HIST 398 – The World of the Medieval Castle (Fall 2021)

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Prof. Martha Carlin

Fall 2021

copyright Martha Carlin 2021; all rights reserved

 

HIST 398
Weekly discussion materials

 

COVID-19 Panther Community Health and Safety Standards

As a member of our campus community, you are expected to abide by the Panther Interim COVID-Related Health & Safety Rules:  

  • Masks are required while indoors on UWM campuses.
  • A student who comes to class without wearing a mask will be asked to put on a mask or to leave to get one at a mask handout station. Failure to do so could result in student discipline.
  • Unvaccinated students coming to campus are required to test weekly for COVID-19.

If you are ill or have been exposed to COVID-19:

Do not come to campus or attend any in-person class if you are ill or have COVID-19, if you are experiencing symptoms of illness, or if you have been in close contact with others who have symptoms.

Contact me immediately to discuss options for completing coursework while ill or in quarantine.

As your instructor, I will trust your word when you say you are ill, and in turn, I expect that you will report the reason for your absences truthfully.  

Class recording:

Our class sessions may be recorded for students who are unable to attend at the scheduled time. Students who attend class are agreeing to be recorded.

Potential for reversion to fully online instruction:

Changing public health circumstances for COVID-19 may cause UWM to move to fully online instruction at some point during the semester. In this event, UWM will communicate with students about moving to fully online instruction.

Online protocols:

If our class moves online, we will use Zoom as our online class platform (you will access it from the course Canvas page). Should this happen, I will send you full instructions for using Zoom.

 

*                      *                      *

Office: Holton 320
Phone: (414) 229-5767
Messages: History Department, tel. (414) 229-4361
Email: carlin@uwm.edu
Webpage: https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/
Office hours: Tuesdays, 11 AM to noon, and by appointment

 

The medieval castle was both a physical fortress and a slice of medieval society.  Castles were built by magnates – kings, bishops, and great lords – but people of every status lived and worked in them. Castle residents and guests included lords and ladies, their children and companions, priests and other clergy, household officers and servants, knights and men-at-arms, and visitors of all degrees.

In this course, we will examine the multi-faceted world of the medieval castle through the writings of modern scholars, and also through original medieval texts and surviving objects, such as buildings, artwork, and the material culture of everyday life. We will consider what it was like to live and work in a medieval castle; how castles were constructed and used, and how their designs changed over time; and the role of castles in medieval society, politics, and war.

Course work and objectives: There will be a variety of reading and writing assignments, and one oral presentation, and everyone will be expected to take a lively part in the class discussions. The reading, writing, oral presentation, and discussions will challenge students both to gain an understanding of the world of the medieval castle, and to develop and polish their skills in:

  • reading and evaluating sources carefully and critically
  • identifying and analyzing a wide variety of types of evidence
  • using such evidence to reconstruct and interpret the past
  • combining reading and analysis with thoughtful writing to produce clear, original, and persuasive arguments

Email and Internet access:  You will require an email account and access to the Internet for this class. All UWM students receive a free UWM email account, and have free Internet access via UWM computer terminals and wifi in UWM buildings. The History Department regularly contacts students via their assigned UWM email addresses.  If you use another email service provider (such as Gmail) instead of your assigned UWM email account, you should immediately go into your UWM email account and put a “forward” or “copy” command on it to forward or copy all incoming email messages to the account that you routinely use.  This is your responsibility; the History Department will use UWM email addresses only.

Exams:  There will be no midterm or final exam for this course.

Papers and oral presentation:  Details of the papers and oral presentation are given at the end of this syllabus. There are five required mini-papers, each worth 5% of your final grade. You are welcome to write more than five mini-papers, in which case your five best paper grades will be used for your final grade (5% each, for 25% of final grade). There is also one required research paper (25% of final grade), and one required oral presentation, for which you will also submit the written script (10% of final grade). All papers will be submitted electronically via Canvas.

Attendance and participation:  This class is designed to be taught face-to-face; if we need to move it online, it will be a synchronous (“live”) lecture class. There will be two class meetings each week, and your attendance and active participation in class are required.  Your grade will be lowered if you miss class, except in cases of illness or emergency (it is your responsibility to contact me as soon as possible in such a case).  Whether we meet in person or online, students enrolled in the class who fail to attend class during the first two class meetings, or to contact me, may be dropped administratively.

Grading and deadlines: Your final grade will be based on your attendance (20%), active participation in discussions and other in-class activities (20%), one brief oral presentation and its written script (10%), five two-page mini-papers, each based on class readings (5% each, for 25%), and one ten-page research paper (25%). Assignments are due on the dates specified. Late work will not be accepted, except in cases of major illness or emergency; it is your responsibility to contact me immediately in such a case.

Electronic devices in class: You may use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone in class, but ONLY for work related to this class. This is a zero-tolerance policy: any off-task computer use will result in the immediate forfeiture of the privilege of using the device in class for the remainder of the semester. All electronic devices must be silenced during class.

For fast access to Canvas on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, go to:  https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Mobile-Users/gh-p/mobile

Disabilities:  If you have a disability, it is important that you contact me ASAP for any help or accommodation you may need.

Students in need: Any student who faces challenges securing food, housing, or technology, or is struggling with mental, physical, or emotional health, and believes this may affect their academic performance, is urged to contact the Dean of Students (dos@uwm.edu) for support.

Academic advising in History: All L&S students have to declare and complete an academic major to graduate. If you have earned in excess of 45 credits and have not yet declared a major, you are encouraged to do so. If you are interested in declaring a major or minor in History, or require academic advising in History, please visit the Department of History’s undergraduate program web page, at: http://uwm.edu/history/undergraduate/ for information on how to proceed.

Academic integrity at UWM: UWM and I expect each student to be honest in academic performance. Failure to do so may result in discipline under rules published by the Board of Regents (UWS 14). The penalties for academic misconduct such as cheating or plagiarism can include a grade of “F” for the course and expulsion from the University.

UWM policies on course-related matters: See the website of the Secretary of the University, at: https://www4.uwm.edu/secu/news_events/upload/Syllabus-Links.pdf

 

Required readings:

There are two required textbooks. Both are available for purchase online, and also through the UWM eCampus virtual bookstore (https://uwm.ecampus.com/shop-by-course):

Gies, Joseph, and Frances Gies. Life in a Medieval Castle. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1974; rpt Harper & Row, 1979. (Listed below in Topics and Readings as “Gies and Gies, Life.”)

Macaulay, David. Castle. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977.

There will also be additional required reading assignments from online resources (URLs are given below in the syllabus), and from the books and articles listed below.

Readings from the following are available online from the UWM Libraries (asterisked below), or as .pdfs in Canvas (uwm.edu/canvas/). Download the .pdfs right away, so that you will have them ready to read when needed. Readings that are also available in printed volumes in the Golda Meir Library have call numbers given below:

Bennett, Matthew. “The Medieval Warhorse Reconsidered.” In Medieval Knighthood, V. Papers from the Sixth Strawberry Hill Conference, 1994. Ed. Stephen Church and Ruth Harvey. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1995, pp. 19-40.
Call no.: CR4513 I34 1994

Brown, R. Allen.  Allen Brown’s English Castles.  Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 2004 (reprint of 1976 edn, with new Introduction by Jonathan Coad), pp. 140-149 (the castle in war).
Call no.: DA660 .B85 2004

Carlin, Martha. “Cheating the Boss: Robert Carpenter’s Embezzlement Instructions (1261 x 1268) and Employee Fraud in Medieval England.” In Commercial Activity, Markets and Entrepreneurs in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Richard Britnell. Ed. Ben Dodds and Christian D. Liddy. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2011, pp. 183-198.

*Carlin, Martha, and David Crouch, eds. and trans.  Lost Letters of Medieval Life: English Society, 1200-1250.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.
Call no.: DA170 .L67 2013. Online access to the full volume is available through the UWM Libraries at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uwm/detail.action?docID=3442057&pq-origsite=primo

*Daniell, Christopher. Death and Burial in Medieval England 1066-1550. London and New York: Routledge, 1996, Chapter Two: “From Death-Bed to Remembrance,” pp. 27-58.
Call no.: GT3243 .D36 1997. Online access to the full volume is available through the UWM Libraries at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uwm/detail.action?docID=237317&pq-origsite=primo#goto_toc

Gies, Frances, and Joseph Gies. Marriage and Family in the Middle Ages. New York: Harper and Row, Perennial Library, 1987.
Call no.: HQ513 G53 1987

Gies, Frances, and Joseph Gies. Women in the Middle Ages. New York: Harper and Row, Perennial Library, 1978.
Call no.: Q1143 G53 1978

Holmes, Urban Tigner, Jr. Daily Living in the Twelfth Century. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1952.
Call no.: CB353 H65

Labarge, Margaret Wade.  A Baronial Household of the Thirteenth Century. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1965, rpt 1980.
Call nos.: DA185 L3 and DA185 L3 1980

[This book was subsequently reprinted as Mistress, Maids and Men: Baronial Life in the Thirteenth Century, London: Phoenix Books: 2004 (ISBN: 1-84212-499-4; ISBN 13: 978-1-84212-499-4). It is the same book as A Baronial Household of the Thirteenth Century.]

Labarge, Margaret Wade.  A Small Sound of the Trumpet.  Boston: Beacon, 1986, Chap. 4 (“Women Who Ruled: Noble Ladies”), pp. 72-97, plus notes on pp. 243-4.
Call no.:  HQ 1147 .E853 L33 1986

Paterson, Linda M. “Military Surgery: Knights, Sergeants, and Raimon of Avignon’s Version of the Chirurgia of Roger of Salerno (1180-1209).” In The Ideals and Practice of Medieval Knighthood, II. Papers from the Third Strawberry Hill Conference, 1986. Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill and Ruth Harvey. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1988, pp. 117-146.
Call no.: CR4513 .I34 1988

Peirce, Ian. “The Knight, His Arms and Armour in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries.” In The Ideals and Practice of Medieval Knighthood. Papers from the First and Second Strawberry Hill Conferences. Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill and Ruth Harvey. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1986, pp. 152-164.
Call no.: CR4513 I34 1986

Pisan, Christine de. The Treasure of the City of Ladies.  Trans. Sarah Lawson.  Harmondsworth, Middlesex, and New York: Penguin, 1985, pp. 128-133.
Call no.: PQ1575 L56 E52x 1985

Pounds, N. J. G. The Medieval Castle in England and Wales: A Social and Political History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Call no.: DA660 P68 1990

Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996.
Call no.: DA60 .P74 1996

Prestwich, Michael. “The Garrisoning of English Medieval Castles.” In The Normans and Their Adversaries at War: Essays in Memory of C. Warren Hollister.  Ed. Richard P. Abels and Bernard Bachrach.  Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2001, pp. 185-200.
Call no.: U37 .N67 2001

Shahar, Shulamith.  Childhood in the Middle Ages.  Trans. Chaya Galai.  London and New York: Routledge, 1990, pp. 209-224, 320-325.
Call no.: HQ792 E8 S53 1990

Singman, Jeffrey L.  Daily Life in Medieval Europe.  Westport, Conn., and London : Greenwood Press, 1999, pp. 17-27 (plus notes on p. 32), 46-50, 57-64, 119-138
Call no.: D119 .S55 1999

 

The BBC has a useful online Timeline of British History at:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/timeline/

 

Topics and Readings

Week 1            INTRODUCTION

2 Sept.             Introduction to course

 

Week 2            THE NORMANS COME TO ENGLAND; EARLY CASTLES AND THEIR LORDS

7 Sept.             Gies and Gies, Life, pp. 1-20

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: William I
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1186ASChron-William1.asp

9 Sept.             Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 2 (pp. 32-56)

Henry of Huntingdon: Baronial behavior in Stephen’s reign,
1135-54:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/henry-hunt1.asp

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Introduction, pp. 1-3, 9-12, 15-17

 

Week 3            BUILDING THE CASTLE

14 Sept.           Gies and Gies, Life, pp. 21-31

Macaulay, pp. 5-37

Pounds, The Medieval Castle, pp. 102-6, 126-9

16 Sept.           Week 3 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Macaulay, pp. 38-63

Master James of St. George: biographical sketch, and letter concerning building progress at Beaumaris Castle (see both websites below)
http://www.castlewales.com/jsgeorge.html
http://www.castlewales.com/beau3.html

 

Week 4            THE CASTLE AS A HOUSE

21 Sept.           Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 3 (pp. 57-74)

Holmes, pp. 18, 82 (mid-page)-87, 178 (last paragraph) -191

23 Sept.           Week 4 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Labarge, A Baronial Household, Chap. 1 (“The Castle as a Home”), pp. 18-37

Singman, Daily Life in Medieval Europe, pp. 46-53, 126 (mid-page) – 138

Description of a manor house, 1265
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chingford.asp

A poor knight’s household, from Chrétien de Troyes, Erec and Enide, vv. 342-546
https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/a-poor-knights-household-from-chretien-de-troyes-erec-and-enide-vv-342-546/

 

Week 5            THE LADY OF THE CASTLE

28 Sept.           Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 4 (pp. 75-94)

Labarge, A Small Sound of the Trumpet, Chap. 4 (“Women Who Ruled: Noble Ladies”), pp. 72-97

Bartholomaeus Anglicus, On the Properties of Things (man and wife)
https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/trevisas-bartholomew-man-and-wife/

30 Sept.           Week 5 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Gies and Gies, Women in the Middle Ages, Chap. 7 (pp. 120-142): “A Great Lady: Eleanor de Montfort” [Note that this is a different book by the Gieses than Life in a Medieval Castle.]

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Documents 74-77 (pp. 233-243), 100 (pp. 289-291)

Pisan, The Treasure of the City of Ladies, Part II, Chaps. 9-10, pp. 128-133: “Of baronesses,” and “How ladies and young women who live on their manors ought to manage their households and estates”

 

Week 6            THE CASTLE HOUSEHOLD AND ECONOMY

5 Oct.              Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 5 (pp. 95-108)

Labarge, A Baronial Household, Chap. 3 (pp. 53-70)

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, “A Note on Money,” pp. xxiii-xxv, Documents 20-21 (pp. 85-92)

Try out the currency converter hosted by The National Archives (Kew):
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency-converter/

7 Oct.              Week 6 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Prestwich, “The Garrisoning of English Medieval Castles”

Carlin, “Cheating the Boss”

Household Expenses of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, 1313-1
https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/household-expenses-of-thomas-earl-of-lancaster-30-sept-1313-29-sept-1314-7-8-edw-ii/

 

Week 7            LIFE IN THE CASTLE

12 Oct.             Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 6 (pp. 109-124) and Chap. 11 (pp. 206-216)

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Documents 5-6 (pp. 42-52)

14 Oct.            Week 7 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Labarge, A Baronial Household, Chap. 7 (“Cooking and Serving of Meals”), pp. 116-128

Holmes, pp. 87 (bottom) – 94

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Documents 22-23 (pp. 92-98)

John Russell, Boke of Nurture (c. 1460): How to serve one’s master at table
https://web.archive.org/web/20110720113023/http://jrider.web.wesleyan.edu/wescourses/2001f/fren234/01/bookofnurture.htm

 

Week 8            CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE IN THE CASTLE

19 Oct.            Gies and Gies, Marriage and the Family, Chap. 10 (pp. 196-217): “Children in the Middle Ages” [Note that this is a different book by the Gieses than the course textbook!]

Singman, Daily Life in Medieval Europe, pp. 17-27 (notes on p. 32)

21 Oct.            Week 8 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Shahar, Childhood in the Middle Ages, beginning of Chapter 10, “Education in the nobility,” pp. 209-213 (notes on pp. 320-322)

Oosterwijk, “The Medieval Child: An Unknown Phenomenon?”
https://web.archive.org/web/20121220111653/http://www.the-orb.net/non_spec/missteps/ch6.html

Gies and Gies, Marriage and the Family, pp. 141-145

An aristocratic education, from John Harding’s Chronicle (c. 1457); and the ideal squire, from Philippe de Remi, sire de Beaumanoir‘s Blonde of Oxford (Jehan et Blondec. 1250-65)
https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/an-aristocratic-education-and-the-ideal-squire/

 

Week 9            EDUCATION AND MANNERS

26 Oct.            Shahar, Childhood in the Middle Ages, end of Chapter 10, “Education in the nobility,” pp. 214-224 (with notes on pp. 322-325)

Guibert of Nogent (d. 1124), Autobiography. Read first paragraph (editor’s introduction), then scroll down to paragraph beginning “(Col 843)” and read all remaining text:
https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/nogent-auto.asp

“Distichs of Cato” (a medieval schoolbook for teaching Latin) – read editor’s introduction, and then click on “The Monostichs, as `Prologue’” and read that page also:
https://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/pages/cato-catoun

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Document 78 (pp. 243-245)

28 Oct.            Week 9 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

“Medieval Writing – The Laity” (read both websites below):

https://web.archive.org/web/20181118225629/http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/literacy/laity3.htm                 https://web.archive.org/web/20181118200124/http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/literacy/laity5.htm

“The Duenna’s Advice on Table Manners,” from Jean de Meun’s continuation of The Romance of the Rose, late thirteenth century
https://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/duennas-advice-table-manners

“The Little Childrenes Little Boke,” circa 1480
https://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/little-childrens-little-book-courtesy-book-c-1480

 

Week 10          THE MAKING OF A KNIGHT: ARMS AND ARMOR

2 Nov.             Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 9 (pp. 166-185)

Fief ceremonies, 12th cent.
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/feud-fief1.asp

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, “In Praise of the New Knighthood,” read editor’s note and Chapters 2 and 4
https://web.archive.org/web/20170414023957/http://www.the-orb.net/encyclop/religion/monastic/bernard.html

4 Nov.             Week 10 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Peirce, “The Knight, His Arms and Armour”

Singman, Daily Life in Medieval Europe, pp. 119-126 (mid-page; notes on p. 138)

Male clothing and knightly armor of the 1250s:
Read the first page (about men’s underwear) and then click on “next” in upper right corner of screen to read all 11 pages of this site):
http://web.archive.org/web/20060517022548/http://www.bumply.com:80/Medieval/clothing02.html

View website below to see a re-enactor manufacturing chain mail
https://www.liebaart.org/photo20.htm

Re-enactors of c. 1300: look at the following photos to see how clothing and armor actually fit
http://www.liebaart.org/photo22.htm
http://www.liebaart.org/photo11.htm
http://www.liebaart.org/photo26.htm

 

Week 11          HORSES AND HUNTING

9 Nov.             Bennett, “The Medieval Warhorse”

Prestwich, Armies and Warfare, pp. 30-37

Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 7 (pp. 125-146)

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Documents 13 (pp. 68-71), 47 (pp. 158-61), 60-62 (pp. 189-201)

11 Nov.           NO CLASS TODAY:

RESEARCH PAPER DUE IN CANVAS BY 4:59 PM

Use today to put the finishing touches on your research paper. Be sure to proofread it before submitting it!

 

Week 12          SIEGE ENGINES, WAR SUPPLIES, AND STRATEGIES

16 Nov.           Pounds, The Medieval Castle, pp. 106-13 (“siegecraft and defense”)

Prestwich, Armies and Warfare, pp. 1-4, 11, 219-22, 231-43

Brown, Allen Brown’s English Castles, pp. 140-9

18 Nov.           Week 12 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Pounds, The Medieval Castle, pp. 122-5 (“garrison and supplies”)

Prestwich, Armies and Warfare, pp. 185-193, 198-200, 206-218, 245-54

Order by Edward II to provision Portchester Castle with weapons,
18 August 1326:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/medieval-castles/medieval-castles-source-4/

 

Week 13          THE CASTLE AT WAR

23 Nov.           Oral presentations in class (2-3 min. each); scripts due in Canvas TODAY by 4:59 PM

Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 10 (pp. 186-205)

Macaulay, pp. 64-78

Letter from Alexander de Balliol to Edward I concerning spies:
https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/2021/08/22/letter-to-king-edward-i-concerning-spies-1301/

Order by Edward II to the constable of Portchester Castle to search for
spies, 10 March 1326:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/medieval-castles/medieval-castles-source-3/

The Lanercost Chronicle: Robert Bruce besieges Carlisle, 1316
http://members.iinet.net.au/~rmine/carlisle.html

25 Nov.           [THANKSGIVING DAY – NO CLASS]

 

Week 14          WARFARE AND SIEGE

30 Nov.           Pounds, The Medieval Castle, pp. 113-21 (“castles in medieval warfare”)

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Documents 24-25 (pp. 99-108), 33 (pp. 123-124)

Warfare between England and Scotland, 1299 – 1301,
according to documents from the English government
http://deremilitari.org/2016/10/warfare-between-england-and-scotland-1299-1301-according-to-documents-from-the-english-government/

2 Dec.              Week 14 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Prestwich, Armies and Warfare, pp. 281-304

Jean Froissart (1338-1410?), Chronicle (read all three of the
following selections at the website below):
1) editor’s introduction
2) “A few Scots capture Berwick”  (in Book II)
3) “The English recapture Berwick”  (in Book II)
http://faculty.nipissingu.ca/muhlberger/FROISSART/TALES.HTM

 

Week 15          BATTLE AND INJURY, DEATH AND BURIAL; THE LATE MEDIEVAL CASTLE

7 Dec.              Paterson, “Military Surgery”

Mark Brennand, review of Blood Red Roses: The
Archaeology of a
 Mass Grave from the Battle of Towton AD 1461
https://web.archive.org/web/20090818193403/http://www.assemblage.group.shef.ac.uk/issue6/Roses_web.html

Battle injuries: skeletons from the Battle of Towton, 1461
http://www.the-exiles.org/Article%20Towton.htm

The Towton Mass Grave Project
https://web.archive.org/web/20110927065749/http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/archsci/depart/resgrp/towton/

9 Dec.              Week 15 mini-paper due by 4:59 PM

Daniell, Death and Burial in Medieval England, Chapter 2 (pp. 27-58)

Pounds, The Medieval Castle, Chapter 10 (pp. 249-260, 269-75), and Chapter 12 (pp. 295-300)

Gies and Gies, Life, Chap. 12 (pp. 218-224)

 

Week 16          NO CLASS TODAY (no attendance required)

14 Dec.            In lieu of today’s class I will hold open office hours in my office (Holton 320) or on Zoom. Please drop in – I would love to see you!

 

WRITTEN AND ORAL ASSIGNMENTS FOR HISTORY 398

Sixty percent of your final grade will be based on five mini-papers (5% each, for 25%), one ten-page research paper due in Week 11 (25%), and one brief oral presentation and its written script in Week 13 (10%).

All papers are due in Canvas on THURSDAYS by 4:59 PM, except for Week 13 (Thanksgiving week), when they are due on TUESDAY by 4:59 PM. Late papers (including mini-paper topics from an earlier week) will not be accepted.

Mini-papers: You must submit at least five of these. You are welcome to submit additional mini-papers; if you do, your five best mini-papers will be used for your final grade. Your five (or five best) mini-papers are worth 25% of your final grade (5% each).

Each mini-paper must be 1-2 double-spaced pages long, in a 12-pt font. The minimum length of your text is one full page; the maximum length is two pages. It must be submitted as a Word document (.doc or .docx) via the course Canvas page.

Your paper must be based entirely on that week’s assigned readings, including at least one primary source and at least one scholarly secondary source. You may also use information from the week’s discussion materials on my webpage. No other sources are allowed, including Wikipedia. The point of the papers is to challenge you to read the assigned readings carefully, to take part in the class discussions thoughtfully, and to hone your analytical and writing skills.

Your papers must address the assigned topic, and be written to a college-level standard, with good grammar, spelling, punctuation, and phrasing. Fill your papers with solid factual content, not “padding,” and avoid vague or unclear writing. Put everything in your own words; do not include any quotations at all.

Your papers must be entirely your own work. You may not copy or adapt them from someone else’s work, and you may not collaborate on them with anyone else.

At the end of your paper, list every source that you have used. Include author surname(s) and brief version of title. For printed sources, identify the specific pages from which you took ideas or information. (Do not simply list the full range of pages in the reading assignments.) For online sources that are longer than one page, indicate which section(s) of the source you used. Examples:

Carlin, Tuesday discussion materials concerning . . .

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters, Document 23 (pp. 97-98)

Gies and Gies, Life in a Medieval Castle, pp. 30-35

Macaulay, Castle, pp. 74-76

Russell, Book of Nurture: sections on “The Buttery” and “The Office of a Carver”

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, “In Praise of the New Knighthood,” Chap. 4

If the text of your paper fills two full pages, the list of sources may go on page 3.

Frequently-Asked-Questions:

  • “How can I tell if something is a primary source?” Answer: A primary source is an “eyewitness” source, one that dates from the period that you are studying.  Examples of primary sources for the medieval period include chronicles, account rolls, letters, and legal documents, and also physical artifacts such as works of art, buildings, pottery, coins, and skeletons.  A source that dates from a later period is a secondary source.
  • “What defines a secondary source as ‘scholarly’?” Answer: For the purposes of this class, only works (including websites) that are fully documented with footnotes or endnotes are considered scholarly. A bibliography alone is not sufficient. (Thus, neither of our two course textbooks qualifies as ‘scholarly’.)

Mini-paper topics:

Week 3:

It is the year 1290. You are a master mason who has been hired to design a new castle for an English lord in Wales. Describe two special design features that you intend to include.

Week 4:

The year is 1300. You are an elderly lady or lord, living in a castle in Wales. Describe three of your castle’s most inconvenient or uncomfortable features.

Week 5:

You are the lady of a castle. Is your life easier, or more difficult, than that of the lord of a castle? Discuss.

Week 6:

You are a dishonest steward.  Describe your most lucrative fraud.

Week 7:

You work in a castle kitchen as a cook or cook’s assistant. Describe a typical day’s work.

Week 8:

You are the senior nursemaid in charge of the young children of the lord and lady of the castle.  A new junior servant has been ordered to assist you.  Describe for this assistant four of the most common hazards of castle life from which the children must be protected.

Week 9:

You are an adolescent boy or girl being educated in a castle.  Which parts of your education do you enjoy the most? Which the least?

Week 10:

The year is 1250. You are a castle knight.  Describe your weapons and armor.

Week 11: No mini-paper; RESEARCH PAPER DUE

Week 12:

The year is 1300.  You are a senior officer whose lord has asked for some military advice. Describe the advantages and the difficulties of using a trebuchet in a siege.

Week 13:

ORAL PRESENTATION to be delivered in class (2-3 minutes each); your written script to be submitted in Canvas by 4:59 PM on TUESDAY:

You are a spy (male or female) in a castle.  What important information have you been ordered to discover?  How will you do this?  How will you get the information back to your lord? Draw on the assigned readings to create your identity and to answer the three questions. Your script must be written in the first person and should be 1-2 pages long. As in the mini-papers, your list of sources may be on page 3.

Week 14:

You are a lord or lady who is defending a castle against a strong attack. Describe your worst problem and how you might solve it.

Week 15:

You have been injured during a siege. Describe your injuries and their treatment.

 

Research paper (due in Canvas on the Thursday of Week 11, by 4:59 PM):

It is the year 1300. A lord or widowed lady has just died at his/her castle near the Scottish border. You are the lord’s/lady’s household steward, and it is your duty to go through the lord’s/lady’s correspondence, will, any other private papers, the physician’s bill(s), plans and costs for the funeral (either recently held or soon to take place), current household accounts, inventories of personal possessions, furnishings, current stores, horses and livestock, and review the current military situation and any pending legal matters, so that you can provide the heir with a full understanding of how affairs stand at the castle. Draw up a three-page executive summary of all this (being sure to mention the name and location of the castle, and the name of the lord or lady), and include seven of these documents, in full or extract (one page each). Your executive summary and seven documents (or extracts) should give a clear representation of the state of affairs of the lord or lady and of the castle: in good shape? recovering from previous difficulties? sliding into poverty or ill-management? well-organized and running smoothly? ill-managed and/or corrupt? threatened by war? peaceful and prosperous? Or what??

Document your paper with endnotes (parenthetical citations are not acceptable) and a bibliography (list reference works, primary sources, and secondary sources separately). The required documentation format to use is that of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). You will find links for this on my webpage, under Teaching>Documentation Guides (https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/documentation-guides/).

For a quick guide to the CMOS formats for endnotes and bibliography, see: https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html.