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Learning and Society

Seminar Questions

  • How did changes in learning affect government and the law from c. 1100 to 1500?
  • How did intellectual changes influence the Church's relationship with the Christian people from c. 1100 to 1500?
  • Why was education important in the Middle Ages?


  1. Rules, regulations and structures: Rules, regulations and structures: Robert de Courcon: Statutes for the University of Paris, 1215 and Frederick II: Lictere Generales, establishing the University of Naples, 1224

2. Student life: Jacques de Vitry Students at Paris and Medieval students' songs

3. Learning outside universities: The case of a woman doctor in Paris (for more information on this source, see: M.H.Green, 'Getting to the Source: The Case of Jacoba Felicie and the Impact of the Portable Medieval Reader on the Canon of Medieval Women's History' MFF 42 (2006), pp.49-62)

Introductory Reading

Barber, The Two Cities, Chapters 16 and 17.

Bartlett, The Making of Europe, 198-220, 288-291

Power, The Central Middle Ages, 149-177

Waley and Denley, Later Medieval Europe, Chapter 1 'Government in the Later Thirteenth Century'.

Further Reading

Brooke, Rosalinde and Christopher, Popular Religion in the Middle Ages, Western Europe 1000 - 1300 (1983), esp. Chapters 5 and 6.

Brundage, J.A., Medieval Canon Law (1995), chapter 3.

Colish, M.L., The Medieval Foundations of the Western Intellectual Tradition (1997).

Clanchy, M.T., From Memory to Written Record: England 1066 -1307 (1993)

Clanchy, M.T., Abelard: A Medieval Life (1997).

Le Goff, Jacques, Intellectuals in the Middle Ages, trans. T.L. Fagan (Cambridge, Mass., 1993)

Moore, R.I., The First European Revolution (2000), chapter 4.

Morris, C., The Discovery of the Individual 1050 - 1200 (1987).

Murray, A., Reason and Society in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1985) [2002 ed online]

Piltz, A., The World of Medieval Learning, trans. David Jones (Oxford, 1981)

Price, B.B., Medieval Thought: An Introduction (Oxford, 1992)

Southern, Richard, Medieval Humanism and Other Studies (Oxford, 1970)

Benson, Robert, et al. (eds.), Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century (Oxford, 1982)

Haskins, Charles Homer, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century (Cambridge, Mass., 1927)

Swanson, R.N., The Twelfth-Century Renaissance (Manchester, 1999)

Vauchez, André, The Laity in the Middle Ages: Religious Beliefs and Devotional Practices (1993).

The Universities

Cobban, Alan B., The Medieval Universities (London, 1975)

de Ridder Symoens, Hilde (ed.), A History of the University in Europe, vol. 1, Universities in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1992)

Thorndike, Lynn (ed. and trans.), University Records and Life in the Middle Ages (New York, 1944; rept. 1972)

Wine, Women, and Song: Mediaeval Latin Students' Songs, ed. and trans. John Addington Symonds (London, 1884)