Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Ritual, kingship and power in Norman and Angevin England: methods, sources & actors (Part 2)
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Open examination  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment (Resit) Essay  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment (Resit) Open examination  2500 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

demonstrate an understanding of comparative approaches towards the history of England;

demonstrate an understanding of a range of approaches, political, social and cultural, to the study of how politics worked in what has been termed a ‘stateless’ society;

demonstrate an understanding of the role of ritual, symbolic communication, and bureaucratic tools of power in the conduct of elite relations in high medieval England;

demonstrate an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts, including contemporary historiographical, administrative and religious writings;

demonstrate an ability to apply modern categories of analysis critically and thoughtfully to the medieval evidence;

demonstrate an understanding of key concepts like ‘justice’, ‘the public, and ‘honour’ in relation to a specific historical context;

Brief description

This module will explore how politics were conducted in England under the Norman and Angevin kings (1066-1272). How did people define their political status? How were conflicts settled, how were complaints and criticism voiced? What were the standards by which political actions were judged in ethical and moral terms? This module will, furthermore, seek to place England within a broader European context by tracing and highlighting how similar issues were dealt with in other parts of the contemporary Latin West. In this module, we will build on the foundations explored in HQ33120, and consider in more detail what norms and values actually meant: what did honour, for instance, mean? What was justice? How did a public function? What was the relative significance of administrative and symbolic means of communication? How did these work in practice? These questions will be discussed based on the sources and methodologies discussed in HQ33120, and will include a mixture of thematic sessions (see the list below), and of case studies, designed to bring together diverse strands and phenomena.


This provides an essential introduction into the study of medieval political culture, and reflects current research interests of staff members involved.


1. The tools of power (i): networks and friendship
2. The tools of power (ii): councils and assemblies
3. The tools of power (iii): rituals and symbolism
4. The tools of power (iv): administration and bureaucracy
5. Case study: the court
6. Norms of power (i): justice
7. Norms of power (ii): honour and prowess
8. Norms of power (iii): largesse and generosity
9. Case study (i): rebellion and resistance
10. Case study (ii): coronations

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 Primary source analysis; applying comparative historical
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