HIS 207 / EAS 207 / MED 207

History of East Asia to 1800


Thomas Donald Conlan, Xin Wen

General introduction to major themes in the cultural, intellectual, and institutional history of China and Japan, with some attention to Korea and Southeast Asia. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

EAS 218 / HIS 209 / MED 209

The Origins of Japanese Culture and Civilization: A History of Japan until 1600


Thomas Donald Conlan

This course is designed to introduce the culture and history of Japan, and to examine how one understands and interprets the past. In addition to considering how a culture, a society, and a state develop, we will try to reconstruct the tenor of life in "ancient" and "medieval" Japan and chart how patterns of Japanese civilization shifted through time.

HIS 210 / HLS 210 / CLA 202 / MED 210

The World of Late Antiquity


Jack Boulos Victor Tannous

This course will focus on the history of the later Roman Empire, a period which historians often refer to as "Late Antiquity." We will begin our class in pagan Rome at the start of the third century and end it in Baghdad in the ninth century: in between these two points, the Mediterranean world experienced a series of cultural and political revolutions whose reverberations can still be felt today. We will witness civil wars, barbarian invasions, the triumph of Christianity over paganism, the fall of the Western Empire, the rise of Islam, the Greco-Arabic translation movement and much more.

NES 220 / HIS 220 / JDS 220 / MED 220

Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle Ages


An introduction to the history and culture of the Jews in the Middle Ages (under Islam and Christendom) covering, comparatively, such topics as the interrelationship between Judaism and the other two religions, interreligious polemics, political (legal) status, economic role, communal self-government, family life, and cultural developments. Two 90-minute classes.

MED 227 / HUM 227 / HIS 227 / HLS 227

The Worlds of the Middle Ages


Helmut Reimitz, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous

We will begin in 476 with the fall of Rome and will end in 1453, with the fall of New Rome (Constantinople). In between, we will trace the different trajectories that the area stretching from Iceland to Iran traveled along over the course of this fateful millennium. We will meet Northern barbarians, Arab armies, Vikings, Crusaders, Mongols, and the Ottomans; we will witness the birth of Islam and medieval Islamic civilization; Charlemagne's creation of the Western Roman empire; will see clashes between Popes and rulers and Caliphs and Muslim religious authorities. We will do all this and more, all the while asking: what were the Middle Ages?

ART 228 / HLS 228 / MED 228 / HUM 228

Art and Power in the Middle Ages


In twelve weeks this course will examine major art works from the twelve centuries (300-1500 CE) that encompass the European Middle Ages. Presenting works from Europe and the Middle East, the course will introduce students to the art of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam; the great courts of the Eastern- and Holy Roman Empires, and the roving Vikings, Celts and Visigoths. Students will not only be invited to consider how art can represent and shape notions of sacred and secular power, but will also come to understand how the work of 'art' in this period is itself powerful and, sometimes, dangerous.

MUS 230 / MED 230

Music in the Middle Ages


Rob C. Wegman

Major developments of Western music up to about 1400, including some of the following: the origin and growth of chant, its liturgical context and musical properties; medieval secular song; early polyphony and Parisian organum; the French ars nova and Machaut; the Italian trecento; English medieval music. Prerequisite: a year of theory or instructor's permission.

CLG 240 / HLS 240 / MED 240

Introduction to Post-Classical Greek from the Late Antique to the Byzantine Era


Mirjam Engert Kotwick

Readings will focus on historical, literary, philosophical, or religious texts with a range from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine periods. Two 90-minute seminars.

NES 350 / HIS 245 / MED 245

The Islamic World from its Emergence to the Beginnings of Westernization


Michael Allan Cook

Begins with the formation of the traditional Islamic world in the seventh century and ends with the first signs of its transformation under Western impact in the 18th century. The core of the course is the history of state formation in the Middle East, but other regions and themes make significant appearances. The course can stand on its own or serve as background to the study of the modern Islamic world. Two 90-minute classes.

REL 251 / HLS 251 / MED 251

The New Testament and Christian Origins


This course is a historical introduction to early Christian texts within and outside of the New Testament canon. We investigate how the Christian movement began, using ancient sources - Jewish, Greek, Roman, and Christian - about Jesus of Nazareth. We read the letters of the Apostle Paul and New Testament gospels, and the recently discovered gospels of Thomas and Mary. We will discuss the formation of the New Testament canon, views of Jesus, and attitudes toward gender, race and community. The course is accessible to students new to these sources, as well as to those familiar with them. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

MUS 270 / MED 270

Medieval and Renaissance Music from Original Notation


Jamie L. Reuland

A "hands-on" course that explores music from before 1600 using the pedagogical methods of the period. Medieval and Renaissance techniques of sight-singing, memorization, improvisation, and harmonization will be learned. Modern computer technology will also be used to investigate the deeper mystical and philosophical content of music from this period. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: ability to read modern music notation comfortably.

SPA 301 / COM 368 / MED 301

Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture


Poetry, prose, and drama of the Golden Age. Readings might include the works of authors such as Garcilaso, Saint Theresa, Saint John of the Cross, Góngora, Quevedo, Lope de Vega, and Calderón. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: a 200-level Spanish course or instructor's permission.

ITA 303 / MED 303

Dante's 'Inferno'


Simone Marchesi

Intensive study of the Inferno, with major attention paid to poetic elements such as structure, allegory, narrative technique, and relation to earlier literature, principally the Latin classics. Course conducted in English in a highly interactive seminar format. Prerequisites: One 200-level ITA course or permission of instructor required.

ART 310 / HLS 354 / MED 307

The Icon


Charlie Barber

In this class we will examine the history, function, theory and meaning of the icon. We will also examine the icon's influence upon the discourses of Modernism. A more practical aspect of this class is that participants in the course will work with the Princeton University Art Museum's icon collection and with its collection of icon painter's preparatory drawings. The class will provide participants with a broad grounding in questions pertaining to the icon.

COM 310 / HUM 312 / MED 308

The Literature of Medieval Europe


Daniel Heller-Roazen

An introductory survey of major representative Latin and vernacular texts in modern English versions, including hagiography, romance, lyric and philosophical poetry, allegory, religious and secular prose, and drama. Special attention will be paid to Christian transformations of classical traditions and to the emergence of the Continental vernaculars of the late Middle Ages. Lecture and preceptorials.

ENG 311 / MED 309

The Medieval Period


D. Vance Smith

A study of the Middle English texts that span the period from the Norman Conquest to the Tudor Renaissance, with attention paid to Middle English as a language. Readings will be chosen from verse romance, drama, political and religious writings, romance and/or lyric. One three-hour seminar.

ENG 310 / MED 310

The Old English Period


Sarah May Anderson

An intensive introduction to the English language spoken and written in the British Isles approximately 500 to 1100 C.E., leading to a critical survey of the literature. Attention is paid both to linguistic questions and to the cultural context of such poems as Beowulf and the Dream of the Rood. Two 90-minute seminars.

ART 311 / MED 311 / HUM 311

Arts of the Medieval Book


Beatrice Ellen Kitzinger

This course explores the technology and function of books in historical perspective, asking how illuminated manuscripts were designed to meet (and shape) cultural and intellectual demands in the medieval period. Surveying the major genres of European book arts between the 7th-15th centuries, we study varying approaches to pictorial space, page design, and information organization; relationships between text and image; and technical aspects of book production. We work primarily from Princeton's collection of original manuscripts and manuscript facsimiles. Assignments include the option to create an original artist's book for the final project.

ENG 312 / MED 312



Andrew Cole

A study of Chaucer's art with reference to the intellectual, social, and literary conventions of the Middle Ages. The course introduces the student by this means to the characteristically medieval aspects of Chaucer's poetry. Two 90-minute seminars.

CLA 320 / HLS 320 / MED 320 / GSS 320

Topics in Medieval Greek Literature


Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis

The subject of this course will be medieval Greek Romantic fiction. We will read translations of the four surviving novels written in twelfth-century Constantinople in a bid to answer questions about the link between eroticism and the novel, truth and invention in the middle ages, who read fiction and why, and what role, if any, did the medieval or Byzantine Romances have in the story of the European novel. Above all, we will seek to recover some of the pleasure felt by the medieval readers and audiences of these novels.

GER 321 / GSS 321 / MED 321

Topics in German Medieval Literature


Sara S. Poor

Exploration of German medieval literature. Topics may include medieval German Arthurian literature and the relationship between gender and power in the medieval epics.

HIS 343 / CLA 343 / HLS 343 / MED 343

The Formation of the Christian West


Helmut Reimitz

A study of the emergence of a distinctive Western European civilization out of Christian, Greco-Roman, and Germanic institutions and ideas from the decline of the Roman Empire to about A.D. 1050. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

HIS 344 / CLA 344 / MED 344

The Civilization of the High Middle Ages


William Chester Jordan

An analysis of typical institutions, social and economic structures, and forms of thought and expression from about 1050 to about 1350. Emphasis is placed on the elements of medieval civilization that have influenced the subsequent history of European peoples. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

HIS 345 / HLS 345 / MED 345

The Crusades


Teresa Shawcross

The Crusades were a central phenomenon of the Middle Ages. This course examines the origins and development of the Crusades and the Crusader States in the Islamic East. It explores dramatic events, such as the great Siege of Jerusalem, and introduces vivid personalities, including Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. We will consider aspects of institutional, economic, social and cultural history and compare medieval Christian (Western and Byzantine), Muslim and Jewish perceptions of the crusading movement. Finally, we will critically examine the resonance the movement continues to have in current political and ideological debates

NES 389 / MED 389

Everyday Writing in Medieval Egypt, 600-1500


Eve Krakowski

This class explores medieval Islamic history through everyday documents from Egypt: letters, decrees, contracts, court records, and accounts. We will read a wide range of documents in translation, learn to understand them, and use them to evaluate politics, religion, class, commerce, material history, and family relationships in Egypt from just before the Islamic conquests until just before the Ottoman era. We will also consider documents themselves, as historical artifacts and as historical evidence. Why did medieval people produce and preserve written records? And what does history look like when told through documents?