History of the Medieval World

Full-year course. This world-history course explores the thousand-year span often referred to as the Middle Ages, covering approximately the time prior to the fall of the Roman Empire through the First Crusade. Topics include the disintegration of the Roman Empire; the rise of Christianity and Islam; and the intricate interplay between human society, culture, and the environment, encompassing climate shifts, disease outbreaks, and the utilization of natural resources. The curriculum delves into the formation and resurgence of distinct cultural spheres such as the Latin West, the Greek East, the Islamic World, as well as the Indic and far eastern cultural realms. By examining key processes of socio-cultural change and continuity throughout the first millennium, students will gain insights into the origins of the modern nation-state, the evolution of world religions, and the rediscovery of classical wisdom. 

Students complete weekly discussion questions or reading notes, and keep up a timeline, to measure understanding of overall historical material. Weekly open-book reading quizzes give students a chance to review key terms, concepts, and map identifications. Short response papers give students an opportunity to connect the significance of historical events to one another. Longer papers and comprehensive semester exams offer students the opportunity to identify and explain patterns in medieval history that may also appear in modern historical periods.



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History of the Medieval World Information




  • Example Syllabus
  • Class meets once per week for 50-55 minutes.
  • Class cap: 20 students.
  • Designed for grades 9-11.
  • High school students may be awarded 1 Social Sciences credit upon completion of this course.

Course Materials




  • Click here to purchase the course text.
    • The History of the Medieval World, Susan Wise Bauer


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