Epic, Romance, and the Love of God: Medieval France and England
Course Description and Book-list
"Epic, Romance, and the Love of God" is an
interdisciplinary course in medieval studies. It is
intended as a semester-long elective for 12th-graders or
There are three main goals of this course. The principal
is to familiarize students with major trends in
literature, philosophy, and politics in Western Europe
(primarily France and England) during the Middle Ages.
With better knowledge of this diverse period of
foundation for the West, students will gain richer
understanding of social structures in subsequent ages,
including our own. The second goal is to improve
students' analytical skills in reading prose and verse
and in writing. To this end we will concentrate, both as
a group and in individual meetings, on skills of
composition. Finally, the course will make use of
electronic resources as tools for research and to
encourage full engagement with the central texts and
issues of the course. While students become comfortable
exploring different media and sources of information,
both in the library and via computerized channels, they
also will learn to be critical evaluators of those
sources and to use research skills effectively and
The requirements are as follows:
Students should have personal copies of the following texts:
- frequent short writings, both in class and in
preparation for discussions
- three (3) papers of approximately five (5) pages
each (an approved independent project may be substituted
for the final paper)
- a final exam
- a consistently maintained portfolio of all
assignments (can include notes from class, reading, and
brainstorms) to be submitted at the final exam,
in order to trace and reward progress
- attendance in every class and active participation
Use of reference books such as those found on the
Electronic Reference Shelf
is expected. Owning personal, printed copies of similar
texts is strongly urged, and students may be referred to
them in conjunction with any part of the course, though
most probably with writing assignments.
- Beowulf. Trans. Burton Raffel. New York: Mentor.
- Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Trans. Nevill Coghill. Ed. Betty Radice. New York: Penguin Classics.
- Chretien de Troyes. Arthurian Romances. Trans. and ed. D. D. R. Owen. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle (Everyman).
- Christine de Pisan. The Book of the Duke of True Lovers. Trans. Thelma S.Fenster and Nadia Margolis. New York: Persea.
- Dahlberg, Charles, trans. The Romance of the Rose. By Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. Princeton: Princeton UP.
- Fiero, Gloria K., Wendy Pfeffer, and Mathe Allain, trans. and ed. Three Medieval Views of Women. New Haven: Yale UP.
- The Rule of St. Benedict in English. Ed. Timothy Fry, OSB, et al. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press.
- The Song of Roland. Trans. Frederick Goldin. New York: Norton.
Writing Assignments |
Alternative Projects |
Epic, Romance, and the Love of God