MEMS 310 - Pagans, Christians, Barbarians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
Section: 001
Term: WN 2014
Subject: Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

“The Dark Ages” conjures up lurid images of barbarians wearing horned helmets roaming a cultural landscape of generalized savagery and superstition. This course will attempt to discover a more complex, less stereotyped perspective on a fascinating period of Western European history. We will begin with the encounter between pagans and Christians in the field not only of religious belief, but also of philosophy and the arts. We will ask questions about the status of the body and its representations, about the role of intellectual life in the midst of political intrigue, and most importantly about the way in which a new history of origins and endings was framed by means of new narratives of purpose, pattern, choice, and engagement. How did Christians use paganism as a grounding and source for a new philosophy? How did barbarians use Christianity in order to represent and perhaps even to invent their own history? The course is interdisciplinary in nature, and will include a study of selected examples of the visual arts to enrich and deepen our understanding of the period.

Works studied will include: Plato, Phaedo; The Sayings of the Desert Fathers; The Life of Mary the Egyptian; St. Augustine, Confessions; Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks; Beowulf.

MEMS 310 - Pagans, Christians, Barbarians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780140449280
The Last days of Socrates : Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Author: Plato ; translated by Hugh Tredennick and Harold Tarrant ; introduction and notes by Harold Tarrant., Publisher: Penguin Reprinted 1959
ISBN: 9780879079598
The sayings of the Desert Fathers : the alphabetical collection, Author: translated with a foreword by Benedicta Ward ; preface by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh., Publisher: Cistercian Publications Rev. ed. 1984
ISBN: 9780451531216
The confessions of St. Augustine, Author: translated by Rex Warner ; with a new foreword by Elizabeth Block ; with a new introduction and afterword by Martin E. Marty., Publisher: Signet Classic 2009
ISBN: 9780140442953
The history of the Franks, Author: Gregory of Tours ; translated [from the Latin] with an introduction by Lewis Thorpe., Publisher: Penguin Repr. 1974
ISBN: 9781554810642
Beowulf, Author: translated and edited by R.M. Liuzza., Publisher: Broadview Press 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9780192842435
Early medieval art, Author: Lawrence Nees., Publisher: Oxford University Press 1. publ. 2002
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