Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
HA32120,HY32220, HY32320, HY32520, HY32720, HY32920, HY33020, HY34120, HY34520, HA33320
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 1 x 2 hour seminar per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 source analysis (1,500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment 1 project (5,000 words)  60%
Semester Assessment 1 presentation outline (1,500 words)  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

be able to demonstrate familiarity with a body of historical knowledge in the field of European society in the Early and High Middle Ages

be able to demonstrate familiarity with comparative perspectives on the history of medieval Europe

be able to demonstrate an understanding of a range of approaches to the study of historical narratives from the Middle Ages

have further developed their ability to read, analyse and reflect critically on primary texts

have further developed their ability to construct and sustain historical arguments orally, and in writing, and to do so with reference to specific primary sources

have further developed their ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and to participate in group discussions. This will not be assessed.

Brief description

This course will explore how writers of family and other sagas in the thirteenth and fourteenth century painted an image of Iceland'r historical past. This will introduce students not only to some of the best (and most entertaining) pieces of literature surviving from the Middle Ages, but also to the ways and means by which historians can use literary methods and sources for the study of the past


This provides an introduction into the way historians use literary texts for the study of the past. It furthermore highlights the difficulty of distinguishing too clearly between history and literature in a medieval context.


1. Introduction
2. Narratology and Text
3. Laxdaela Saga
4. Egils Saga
5. Njals Saga
6. Gisli Surssons Saga
7. Characterisation
8. Feud & Justice
9. Honour & Status
10. Women

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be presented with some statistical data during the seminars and the appropriate use of such statistics will form part of the assessment of the written work.
Communication This skill will be developed through the two essays, the project and the seminar discussions. This will be assessed as part of the essay and project assessment.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given on improving students¿ research techniques and essay writing skills.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word process their work. These skills will not be assessed formally.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop written and oral skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a critical and clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation.
Problem solving Students will be expected to identify and respond to historical problems and carry out appropriate research before the seminars and before writing essays. This will be assessed as part of the assessment of the essays.
Research skills These skills will be developed through the research students are expected to carry out before the seminars and for the essays. This will be assessed as part of the assessment of the essays.
Subject Specific Skills Students will acquire the ability to study, analyse and discuss primary sources; in particular, they will learn how to use literary materials to discuss historical problems.
Team work Students will work together in seminar preparation and discussion


This module is at CQFW Level 6