Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Studies

Explores the fascinating history, culture, and society of Europe and the Mediterranean in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Investigates essential themes, structures, and developments in the ancient and medieval worlds and the diverse methodologies scholars use to interpret them. Wrestles with big questions about the diversity of life and thought in pre-modern societies, the best ways to study the distant past, and the nature (and limitations) of knowledge about the long-passed eras. Considers a wide range of scholarly subjects such as the rise and fall of the Roman empire, the triumph of Christianity and Islam, the Vikings and Crusades, courts and castles, philosophy and religion, and the diversity of art, literature, and government. Ponders different types of evidence, reads across a variety of disciplines, and develops skills to identify continuities and changes in ancient and medieval societies. Serves as an excellent introductory subject as well as a springboard for future work in MIT’s Ancient and Medieval Studies curriculum.