Medieval Paris (HIH2208B)

StaffProfessor Yolanda Plumley - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF LevelL5
Duration of Module Term 2: 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 medieval Paris, ca. 1200-1450
  • 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 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

This module will explore various aspects of Medieval Paris, including the development of the urban space and its topography, the impact of economic changes, plague, war, social unrest, and the city’s artistic and cultural life. Topics will include:

-The orders of society and their relation with the city

-Aspects of daily life (trade and commerce, charity, fashion and identity)

-Aspects of artistic and cultural life (the book trade, music, and the visual arts)

- Plague, war and civil unrest in the fourteenth century

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 study234Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan 500 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
Exam502 questions in 2 hours1-12Written
Group presentation2025 minutes1-12Verbal and written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (3000 words)1-12Referral/deferral period
ExamExam (2 questions in 2 hours)1-12Referral/deferral period
Group presentationScript as for individual presentation, equivalent to 10 minutes1-12Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

R. Berger, ed., In Old Paris: An Anthology of Source Descriptions, 1323-1790 (2008)

M. Bull,  (ed.), France in the Central Middle Ages (Oxford, 2002).

S.K. Cohn, Jr (ed.), Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe: Selected Sources Translated and Annoted (Manchester, 2004), pp. 151-55

D. Crouch, The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France: 900-1300 (Harlow, 2005)

S. Farmer, Surviving Poverty in Medieval Paris: Gender, Ideology, and the Daily Lives of the Poor (Ithaca, N.Y.: 2002)

B. Geremek, The Margins of Society in Late Medieval Paris (Cambridge, 2008 paperback edition)

G.L. Greco and C. Rose (trans), The Good Wife's Guide (Le Menagier De Paris): A Medieval Household Book (Cornel UP, 2009)


E. Hallam, and J. Everard, Capetian France 987-1328 (Harlow, 2001)

Paris, 1400 : les arts sous Charles VI (Paris, 2004)

J. Joinville, Memoirs (London, 1895)

G. Leff,  Paris and Oxford Universities in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries: An Institutional and Intellectual History (New York, 1968)

K.D. Lilley, Urban Life in the Middle Ages, 1000-1450 (Basingtoke, 2002)

A. Luchaire, Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus (New York, 1957)

J. Nohl, The Black Death: A Chronicle of the Plague Compiled from Contemporary Sources (London, 1961)

F. Pleybert, Paris et Charles V. Arts  et Architecture (Paris, no date)

S. Roux, Paris in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia, 2009)

R. Rouse and M. Rouse, Manuscripts and their Makers. Commerical Book Producers in Paris, 1200-1500 (2000)

J. Shirley (trans), A Parisian Journal (1405-1449) (Oxford, 1968)

G.Small, Late Medieval France (Basingstoke, 2009)

D. Waley and P. Denley, Later Medieval Europe, 1250-1520. Third Edition (2001)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Documents sur les relations de la royaute avec les villes en France de 1180 a 1314, ed. A. Giry and E. Lavisse (Paris: Picard, 1885), no. 5, p. 36. Translated by Richard Barton, 1998. Available at:

Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date