The Re-Birth of Europe? Renaissance and Renewal in the Long Twelfth Century (HIH2182A)

30 credits

The period between the late eleventh and early thirteenth centuries saw seismic shifts in European politics, society, economy and culture, which were reflected in the revival of urban centres, the emergence of new religious movements, the growth of schools and universities, and the flowering of both Latin and vernacular literatures. The scale and significance of these changes, particularly those in the intellectual sphere, led Charles Homer Haskins to designate this period the ‘Twelfth-Century Renaissance’ – a description that continues to be challenged and modified. This module asks you to examine the documentary, literary and material evidence in order to enter the debate: was this a true ‘renaissance’? Or should we think of it more as a ‘reformation’ or ‘revolution’?