The Rise of Chivalry: War and Chivalric Culture in Britain and France, c1000 - c1300 HIST4189

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the nature and development of the chivalric culture of the aristocracy in France and Britain. It explores the extent to which warfare was governed by conventions relating to the taking of prisoners, siege and the treatment of non combatants, and traces the growth of key chivalric institutions such as knighthood, the ceremony of dubbing and the tournament.


Lectures on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-11. Seminars will be arranged to suit students

Requirements of Entry

The standard requirements for entry into Honours History.

Excluded Courses



No co-requisites required.


70% for 1 two hour exam (2 questions)

20% for 1 essay of c. 2000 words

10% for seminar work, divided as follows: 6% for the presentation of the seminar paper submitted and 4% for overall seminar contribution.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims, common to all the History Honours courses, are as follows:


i) to develop the intellectual and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years;


ii) the opportunity to study previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options;


i) the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness;


i) to introduce complex historical debates and interpretations, to develop skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research;


ii) to encourage the development of transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


i) an understanding of the nature of chivalric culture and institutions in Britain and France between c. 1000 and c. 1300.


ii) the ability to grasp the more conceptual issues of contemporary notions of chivalry, honour and conduct in war, as demonstrated in a range of primary and secondary texts, and to evaluate changes and development in these notions.


iii) an awareness of the importance of the primary source material and an ability to analyse it constructively in understanding this period.


iv) the ability to evaluate historians' opinions on the basis of an intensive study of the secondary literature.


v) the ability to present relevant analysis in unambiguous, concise and effective prose, incorporating a range of substantiating evidence in essays, seminar papers, and a written exam.


vi) an aptitude in leading and participating in seminar discussions devoted to selected primary and secondary sources, and in delivering analysis clearly and effectively in oral presentations and in group discussion.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.