Search results - From Civilisation to Barbarism? Western Britain in the Early Middle Ages
|Dates||Tue 2 Oct to Tue 4 Dec 2012|
Time of meeting: 7.00-9.00pm
Number of meetings: 10
|Application status||Course ended|
|Course contact||If you have any questions about this course, please email email@example.com.|
OverviewDid collapse, crisis, and ‘Celtic’ culture characterise post-Roman western Britain? How Roman was ‘British’ society during the 5th - 7th centuries AD? We will consider a broad range of sources to explore ‘Dark Age’ life in the West.
DescriptionThe few primary written sources emphasise rebellion and chaos in Britain ‘after the Romans’. ‘Saxon’ mercenaries, settled as protection against ‘barbarian’ raids, are depicted as treacherously driving Britons westwards and overseas, inflicting massacre and enslavement upon those unable to escape. Although some survivors are portrayed as clinging to Roman traditions, others are censured for rejecting this way of life. But do other forms of evidence support these versions of events? This course will examine a range of sources (including archaeological material, genetic analyses, and linguistic studies) to explore daily life during this significant and fascinating era. Comparing changes seen on the ‘Romanised’ fringes of the region, with those in the ‘Celtic’ West, we will reconsider the apparent ‘descent’ from classical ‘civilisation’ into ‘barbaric’ Medievalism, investigating the influence of the pre-Roman and Roman past, and of Irish and Northern British, Continental, and Mediterranean culture, in the development of post-Roman communities.
Programme detailsWeek 1: Introduction: into the ‘Dark’? The end of Roman Britain
Week 2: Unpopulated cities? Urban collapse and continuity
Week 3: Vacant villas and hilltop hideouts? Rural settlement
Week 4: Burial, ritual, and religion: Christians and ‘heathens’
Week 5: Trade and technology: cultural exchange and influence
Week 6: Art and 'early Welsh' literature: ‘Celtic revival’ and the ‘Heroic Age
Week 7: Written sources: 'conquest and ruin'?
Week 8: Politics and power: ‘tribes’, civitates, and kingdoms
Week 9: Field trip: Early Medieval Gloucestershire
Week 10: ‘Barbarians’ and ‘Britons’: remaining Roman, becoming British, and Saxon supremacy
Dark, K., Britain and the End of the Roman Empire
Esmonde Cleary, S., 2000 The Ending of Roman Britain
Faulkner, N., Decline and Fall of Roman Britain
Laing, L., 2006 The archaeology of Celtic Britain and Ireland, c. AD 400-1200
Snyder, C., An Age of Tyrants
Dr Kirsten Jarrett
Kirsten Jarrett specialises in Roman and early Medieval south-west Britain, and the archaeology of identity; she has taught for Nottingham...more
Course aimsCourse Aim:
To provide an overview of Western Britain during the Roman to Early Medieval transition, by exploring historical debates surrounding ‘crisis’ and ‘collapse’, ‘Roman continuity’, and the ‘revitalisation’ of ‘native’ culture.
1. To examine social, political, economic, and cultural changes that characterise Western Britain during the Roman to early Medieval transition
2. To investigate the range of cultural influences affecting the development of post-Roman culture and society in Western Britain
3. To evaluate historical interpretations relating to the region during the period, by critically appraising a range of historical sources
Assessment methodsAssignments will be based on work covered during teaching sessions, and will involve evaluation of sources and data, copies of which will be distributed to students as handouts and worksheets. Students will be provided with two alternative options for assessed work, to be undertaken outside the class. Option A is comprised of a series of four exercises, each requiring a written answer of approximately 250 words. Option B is comprised of a single written assignment, the topic to be selected from a list of essay or project reports topics.
Teaching methodsA variety of teaching and learning methods will be employed during the course, with a combination of tutor presentations, seminars, group discussions, and group activities. An excursion to a 5th century settlement and ritual site in Western England will provide the opportunity for field study. PowerPoint will be used, in conjunction with handouts (presenting primary sources, including inscriptions and other written sources), archaeological material (including artefacts, replicas, case study reports and archive data), and online resources. In preparation for each class, students will be encouraged to undertake home study, in order to familiarise themselves with both primary and secondary sources.
Teaching outcomes1. Describe the main social, political, economic, and cultural changes that characterise Western Britain during the Roman to early Medieval transition
2. Discuss cultural influences affecting the development of post-Roman culture and society in Western Britain
3. Appraise historical interpretations relating to Western Britain during the period, by evaluating a range of relevant historical sources
- Programme Fee
- EU Fee: £165.00
- Non-EU Fee: £165.00