Islam and the Making of Medieval Europe, c.600-1300 (HIH2200A)

StaffDr Alun Williams - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
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. Develop a broad knowledge of main political, social, economic and cultural developments in the history of relations between the Christian and Muslim worlds between the seventh and thirteenth centuries.
  • 2. Understand a number the key historiographical debates in the field.
  • 3. Evaluate and examine a range of primary sources that shed light on the history of relations between the Christian and Muslim worlds.

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

The Islamic Movement: Origins and Expansion

Western Christian Responses to Islam

‘People of the Book’: Christians and Jews under Muslim Rule
Crossing the Frontier between the Christian and Islamic worlds

Economic contacts: the Pirenne Thesis revisited
The Crusades (I): Origins and Development
The Crusades (II): Broadening Horizons
The Muslim in the Ideologies of Christian Europe: Text, Image and Stone
'Those that Remain': Muslims under Christian Rule in Iberia, Sicily and the Holy Land
The Missionary Strategy: Franciscans and Dominicans
The Transfer of Knowledge

Sex and Power
Understanding Christian-Muslim relations: the legacy of the Middle Ages

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 activities22 hoursLectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22 hoursSeminars; 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 study22 hoursWeb-based activities located on ELE – preparation for seminars and presentations
Guided independent study234 hoursReading 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
Essay303000 words1-12Verbal and written
Group Presentation2025 minutes1-11Verbal and written
Unseen 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
Group PresentationScript as for individual presentation, equivalent to 10 minutes1-11Referral/deferral period
Seen Exam2 questions in 2 hours1-12Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Three assessments are required for this module.  Where you have been referred/deferred for the essay, you will be required to submit an essay which will constitute 30% of the module mark and the script for a group presentation, which will constitute 20% of the module mark. Where you have been referred/deferred for the exam, you will have the opportunity to take a second exam in the August/September reassessment period.  This will constitute 50% of the module (15 credits).

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

B A Catlos, Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors. Faith, Power, and Violemce in the Age of Crusade and Jihad (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014)

N Daniel, Islam and the West: The making of an image (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960)

––  The Arabs and Mediaeval Europe (London: Longman, 1975)

R Fletcher, Moorish Spain (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1992)

––   The Cross and the Crescent: Christianity and Islam from Muhammad to the Reformation (London: Allen Lane, 2003)

C Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999)

B Lewis, The Arabs in History (6th edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993)

J Riley-Smith, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995)

––   The Crusades: A Short History (London: The Athlone Press, 1990)

R W Southern, Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962)

J V Tolan, Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination (New York: ColumbiaUniversity Press, 2002)

C Tyerman, The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 2005)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Internet Medieval Sourcebook:

Available as distance learning?


Key words search

History, Medieval, European, Middle East, Crusades