John S. Ott
Department of History
Portland State University
HST 453/553 – The Medieval City
Due in class between Tuesday, October
24, and Tuesday, October 31 (inclusive)
- Papers should be around 5 pp. in length, typed, double-spaced, and
have a title, page numbers, and your name.
- You do not need to append a bibliography or list of works cited.
- You are invited to consult my style guide,
which explains what I look for in thesis writing, my system of paper marking,
and tips on the stylistic and grammatical conventions one must often employ
in writing about the medieval past.
- Reference to works cited may be made parenthetically in the text,
in one of the following forms: (Galbert, Murder, Betrayal, and Slaughter
of Charles the Good, 187; “End of the Ancient City,” 23) OR (Galbert,
187; Liebeschuetz, 22). After the first citation of a source, it may be
truncated. Thus: (Murder, 186; “End,” 22). Footnotes are neither
needed nor required, but if you prefer to employ footnotes, you may.
- Papers must argue and support a thesis, while drawing on as many
texts as you feel are necessary to support your case, but you must use at least three primary and one secondary source(s), which
may include the Nicholas textbook. One of the primary sources MUST BE Galbert
Late paper policy
Late papers will be accepted until November 28, but
will be marked down according to the following timetable (This includes weekends.).
Exemptions from the late paper policy and/or paper extensions will be given
only in cases of genuine and demonstrated need, and only in advance of the paper due date.
Students are directly responsible for ensuring that their papers get safely
into my hands. If you rely on putting your paper in my mailbox or sliding
it under my door, check to see that I received it. Also, it is neither my
desire nor my responsibility to print off papers sent to me as e-mail attachments.
I will accept only hard copies of all student papers, although I will allow
students to e-mail their papers to me as an attachment in order to verify
the date on which they completed it (in the case of papers submitted after
the due date), with the expectation that they will furnish me the hard copy
as soon as possible.
1-2 days late: 1/2 grade step -5/100 points)
3-5 days late: 1 grade step (-10/100 points)
6-10 days late: 1 grade step plus 1/3 (-13.5/100 points)
11+ days late: 2 grade steps (-20/100 points)
Also, the following conditions apply:
- Late papers will automatically go to the bottom of the grading pile;
- Instructor makes no promises that late papers will be graded in a
timely fashion, whereas papers turned in on the due date will be returned
in a timely fashion;
- Instructor does not guarantee that late papers will receive any comments
other than their assigned grade; papers turned in on time will receive a
full written assessment and evaluation.
In the course to date, we have examined the description, development, and
morphology of late antique, early, and high medieval cities (from Antiquity
down to about 1150) from a variety of perspectives, emphasizing their importance
as symbolic and monumental spaces, as multi-faceted social entities (communities
of citizens, inhabitants, traders, subjects, etc.), as nodes of exchange and
commerce, as built environments with a specific set of physical characteristics,
as political centers, and as geographical and territorial centers. For your
essay, using a minimum of four sources we've
read (see above), one of which must
be Galbert of Bruges, I would like you to consider one of the
following two questions:
(1) In what ways, and to what extent, were European and Mediterranean cities
prior to 1200 integrated into the broader social, political, cultural, and
economic worlds around them? Were they generators or transmitters of broader
social change, reflectors of wider social change, both? What did being a
citizen (cives) in an urbs or civitas entail in the premodern world? What
values were attached to this status? You are encouraged
to examine and compare the role(s) and condition(s) of cities over time
(for example, cities from prior to the fourth century C.E. with those from
400-900 C.E. or 950-1150) C.E. Be mindful that some cities -- Rome, for
example -- might be atypical in terms of their development, scale, and economic
(2) In what ways were cities recognized as privileged spaces in the wider
early medieval landscape? What forms did that privilege -- or sense of privilege
-- assume? What factors seem to have contributed most to the formation /
foundation of these privileges, and how was the sense of the urban community
as a privileged space expressed by the residents of medieval towns?