Popular protest in late medieval Europe c.1200 - c.1450 HIST4187

  • Academic Session: 2015-16
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

From primary sources in translation - chronicles, literary works, and archival sources such as the Patent and Close Rolls - the course will explore the forms and ideology of popular revolt - leadership, modes of communication, symbols, and uses of violence - as well as the forms of repression and violence of the state. It will examine how social relations changed and how subaltern classes may have influenced the development of the state, usually studied exclusively from the sources and views of the elites.


Taught weekly in a three-hour class with a short break in between two 90 sessions

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of the honours programme in year three.

Excluded Courses





Assessment will be conducted by the submission of two essays (2000 words each, and 10% each), two seminar papers (6% each, c1500 words), assessment of in-seminar performance (2 c 4%), and by two 120 minute exams, one on core materials and the second on historical questions more generally. The exam consists of two papers equally weighted at 30% of the assessment for each paper

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims common to all History Honours Special Subjects are as follows:

■ To prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills which will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.

■ To show students how a professional historian works.

■ To familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).

■ To ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised.

■ To encourage students to develop the confidence, imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research, or in any sphere of employment where these qualities are valuable.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

■ Analyze primary sources to draw original interpretations about historical events and patterns of historical change

■ Evaluate from historical sources to what extent sociological models of revolt can be applied to the medieval past

■ Reconstruct from the primary sources networks of rebels, their modes and symbols of communication, their ideas and how these changed over time

■ Engage with confidence in historiographical debates about popular protest and the development of the state in various territorial settings across Western Europe.