MEMS in Mannheim 2013
Syllabus for MEM 3730: Explorations in the Holy Roman Empire

All assignments are provisional and subject to revision.

I. Required Texts

Texts that are underscored are accessible on the Internet. For off-campus access to the E-books, click here and download the VPN software, and then log on subsequently via the VPN

1. Michael Hughes, Early Modern Germany, 1477-1806 ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992).

2. Otis C. Mitchell, Two German crowns: monarchy and empire in medieval Germany ( Bristol, Ind. : Wyndham Hall Press, 1985)-- American Council of Learned Soceties E-Book.

3. The Nibelungenlied, trans. A.T. Hatto (Penguin Classics)

Numerous other Internet-based texts are indicated in the syllabus below


II. Syllabus

In the case of field trips, the instruction time, indicated parenthetically, does not include travel time to and from the destination
Texts that are underscored are accessible on the Internet. For offcampus access to the E-books, click here and download the VPN software, and then log on subsequently via the VPN

Week #1: Romans and (other) Barbarians

day #1: Introduction: Sidonius Apollinaris, A Civilized Barbarian and a Barbarous Roman ; the Roman past on the upper Rhine, 3-19 (2 hours)

day #2: Field Trip: The Empire and Church in Trier (ca. 3 hours in Trier + travel time)

day#3: Otis Mitchell, Introduction, pp.1-9 and Chapter #1: "Prelude to Germany: Frankish Ascendency and Legacy," pp. 10-17; discussion and review (2 hours)

Week #2: Empires, Old and New

day #1: The Carolingian Revival of Rome: The Preface to Otfrid's "Gospel Harmony", The Hildebrandslied;  the Annals of Lorsch; Einhard, The Life of Charlemagne (2 hours)

day #2: Field trip: The Imperial Castle in Nuremberg; Connections between the "Third Empire" (Third Reich) and the Holy Roman Empire: the (all day).

day #3:  Otis Mitchell, Chapter #2:  "Civil Conflict, Partition, and Disintegration," pp.18-22, Chapter #3: "From Shadow King to German Dynasty," 23-32, and Chapter #4: "The Investiture Controversy," pp.33-46;  The Annals of Xanten; Three sources on the Ravages of the Northmen in Frankland, ca. 843-912; Discussion and Review (2 hours).

Week #3: The High Middle Ages: Epics, Crusades, and Empire

day #1: Otis Mitchell, Chapter #5: "The Revival and Decline of Imperial Power," pp. 47-70;  Paul Crawford, "Crusades and Counter-Crusades" (The ORB Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies); Paul Crawford, "The Military Orders: Introduction" (read the introduction, the hyperlinked section on the Templars and the Teutonic Knights, and the treatise; Albert of Aix and Ekkehart of Aura, "Emico and the slaughter of the Rhineland Jews" (2 hours);   The Nibelungenlied, trans. A.T. Hatto (Penguin Classics).  (2 hours).

day #2: Fieldtrip: The Imperial Cathedral in Worms; the Medieval Jewish Cemetery; Nibelungen sites; Sites associated with Martin Luther's appearance at the Imperial Diet of Worms. (4 hours).

day#3: Midterm (2 hours)

Week #4: Reformations: Redrawing Maps, Rethinking Nations

day #1:  Michael Hughes, Chapter #2: “Germany on the Eve of the Reformation,” pp. 10-29 and Chapter #3: “The Reformation in Germany” (pp. 30-60); texts by Martin Luther, the 95 Theses and an Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, and The Freedom of a Christian. (2 hours). 

day #2:  Field trip: Strassburg: Strasbourg cathedral; the Louise Weiss Building, meeting place of the European Union (most of the day).

day#3: Michael Hughes, Chapter 4: “Peace and Polarization,” (pp. 61-84) and Chapter 5: “The Thirty Years War and its Consequences,” (pp. 85-113); discussion and review. (2 hours)

Week #5: Empire and Absolutism

day #1: Michael Hughes, Chapter 6: “Absolutism and Particularism” (pp.114-138) and Chapter 7: “Dualism and Reform: Germany after the Seven Years' War.” (pp.167-189) (2 hours)

day #2: Field trip: Exploration of the Mannheim Palace and the Jesuit Church (2 hours).

day#3:  Travel to Vienna.

day#4:   (Friday) Vienna: Morning: Schönbrun Palace; afternoon: Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (6 hours)

day #5: (Saturday) Vienna: Morning: Austrian Gallery Belvedere (3 hours); Afternoon: Free.

day #6: (Sunday) Return from Vienna.

Week #6: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the End of the HRE

day #1:  Michael Hughes, Chapter 7: Chapter 8: “The End of the Empire: Germany and the French Revolution.” (pp.167-189);  discussion and review (2 hours)

day #2: Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment”  and Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Tell (2 hours)

day #3: Final Exam  (2 hours)

III. Assessment

The midterm and final exam include short answer, identification, and short essay responses. Participation means readiness and willingness to engage in an informed way in class discussions, and an active engagement on the part of students to learn as much as possible about the places visited on the scheduled fieldtrips.

Midterm                40%
Final                       40%
Participation           20%