Europe in the Tenth Century: Continuity and Change (HIH2092A)

StaffDr Levi Roach - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF LevelL5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

You will need effective communication and analytical skills, oral and written, to complete many of your modules and in a job after you graduate.  This module aims to help you develop your skills in researching, interpreting, and analysing both primary and secondary material, and in reporting on your work.  It provides you with an opportunity to explore an area of history in more depth, and helps you to develop the depth of understanding you will require to study more specialised areas of history. It will also give you an opportunity to work in a team on a group presentation.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Be aware of the various developments in the history of continental western Europe in the tenth century
  • 2. Make a close evaluation of the key political, social and cultural developments of the period
  • 3. Evaluate the main themes in the subject and to collate information upon, and evaluate in greater detail, those aspects of the module discussed in seminar and especially those topics selected by students for their coursework

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Analyse the key developments of the period
  • 5. Collate data from a range of sources, both primary and secondary
  • 6. Interpret primary sources
  • 7. Trace long-term as well as short-term historical developments
  • 8. Recognise and deploy historical terminology correctly
  • 9. Assess different approaches to historical writing in areas of controversy

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Work both independently and in a group, including participating in oral seminar discussions
  • 11. Identify a topic, select, comprehend, and organise primary and secondary materials on that topic with little guidance
  • 12. Produce to a deadline and in examination conditions a coherent argument

Syllabus plan











Tenth-century People's Views of their World

1.  Contemporary views of the tenth century


Europe in the Late Ninth Century: the Carolingians' Legacy



Invaders and Neighbours: The Myth and Reality of Relations Between Latin Christians and Their Neighbours

2.   The Collapse of the Carolingian Empire


Political transformation and legitimacy



'The Little Kings' of the Tenth Century Part I: Images of Tenth-Century Rule



The 'Little Kings' of the Tenth Century Part II: the 'Rules' of Political Life

3.  Encountering the Other


A New Roman Empire?






Conflict in the Tenth Century: Feud, Rebellion and Negotiation

4.  The New Roman Empire


Lordship and Communities



Soldiers of Christ: Aristocratic Male Identity

5.   Trial by Ordeal

Just Wives and Mothers?  Female Aristocratic Identity



Cultures and Belief



Lord Bishops

6.   The Beginnings of Knighthood


The Tenth-Century Monastic Reform



Religious Enthusiasm: the Cult of the Saints

7.  Queens and Abbesses


Lay Beliefs



The Ottonian Renaissance

8.   Sins and Sinners


Apocalypse Then



Social transformation



The End of Slavery?

9.   Millenarianism


Violence and the Peace of God



The Feudal Transformation

10. The Feudal Transformation


Phantoms of Remembrance



Was the Tenth Century a Dark Age?

11. Was the Tenth Century a Dark Age?

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Seminars; these will be led by the tutor. You will need to prepare for each seminar and present on a given topic in groups of 4, on 4 occasions
Guided independent study 22Web-based activities located on ELE - preparation for seminars and presentations
Guided independent study 234Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan x 1500 words1-12Verbal and written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay x 1303000 words1-12Verbal and written
Group Presentation2025 Minutes1-12Written and verbal
Exam502 Questions in 2 Hours1-12Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay3000 words1-12Referral/deferral period
Exam2 questions in 2 hours1-12Referral/deferral period
Group PresentationScript as for individual presentation, equivalent to 10 minutes1-12Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

H. Fichtenau, Living in the Tenth Century: Mentalities and Social Orders, trans. P. Geary (Chicago, IL, 1991) 

The New Cambridge Medieval History, III: 900-1025, ed. T. Reuter (Cambridge, 1999)

S. Hamilton, Church and People in the Medieval West, 900–1200 (London, 2013)

S. MacLean, Ottonian Queenship (Oxford, 2017)

 K.J. Leyser, Rule and Conflict in an Early Medieval Society: Ottonian Saxony (London, 1979) 

 K.J. Leyser, Communications and Power: The Carolingian and Ottonian Centuries (London, 1994) 

 T. Reuter, Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities (Cambridge, 2006) 

 J. Dunbabin, France in the Making, 843-1180, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2000) 

 C. Wickham, Medieval Rome: Stability and Crisis of a City, 900–1150 (Oxford, 2014)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Internet Medieval Sourcebook:

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

History, medieval, European, Vikings, France, Germany, Italy