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Medieval and Renaissance Studies

"Medieval and Renaissance Studies" Course Cluster

It was during the period between 500 AD and 1650 that a distinctly European civilisation was forged. It was an age of faith in which people sought truth in ancient texts--both spiritual and secular--but this faith gave Europeans a sense of confidence and purpose which was not challenged until the Protestant Reformation.

But it was also an age of profound political, social and cultural innovation. This is the period that saw the beginnings of the modern nation state, the first stirrings of constitutional government and the emergence of modern notions of jurisprudence. It is the age when parliament and universities are born. Although most people were illiterate, it sees the rise of a distinctly popular style of literature--a literature of the people. And it is an age of profound technological innovation: mechanical clocks, banks, insurance, algebra, citizen armies, distilled liquor, law and medical schools, eyeglasses, women playwrights, polyphonic music, the modern calendar, navigational maps, golf and soccer all trace their origin to the Middle Ages.

This cluster invites students to consider this exciting and dynamic period from an array of different perspectives. In so doing, it will help students understand the social , political and  intellectual context that gave rise to some of the great cultural masterpieces of western civilisation.



  • Classics 101: Latin 1
  • Classics 102: Latin 2
  • Classics 342: Later Roman Empire (284-410)


  • English 255: Introduction to Shakespeare
  • English 275: Arthurian Literature
  • English 355: Shakespeare’s Comedies and Histories
  • English 356: Renaissance Literature
  • English 357: Renaissance Drama
  • English 358: Milton
  • English 455: Advanced Studies in Early Modern Literature
  • English 475: Advanced Studies in Medieval Literature
  • English 372: Chaucer
  • English 375: Middle English Literature
  • English 378: The Medieval Book

Fine Art:

  • Fine Arts 212: Medieval Art
  • Fine Arts 301: Renaissance Art


  • History 201: European Civilisation 500 BC-1648
  • History 303: Renaissance Europe
  • History 305: The European Middle Ages (500-1300)
  • History 310: Tudor England (1485-1603)
  • History 311: Science Magic, Witchcraft and the Occult in Premodern Europe
  • History 404: “Monsters, Gold, and Glory”
  • History 405: Crusades and  Crusading


  • Philosophy 248 (RS 284): Introduction to Medieval Theology and Philosophy

Religious Studies:

  • Religious Studies 286: Spiritual Journey of Christian Mystics
  • Religious Studies 331: History of Christianity to the Reformation
  • Religious Studies 376: Thomas Aquinas and the Thomistic Tradition.

Modern Languages:

  • French 401: Renaissance Literature
  • French 402: Le moyen-age
  • Spanish 405: The Legacy of the Spanish Mystics
  • Spanish 407: Spanish Medieval Literature
  • Spanish 415: Cervantes’ Don Quixote and the Formation of the Modern Novel
Richard Raiswell
Associate Professor
(902) 566-0504
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