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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Third Europe: Imagining the Czech lands, Hungary, and Poland in the Middle Ages (HIST10513)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
Summary"Boxed in by the Germans on the one side and Russians on the other, the nations of Central Europe...have never been entirely integrated into the consciousness of Europe; they have remained the least known and most fragile part of the West." This course considers whether Milan Kundera's 1984 lament on the collective fate of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary holds true for the medieval pasts of these nations.
Course description The history of Central Europe is often told as one of a region stuck between two large powers: the Western and Eastern 'Roman' Empires, the Catholic and Orthodox churches, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and so on. Stories of and from its medieval past are no exception. Covering the period from the conversion of the Central European Slavs and Magyars to the Reformation, the course traces how the cultures and regional identities of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech lands developed in dialogue with each other, with Church and Empire, and with their neighbours. Via a diverse textual and visual source base, we consider from week to week how those in medieval Central Europe conceptualised themselves as part of a wider whole, and how they were viewed by others. By the end of the course, students should be able to reflect critically on how, and whether, this 'Third Europe' came to be.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: racism, the Trade in Enslaved Peoples, Anti-Slavic and East-European prejudice. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 42, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 347 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
4 x source commentaries of 750 words each, to be submitted across the year (15%)
4000-word essay (25%)

Non-Written Skills:
Group presentation (20%)

Written Exam:
3 hour exam (40%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. communicate a detailed knowledge of the key events in the development of medieval Central Europe, and of how 'Central Europe' was imagined from within and without in the Middle Ages
  2. analyse critically a range of textual and visual primary sources, to contextualise these sources within the history of medieval Central Europe and perceptions of this region, and to use these sources to reflect on relevant scholarship
  3. develop and communicate scholarly arguments in oral and written form
  4. exercise initiative and independence of thought
Reading List
Nora Berend, ed., The Expansion of Latin Europe 1000-1500 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012)

Nora Berend, At the Gate of Christendom: Jews, Muslims and 'Pagans' in Medieval Hungary, c.1000 - c.1300 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

Nora Berend, Przemyslaw Urbanczyk, and Przemyslaw Wiszewski, Central Europe in the High Middle Ages: Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Florin Curta, Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages (500-1300) 2 vols (Leiden: Brill, 2019)

Florin Curta, The Routledge Handbook of East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1300 (London: Routledge, 2022)

Piotr Górecki and Nancy W. Deusen, eds, Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages: A Cultural History (London: Bloomsbury, 2009)

Gerhard Jaritz and Katalin Szende, Medieval East-Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective (London: Routledge, 2016)

Gábor Klaniczay, Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses: Dynastic Cults in Medieval Central Europe, trans. Eva Pálmai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Natalia Nowakowska, ed., Remembering the Jagiellonians (London: Routledge, 2018)

Nada Zecevic and Daniel Ziemann, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Central Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Written communication skills
Oral communication skills, through seminar participation and the delivery of the group presentation
Research skills
Skills in group work
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Kirsty Day
Course secretary
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