Medieval Europe: The Problem of Violence
9 units (3-0-6)
first, second terms
This course will explore how people understood violence in Europe between ca. 500 and ca. 1400 AD. It will focus on the various norms that governed the use of violence in a period when the right of free people to carry and use weapons was considered self-evident. Working through primary sources, students will explore the relationship between violence and vengeance, the law, central authority and public order, religion, emotions, public ritual, and economics. As they go along students will consider whether violence can coexist with or even promote stable, ordered societies, or whether it by definition creates disorder.
The online version of the Caltech Catalog is provided as a convenience; however, the printed version is the only
authoritative source of information about course offerings, option requirements, graduation requirements,
and other important topics.