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@c. corning.  Bath Abbey

Specific primary documents and questions will be assigned to augment topics discussed in lecture. Please see below or the lecture schedule for specific dates. Each response must be 1-2 or 2-3 pages long depending on the topic. Responses are worth 20 points. Discussions are due during class and students must specifically refer to the documents to receive full credit.  Please cite using in-text citations (author or title and paragraph number if available) or footnotes.  Failure to include citations will result in a loss of points.

All documents are from your sourcebook unless indicated

Discussion 1- Anglo-Saxon Christianity (2-3 pages) 12 September
Old English Exodus
The Dream of the Rood

1. These poems both reveal glimpses into Anglo-Saxon Christianity. Examine the ways in which these poems reflect the values of this society. How have these stories been altered for a Anglo-Saxon audience?

Discussion 2- Alfred the Great (in class only) 19 September
Asser, Life of Alfred, parts 1 and 2

1. This document is not simply history, but propaganda as well. Looking at this document, what did society value and admire in its leaders?

Discussion 3 - Norman Invasion (2-3 pages) 26 September
*Harold's Visit to William (4 versions)
*Edward the Confessor's deathbed nomination of Harold (3 versions)

*Harold's Accessions to the English throne (4 versions)

William the Conqueror invades England - version 1

William the Conqueror invades England - version 2

Battle of Hastings - version 1

Battle of Hastings - version 2

William of Malmesbury, Battle of Hastings

The documents above represent almost all of the source material we have for the Norman Conquest and concern the important issues of who was the rightful king of England in 1066 and why the English were not successful in defeating the Normans at Hastings.

1. Break these documents into the following sections 1) Harold's visit to William 2) Harold being chosen as king and the type of king he was 3) the Battle of Hastings and why the English were defeated. Looking at these documents outline where they agree and disagree regarding what occurred.

2. How important are the differences found in the above documents? Which specific questions are difficult to answer giving the source material available.
Discussion  4- Jews in Medieval England (in-class only) 8 October

The Persecution of the Jews
Crusades and the Persecution of the Jews

Innocent III: Letter on the Jews

King John of England and the Jews

Lateran IV: Canon 68

English Law and the Jews

Gregory X: Letter on the Jews

Removal of Jews from Certain Towns to Others

Jews Expelled from England

1. Discuss the situation of the Jewish community in the Middle Ages.  What justifications are given?

Discussion 5 - Nobles, Church and Crown (2-3 pgs) 15 October
Constitutions of Clarendon

Assize of Clarendon

Magna Carta

Additional documents will be handed out

1. Outline the arguments for the crown, nobles and church. In what areas are they willing to acknowledge the power of the others?

Discussion 6 - Peasants Revolt (2 pgs) 5 November
Medieval Revolutionary

Beginning of the Peasants' Revolt

English Peasants Rebel Against Feudalism and Wealth

King Richard Fails to Meet the Peasants at Blackheath

Angry Peasants March on London

King Richard Confronts the Peasants at Mile End, versions 1 and 2

King Richard Confronts the Peasants at Smithfield

1. Outline the demands of the peasants. While the king did agree to meet these demands, he quickly went back on his word. Could Richard have reasonably granted any of the demands of the peasants?

2. How do the documents present events in order to put the peasants in a negative light?

Discussion 7 - Joan of Arc (in class only) 12 November
The Trial of Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc before the French King

First Letter from Joan of Arc to the English

Joan of Arc enters Orleans

Victory for the French at Orleans - Version 1

Victory for the French at Orleans - Version 2

1. By all accounts, Joan was exactly what history has remembered her as - a common peasant girl, who believing she was sanctioned by God, convinced Charles to grant her troops which she led to victory against the English. One of the difficulties in a series of events such as this is dealing with the fact that Joan of Arc believed she heard angels and saints who gave her messages from God. As Christians and historians how do we assess this? How do we analyze the motives and seemingly miraculous events of Joan's life?

Discussion 8 - Reformation (2 pgs) 21 November
Queen Elizabeth's
Proclamation to Forbid Preaching, 1558
Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity, 1559

The Injunctions of 1559

Act Against the Jesuits and Seminarists, 1585

Act Against the Puritians

1. Looking at these documents, what aspects of society and religion was the state attempting to control?

2.  What are the limitations placed on Catholics and Puritans?
3.  Why are non-Anglicans perceived as such a threat in this period?


Discussion 9 - Stewart England (2 pages) 10 December
Documents will be handed out

1. All of these documents discuss the civil war.  Analyze the different reasons presented for why England descended into civil war.