Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Rise of Kingship in Europe, C. 1000 - C. 1200
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 50 minute sessions
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 50 minute sessions
Seminars / Tutorials Individual 10-minute 'feedback tutorial' per written assignment submitted


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   (1 x 3 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  25%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  25%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   1 x 3 hour supplementary (resit) examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a firm understanding of current approaches to and on-going debates on the history of medieval Europe.

Demonstrate an understanding of the longer term historical questions of continuity and discontinuity in medieval Europe.

Demonstrate an ability to use and reflect critically upon a range of relevant primary and secondary material.

Demonstrate an ability to collect and analyse relevant historical evidence to produce appropriate arguments both oral (not assessed) and written.

Demonstrate an ability to work independently.

Demonstrate the skills appropriate to the study of the history of medieval Europe and produce work in a professional manner.

Brief description

Both as a concept and an institution, kingship defined medieval society. Yet what did it actually mean? How was it exercised and thought about? These are the key questions at the heart of this module. We will use a range of primary sources, from Anglo-Saxon England to twelfth-century Scandinavia, to consider the theory and practice of kingship. In fact, a central element of this module will be the thorough reading and discussion of a series of key texts, widely used and discussed throughout the European Middle Ages. Central themes will include the sacrality of kingship and the choosing of a monarch, and also the means by which he could be challenged and the varying attempts by contemporaries to define what specific functions of the office meant in practice (justice, piety, martial prowess).


Lectures (twice a week):
1. Introduction
2. Biblical, Classical and Patristic Sources
3. Early medieval kingship: the Carolingians
4. The Carolingian legacy? The Ottonians
5. Anglo-Saxon kingship: Alfred and his heirs
6. The emergence of kingship in Scandinavia and Hungary
7. The Investiture Controversy: a challenge to kingship?
8. New kingship: the case of Sicily
9. The rise of administrative kingship? England and France in the twelfth century
10. Kingship and conquest: the Iberian kingdoms, c. 1000 - c. 1200
11. The challenge to kingship (i): Magna Carta in context
12. The challenge to kingship (ii): the view from the Schools
13. The challenge to kingship (iii): the view from the court
14. The functions of kingship (i): justice
15. The functions of kingship (ii): piety
16. The functions of kingship (iii): martial prowess
17. The functions of kingship (iv): generosity
18. Conclusion

Seminars (once a week):
1. The Biblical and patristic legacy: I Kings, St Augustine, and Isidore of Seville
2. The Carolingians: Einhard's Life of Charlemagne
3. Anglo-Saxon kingship: Asser's Life of Alfred
4. Imperial kingship: Wipo's Deeds of Conrad II
5. The challenge to kingship: Sven Aggesen's Law of the Court
6. The challenge to kingship: Magna Carta and its legacy
7. Sacral kingship and royal saints: St Stephen and St Olav
8. Kingship in practice: Wipo, Otto of Freising, and the Chronicle of Battle Abbey on royal justice
9. Kingship in practice: The Dialogue of the Exchequer and Walter Map
10. Kingship in practice: Suger and the Deeds of Louis the Fat


To introduce students to a key period in medieval European history
To facilitate familiarity and engagement with medieval sources and the manner in which they are used
To encourage the acquisition of critical skills to be used to analyse relevant historiographical developments

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed..
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop an awareness of appropriate sources and historical literature associated with the study of early medieval Europe.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities..


This module is at CQFW Level 6