Skip to main content

Unit information: History in the Middle Ages (Level H Lecture Response Unit) in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name History in the Middle Ages (Level H Lecture Response Unit)
Unit code HIST30031
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Pohl
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This Unit explores the way in which people in the Middle Ages conceptualized the world and their Past. We will examine different types of historical writing and the different approaches they took in, for example, Chronicles, Histories, Annals, Biographies, and Gestae (Deeds). For example, what were the models for writing history? Did the future have a place in the writing of history? Why did some people write world chronicles and others national chronicles? What was the place of biography? We will explore these and other questions focused on material mostly from Western Europe to c. 1250.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed: (1) a broad understanding of the development of history writing in the Middle Ages; (2) the ability to analyse and generalise about how and why approaches to the writing of history evolved in the way they did; (3) the ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general issues and arguments; (4) the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically, and form an individual viewpoint.

Teaching details

1 x 2-hour interactive lecture per week.

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 3000 words (50%) and one unseen examination of two hours (50%). Both elements will assess ILOs 1-4.

Reading and References

  • Chris Given-Wilson, Chronicles: The Writing of History in Medieval England (2004)
  • Antonia Gransden, Historical Writing in England: c.550 to c.1307 (1974)
  • Monika Otter, Inventiones: Fiction and Referentiality in Twelfth-Century English Historical Writing (1996)
  • Gerd Althoff, Johannes Fried and Patrick J. Geary (eds.), Medieval Concepts of the Past: Ritual, Memory, Historiography (2002)
  • Michael T. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record: England 1066-1307 (1993)
  • Laura Ashe, Fiction and History in England, 1066-1200 (2007)