Course Code
HIST 0870
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

This seminar tells the story of two rival dynasties, and their struggle for dominance in north-western Europe over the course of the central Middle Ages. In England’s case, moreover, this conflict was instrumental in creating one of the most celebrated documents in history: the Magna Carta. All in all, it is an exhilarating tale of politics, sex and violence in a world of knights and castles, peopled by some of the most interesting personalities of the time: figures like Eleanor of Aquitaine, Thomas Becket, Richard the Lionheart, St Louis, and so on and so forth. However, there is much more to it than the mechanics of state-building in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In this module, we will also look very closely at related themes, such as ‘Church and State’ in the Middle Ages; gender and the nature of queenly power; community, society and culture; and chivalry, crusading and holy war.