Peter] is seen to have been constituted vicar of the Son of God, so the pontiffs, who are the representatives of that same chief of the apostles, should obtain from us and our empire the power of a supremacy greater than the earthly clemency of our imperial serenity is seen to have had conceded to it...and, to the extent of our earthly imperial power, we decree that his holy roman church shall be honored with veneration; and that, more than our empire and earthly throne, the most sacred seat of St. Peter shall be gloriously exalted; we giving to it the imperial power, and dignity of glory, and vigor and honor.


You need to understand this: A ruler, and particularly a ruler who is new to power, cannot conform to all those rules that men who are thought good are expected to respect, for he is often obliged, in order to hold on to power, to break his word, to be uncharitable, inhumane, and irreligious. So he must be mentally prepared to act as circumstances and changes in fortune require. As I have said, he should do what is right if he can; but he must be prepared to do wrong if necessary.


That matters of religion, and the ways of God's worship, are not at all entrusted by us to any human power, because therein we cannot remit or exceed a tittle of what our consciences dictate to be the mind of God, without willful sin; nevertheless the public way of instructing the nation (so it be not compulsive) is referred to their discretion.


Not only have [the Indians] shown themselves to be very wise peoples and possessed of lively and marked understanding, prudently governing and providing for their nations (as much as they can be nations, without faith in or knowledge of the true God) and making them prosper in justice; but they have equalled many diverse nations of the world, past and present, that have been praised for their governance, politics and customs, and exceed by no small measure the wisest of all these, such as the Greeks and Romans, in adherence to the rules of natural reason.


We see then that just as those that we call spiritual, or priests, bishops or popes, do not differ from other Christians in any other or higher degree, but in that they are to be concerned with the word of God, and the sacraments --that being their work and office -- in the same way the temporal authorities hold the sword and the rod in their hands to punish the wicked and to protect the good. A cobbler, a smith, a peasant, every man has the office and function of his calling, and yet all alike are consecrated priests and bishops, and every man in his office must be useful and beneficial to the rest, that so many kinds of work may all be united into one community: just as the members of the body all serve one another.


This being granted, I think that in discussions of physical problems we ought to begin not from the authority of scriptural passages, but from sense-experiences and necessary demonstrations; for the holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word, the former as the dictate of the Holy Ghost and the latter as the observant executrix of God's commands. It is necessary for the Bible, in order to be accommodated to the understanding of every man, to speak many things which appear to differ from the absolute truth so far as the bare meaning of the words is concerned. But Nature, on the other hand, is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed upon her, or cares a whit whether her abstruse reasons and methods of operation are understandable to men.


No scutage nor aid shall be imposed on our kingdom, unless by common counsel of our kingdom, except for ransoming our person, for making our eldest son a knight, and for once marrying our eldest daughter; and for these there shall be not levied more than a reasonable aid. In like manner it shall be done concerning aids from the city of London.


Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.




We are told by the word of the gospel that in His fold there are two swords --a spiritual, namely, and a temporal. ... Both swords, the spiritual and the material, therefore, are in the power of the church; the one by the hand of the priest, the other by the hand of kings and knights, but at the will and sufferance of the priest. One sword, moreover, ought to be under the other, and the temporal authority to be subjected to the spiritual.

PART II (45 minutes)

Write an essay on ONE of the following questions. Your answer should have a clear, cogent argument backed up by pertinent evidence taken from the material of the course.


St. Augustine spoke of two books as the sources of knowledge about God: the Book of the Word, or God's Covenant, and the Book of the World, or God's Creation. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Europeans began to read both books, but especially the second, in new ways and even to new ends. What were those new ways of reading, what accounts for them, and how did they change the perceived relation between the two books ?


An organizing theme of the second half of this course has been the notion of "Three New Worlds", a new world of Antiquity, the new world of the Americas, and the new world of the heavens. Each may be said to have resulted from voyages of discovery, as Europeans set out to explore beyond traditional horizons. What were they looking for, and what did they make of what they found?


PART III (45 minutes)

Write an essay on ONE of the following questions. Your answer should have a clear, cogent argument backed up by pertinent evidence taken from the material of the course.


Conflicts over the proper relation between church and state have been a continuing theme of this course. Compare and contrast the specific issues and their resolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with those of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.


"[Peter] returned, moreover, with the ineffaceable impression of what wealth, trade, manufactures, and knowledge meant to a country in terms of power and prosperity. ... He did not explore the springs and motive forces of this western achievement; he did not seek to understand the workings of financial, political, or administrative institutions; and he had little or no conception of the slow and varied stages by which England or Holland had grown to be what they were." (B.H. Sumner)

What, precisely, did Peter fail to see on his trip west in 1697-8, and how did his failure undermine his efforts to modernize Russia? Should he have visited France instead?



"I pledge my honor that I have not violated the Honor Code on this examination."