HIST 4290
FALL 2000
Intellectual & Cultural History
of Medieval & Early Modern Europe
COURSE INFORMATION Instructor ................... Roy J. deCarvalho, Ph.D.
Office ......................... Wooten Hall, Room 238
Telephone .................. 565-4209 or 565-2288 (messages)
E-mail address ........... roy@unt.edu
Home page ................. http://courses.unt.edu/rdecarvalho
Course schedule ......... (TR) 9:30-10:50 PM
Classroom Location .... Wooten Hall, Room 217
Office hours ..................(TR) 10:50-12:30 AM, 1:50-2:30 PM
COURSE DESCRIPTION From the rise of Christianity through the Enlightenment; early Christian church; monasticism; rise of schools and universities; medieval philosophy; revival of Roman and canon law; medieval religious dissent and emergence of Protestantism; rise of national, secularistic political ideas; birth of modern science; the Enlightenment.
OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES The objective of the course is to acquaint students with European geography, ethnic diversity, politics, diplomacy, intellectual and scientific developments, and nationalistic movements throughout the Medieval and early modern period. The major periods, events and historiographical perspectives will be covered and the most important details of each will be discussed. The course seeks to foster intellectual appreciation of historical events and processes and the particularity of European culture. In so doing, it is expected to develop the students' critical and analytical skills and make them better world citizens. The achievement of the course's objectives will be evaluated through exams and a book review assignment due at the end of the semester.
REQUIREMENTS Students are required to attend lectures, read textbooks, take three examinations, and write a book review. The textbooks do not repeat the material of the lectures word for word but rather digress into related topics. Students are encouraged to visit the instructor during his office hours even if they are not experiencing difficulties. The exam schedule will be as follows,

First exam .....................  : (R) 28 Sept. [Lindberg, chs. 1-11]
Second exam .................  : (R) 2 Nov. [Lindberg, chs. 12-14; Kuhn, chs. 1-3]
Third exam ....................  : (R) 14 Dec. @ 8:00 AM [Kuhn, chs. 4-7]
BOOK REVIEW ASSIGNMENT Students are expected to read a course related book of their choice and write a book review. Instead of being told precisely what to read students are encouraged to read and write about a topic they find meaningful. Students must receive my approval of their choice before they start reading. Students must restrict their choices to works related to the material of the textbooks and lectures. They are encouraged to chose works they find meaningful; works they have always wanted to read but did not have the opportunity to do it. This exercise should be above all a rewarding intellectual experience. 
ATTENDANCE POLICY Students may miss up to three scheduled class meeting.  Students who miss more than three classes will be penalized five points per missed class. Penalty points will be deducted from final grade. Make-up exams are granted only when agreed upon by the instructor before the exam takes place and only in cases of medical or family emergencies (evidence required in order to document the emergency). Car problems are not considered a family or medical emergency. Medical and family emergencies should be reported when possible before the exam to the instructor's e-mail (roy@unt.edu), office (565-4209) or messages (565-2288) phone numbers.
TEXTBOOKS
  • David  C.  Lindberg,  The  Beginnings  of  Western  Science  (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
  • Thomas  Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard  University Press, 1957-1990).
SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION REQUEST PROCEDURE Any person with special circumstances covered by the American with Disabilities Act should register with the office of Disability Accommodation, Suite 318A, University Union Building, and also inform the instructor of this class. Reasonable adjustment will be made to accommodate the special needs of students with disabilities where such adjustments are necessary to provide equality of educational access.
TENTATIVE LECTURE TOPICS 1. The Greek/Roman Roots

The Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations
The Greek, Hellenist and Roman worlds
Greek philosophy and cosmology
Plato, Aristotle and Ptolemy
Collapse of the ancient world

2: The Medieval World

The destruction of Rome, Byzantium and rise of Islam
The Medieval Mediterranean world
Loss and recovery of Ancient learning          
Medieval cathedrals and universities
Christian reception of pagan learning
Chronology of the transmission of Greek learning
Medieval cosmology and astronomy

3: The Emergence of Modern Europe

The role of the Portuguese voyages of discovery
Vasco da Gama epic voyage to India (1498)
The Renaissance: Artists and technology 
Religious dissent: the Reformation and Counter-Reformation     
The Age of Revolution (17th & 18th centuries)


4: The Scientific Revolution

The Copernican Revolution
Reception of Copernican astronomy & cosmology
Brahe, Kepler and the transformation of Copernican astronomy
Galileo and the Inquisition
Magic and skepticism in the Renaissance
The skeptical crisis
Descartes, Gassendi and the mechanical philosophy
Mid-17th Century celestial & terrestrial mechanics
Isaac Newton's life and work


5: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of the Rise of Modern Europe

Hooykaas
on the birth of modern Europe
Max Weber thesis on Puritanism and the rise of capitalism
Robert Merton's thesis on the rise of modern science