Courses

Below you find the course descriptions of Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The programme is divided in four differtent tracks and consists of compulsory courses, electives, an internship and a Master's thesis. Read more about the curriculum.  

General courses Year 1

The Potential of the Past: The Classical Tradition (compulsory)

This core seminar provides a theoretical and practical introduction to Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies by showing how traditions are continuously reinvented before being transmitted to a next generation. This course discusses the many layers that stand between us and an academic understanding of the pre-modern past, exploring, for example, how Romans reshaped classical Greek forms and ideas, how Medieval scholars built on the work of Late Antique Church Fathers, how Renaissance philosophers reshaped and merged Ancient and Medieval thinking and, finally, how a variety of classicist, neocolonial and postmodern notions have transformed (and distorted) these traditions in modern times.

Knowledge and Skills in Ancient Studies: Epigraphy

A large part of the primary source material for ancient historians consists of inscriptions: texts of varying length inscribed in durable material – most often stone, but also bronze, wood, pottery sherds and various other objects. These texts are written in either Greek or Latin, often in a local dialect, very rarely bilingual. Inscriptions are the archives of the ancient world, requiring not only language skills but also familiarity with the technical aspects of this evidence to be used properly. Every ancient historian needs to acquire basic knowledge and skills how to read and use inscriptions. The course is obligatory for RM students in Ancient Studies and prepares students for participation in the epigraphy courses of the Dutch Graduate School OIKOS. It is offered in two, separate groups, one for Greek, one for Latin epigraphy.
The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Knowledge and Skills: Medieval Palaeography

A series of reading exercises, enabling students to acquire the ability to read medieval scripts used both in single sheet documents and books. The texts are mainly written in Latin. Background is also provided on the systems of abbreviation and punctuation, on palaeography, diplomatic and chronology.

Career orientation:
Skills in transcribing medieval texts in manuscript, mainly in Latin.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

AMRS in Practice 1 (compulsory)

This is the third general course of the RMA program, and forms a unit with ‘AMRS in Practice 2’ (block 4). Both courses are concerned with theoretical approaches and practical skills relevant to the fields of Ancient, Medieval, Insular and Renaissance studies. (Strand 1) A series of bi-weekly lectures will enable students to get acquainted with various thought-out methods that are applied to investigate textual, material, social and intellectual phenomena and developments in the past. These approaches, like historical hermeneutics, gender and material philology, will be introduced and discussed by experts in the field. (Strand 2) Weekly workshops will allow students to acquire practical skills, such as applying digital tools, analyzing image-text relations and using reference works. Students will be required to choose a number of skills, and will be trained by teachers who are experienced practitioners of a specific skill. Assignments will be collected and graded in a portfolio.

AMRS in Practice 2 (compulsory)

This is the fourth general course of the RMA program, and forms a unit with ‘AMRS in Practice 1’ (block 3). Both courses are concerned with theoretical approaches and practical skills relevant to the fields of Ancient, Medieval, Insular and Renaissance studies. (Strand 1) A series of b-weekly lectures will enable students to get acquainted with various thought-out methods that are applied to investigate textual, material, social and intellectual phenomena and developments in the past. These approaches, like global history, orality and aurality, and digital text research, will be introduced and discussed by experts in the field. (Strand 2) Weekly workshops will allow students to acquire practical skills, such as using digitized manuscript collections, numismatics and reading primary sources. Students will be required to choose a number of skills, and will be trained by teachers who are experienced practitioners of a specific skill. Assignments will be collected and graded in a portfolio.

Research School OGK I (compulsory)

A course or tutorial on offer by the national research school of the student's affiliation, in the field of the student's research master. The contents of courses and tutorials will be made known by the research school; information will also be available from the research programmes' coordinator, whose names can be found under 'teachers' (although more often than not the actual teachers will be from other universities participating in a particular national research school).

OIKOS: http://www.ru.nl/oikos/rema/rema-curriculum/
OZS Mediëvistiek: http://medievistiek.nl/en/course/PhD-Rema-Opleiding
Huizinga: http://www.huizingainstituut.nl/onderwijs/rema-studenten/
Kunstgeschiedenis: http://www.onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl/site/index.php?page=edu-researchmaster&lngg=nl or http://www.onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl/site/index.php?page=edu-researchmaster&lngg=en
Posthumus: http://hum.leiden.edu/posthumus

Research School OGK II (compulsory)

A course or tutorial on offer by the national research school of the student's affiliation, in the field of the student's research master. The contents of courses and tutorials will be made known by the research school; information will also be available from the research programmes' coordinator, whose names can be found under 'teachers' (although more often than not the actual teachers will be from other universities participating in a particular national research school).

OIKOS: http://www.ru.nl/oikos/rema/rema-curriculum/
OZS Mediëvistiek: http://medievistiek.nl/en/course/PhD-Rema-Opleiding
Huizinga: http://www.huizingainstituut.nl/onderwijs/rema-studenten/
Kunstgeschiedenis: http://www.onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl/site/index.php?page=edu-researchmaster&lngg=nl of http://www.onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl/site/index.php?page=edu-researchmaster&lngg=en
Posthumus: http://hum.leiden.edu/posthumus

General courses Year 2

RMA Thesis Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (compulsory)

The central research question should be clearly formulated at the beginning and its relevance to scholarly discussions within the discipline set out. The body of the text should show how you went about trying to answer this question, why you proceeded the way you did, and what your findings were. In your conclusion you should analyse your findings in the light of your original question and explain the broader implications of your conclusions.
The thesis should be written in correct and clear English; it will normally be around 30.000 words long and may be no longer than 40.000 words (including notes and bibliography).
Students are expected to attend a series of Thesis Labs in preparation of writing their thesis. For more information and guidelines, go to the Research MA Office website: www.hum.uu.nl/ogc/rma
See for more information the relevant chapter on the Thesis in the course catalogue.

Cultural transfer I: Premodern Sources in Modern Contexts

This course offers a practical, hands-on approach to the many modern uses to which premodern textual and material sources and the scholarship surrounding them can be put in terms of knowledge transfer, with emphasis on how to reach wide audiences. Students train their writing and presentational skills in Dutch (and/or English) in order to be able to address various audiences in various formats and media. Every student selects a historic text or object that is specific to their track within AMR and on which they have worked previously (e.g. as part of a course or as part of a tutorial on translation). It is on that text or object that students will work during the course.

During the course the participants explore the different media that can be used for academic valorization, specifically online. We will discuss different examples from a variety of backgrounds and attain practical experience in making and applying different media such as online portals, videos and podcasts. To that end, every student will build a personal website on which (s)he presents the historic text or object of choice through a variety of media, textual and audio-visual.

Career orientation
This course trains students in composing Dutch or English texts that are geared towards presenting premodern source material (linguistic or otherwise) and the scholarship surrounding it for modern audiences.

Cultural Transfer II: Tangible and Intangible Heritage

In seminars the students will develop a small exhibition about medieval sources, intended for the Utrecht University Museum (a staff member of the museum will be one of the guest lecturers). In workshops the students will visit current projects of educational and heritage institutions (museums, archives, municipal services). The term 'heritage' will be interpreted in a broad sense (not only buildings and artefacts but also stories and songs (intangible cultural heritage)).

Career orientation
Students will get to know several institutions in the field of cultural heritage (e.g. museums, archive). They become acquainted with the policies of those institutions and will learn how these institutions get funding.The student will get an idea of the job market in the field of heritage education.

Cultural Transfer III: Theory and Practice in Archaeology and Monument Preservation

Cultural heritage management plays an important part in world politics and economy, affecting more areas than it seems. An important field it comprises is that of archaeological heritage: sites, monuments and artifacts of various types. Their value bears a direct relation to their transfer to different audiences: from school children to museum visitors and international tourists. Archaeological material often matters because of the value placed on it by the public. Thus, the role of heritage experts dealing with archaeological heritage is often to transfer it in the best way to specific audiences. However, archaeological material implies specific challenges: context (original and current), value (actual and perceived), source (legitimate or looted), and perhaps the most difficult question: whose heritage is it, anyway?
This course will present students with captivating case-studies related to the transfer of archaeological heritage, raising questions about the social, political and economic phenomena involved.

Master-Apprentice Elective I

There is no content available for this course.

Master-Apprentice Elective II

Working alongside a researcher in the field of Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The student takes the initiative of asking the researcher whether there is an opportunity to assist with a research project undertaken by the researcher. It is up to the researcher, as ‘master’, to accept the student as ‘apprentice’. An indication of the possibilities is provided in the current version of the Programme book of Ancient, medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Master-Apprentice Elective III

Working alongside a researcher in the field of Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The student takes the initiative of asking the researcher whether there is an opportunity to assist with a research project underetaken by the researcher. It is up to the researcher, as ‘master’, to accept the student as ‘apprentice’. An indication of the possibilities is provided in the current version of the Programme book of Ancient, medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Master-Apprentice Elective IV

Working alongside a researcher in the field of Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The student takes the initiative of asking the researcher whether there is an opportunity to assist with a research project underetaken by the researcher. It is up to the researcher, as ‘master’, to accept the student as ‘apprentice’. An indication of the possibilities is provided in the current version of the Programme book of Ancient, medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Work Placement Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies I

Getting acquainted with work and working conditions in jobs for which the Research MA Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies forms an excellent preparation. This includes work placements in continuation of the courses Cultural Transfer I, II and III (on offer in block 1).

Work Placement Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies II

Getting acquainted with work and working conditions in jobs for which the Research MA Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies forms an excellent preparation. This includes work placements in continuation of the courses Cultural Transfer I, II and III (on offer in block 1).

Knowledge and Skills Elective I

In-depth study of a topic in Ancient, Medieval or Renaissance studies, not catered for by any other topic on offer in the RMA AMRS. An indication of the possibilities is provided in the current version of the Programme book of Ancient, medieval and Renaissance Studies (https://issuu.com/humanitiesuu/docs/programme_book_rma_ancient_medieval?...).

Early exit option
Students who are required to return to their home university by the end of December, are allowed to complete the course by 'distance learning' (extra assignments, papers etc) in the month of January, receiving 5 ECTS for the course. Students must always make individual arrangements with the course coordinator before the start of the course.

Knowledge and Skills Elective II

In-depth study of a topic in Ancient, Medieval or Renaissance studies, not catered for by any other topic on offer in the RMA AMRS. An indication of the possibilities is provided in the current version of the Programme book of Ancient, medieval and Renaissance Studies (https://issuu.com/humanitiesuu/docs/programme_book_rma_ancient_medieval?...).

Early exit option
Students who are required to return to their home university by the end of December, are allowed to complete the course by 'distance learning' (extra assignments, papers etc) in the month of January, receiving 5 ECTS for the course. Students must always make individual arrangements with the course coordinator before the start of the course.

Track 1: Ancient Studies

Rome (compulsory)

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

The Greek Polis (RS2) (compulsory)

Ancient Greek society was defined by the polis, often translated as 'citizen-state' because of the importance that was awarded to (“bottom up”) citizen participation. Modern scholarship is divided, however, on the issue whether key institutions such as law and an administrative bureaucracy were sufficiently developed for the polis to be counted as a state, at least in the modern sense of the word. Some would go so far as to discount the existence of Greek statehood altogether, favoring the agency (entrepreneurship) and networking capabilities (associations) of private individuals. Arguing in the opposite directions, some scholars have sought to find the origins of our modern state in Ancient Greece.
This course surveys key aspects of the polis that might define it as a state in its own terms—though always in contrast with modern concepts of statehood. Particular emphasis is placed on the formal attributes (institutions) that were crucial to the practical operation of the polis. These included laws, political assembly, taxation, state offices and private or public associations, with a prominent place for the many religious cults that defined Greek social life. Various types of polis government are discussed, as well as rivaling tiers of identity, such as demes, federations (ethnē), amphiktyonies and panhellenic associations. Colonial foundations and warfare are, moreover, considered as a driving force in the development of the polis. The focus lies primarily on Archaic and Classical Greece, even though the origins of the polis are traced back to the Early Iron Age. Conversely, students will come away with a clear sense of the enduring importance of the polis in Hellenistic and Roman times. Source material includes epigraphical (documentary) and literary texts, but also archaeological remains and numismatic evidence.

Career orientation
Preparation for academic career, career in cultural sector

Late Antiquity (compulsory)

Late Antiquity is a crucial period in European history. This was a period characterized not just by major political changes or the rise of new religious movements. There were major systemic changes as well in the way in which both state and the emerging church went about their business, with far-reaching consequences regarding the social and cultural practices that stand at the very basis, to this very day, of what it means to be a European. In this course we will look at some of the overarching developments, trying to understand their importance, meaning and even relevance for today. We will also investigate why this particular field of scholarly research has seen such major developments over the last few decades. Finally we will look into new research methodologies in an effort to determine how these affect our current understanding of the period. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

The Hellenistic World: Cultural Encounters Between East and West (compulsory)

The Hellenistic Age was a period of intensified globalization. Between c. 330–150 BCE, the Macedonian empires of Alexander the Great and his successors created direct connections between the Mediterranean and Central Asia/India, vastly extending the pre-existing Achaemenid world of ‘global’ connectivity. People migrated over larger distances than ever before, and from Malaga to Samarkand, Greek was used as a language of intercultural communication. It was also in this period that the system of connected trade routes known as the Silk Road came into existence.

In the early nineteenth century, the Hellenistic period was defined in terms of acculturation, and questions concerned with interactions in art and religion between 'East' and 'West' continue to dominate research agendas. The modern understanding of these interactions however have undergone several radical paradigm shifts, and 'Hellenism' has become an increasingly controversial term that has often been associated with modern political issues.

This seminar introduces students to current debates about the historical and cultural developments that took place after the Macedonian conquest of the Persian Empire. The focus will be on Alexander the Great, the Diadochs and the Seleukid Empire. The main questions are:

1. What is an 'empire'?
2. What is 'Hellenism'?
3. What are 'East' and 'West'?

The focus will be on imperialism and Hellenistic Kingship. Using a variety of ancient sources, including coins, inscriptions and cuneiform texts, Students will be challenged to critically evaluate theories and models put forward by historians and archaeologists to make sense of the complex cultural and political entanglements of the Hellenistic ‘Age of Empires’.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Ancient Greek I

De student maakt kennis met nominale (naamvalssysteem, substantiva en adiectiva) en verbale (tempus, modus, diathese) vormen van het Grieks. Verder leert hij/zij syntactische structuren herkennen en verwerft zich een basisvocabulaire bestaande uit frequent voorkomende Griekse woorden. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Latin I

De student maakt kennis met nominale (naamvalssysteem, substantiva en adiectiva) en verbale (tempus, modus, diathese) vormen van het Latijn. Verder leert hij/zij syntactische structuren herkennen en verwerft zich een basisvocabulaire bestaande uit frequent voorkomende Latijnse woorden. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Ancient Greek II

De student bestendigt en vermeerdert zijn/haar kennis van de vormleer en de syntaxis van het Grieks, vergroot zijn/haar kennis van het vocabulaire, en doet ervaring op met het lezen van Griekse teksten, waarbij hij/zij het woordenboek leert hanteren. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Latin II

De student bestendigt en vermeerdert zijn/haar kennis van de vormleer en de syntaxis van het Latijn, vergroot zijn/haar kennis van het vocabulaire, en doet ervaring op met het lezen van Latijnse teksten, waarbij hij/zij het woordenboek leert hanteren. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Track 2: Medieval Studies

Research Seminar: Medieval History

During the research seminar students are acquainted with the methods developed in the discipline of Medieval History, with attention to the uses of sources and the debates current among scholars internationally. This is accomplished by the in-depth study of a topic, decided upon in advance.The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Master-Apprentice: Medieval Art

This 'master-apprentice' is intended for students who want to acquire in-depth knowledge of Medieval art, particularly of that the Low Countries. Students with a particular interest in manuscript illumination should contact dr. Martine Meuwese (M.L.Meuwese@uu.nl); those with a particular interest in architecture should contact dr. Merlijn Hurx (M.Hurx@uu.nl).

There are various ways to design this module. Together with the teacher, you can compile a bibliography and write a critical report, to be discussed in a conversation. You can also actively engage in the current research of your teacher, and write a report about your share and the critical issues you encountered; this report, too, needs to be discussed in a conversation.

Important to note: because of the nature of this module, there is no fixed schedule. You need to set this up with the teacher, whom you need to approach yourself after registration.

When you register for this module, please also send a notification to the programme coordinator, Victor Schmidt (v.m.schmidt@uu.nl).

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Medieval Literature

The modern concept 'literature' did not exist in the middle ages. This implies that when modern scholars talk about medieval literature, they are using an anachronistic term. There are several ways to cope with this problem. In this course the advantages and the disadvantages of the various approaches will be discussed and demonstrated by confronting medieval texts with modern scholarship.

Career orientation:
Communicational skills The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Advanced Medieval History

During the research seminar students are acquainted with the methods developed in the discipline of Medieval History, with attention to the uses of sources and the debates current among scholars internationally. This is accomplished by the in-depth study of a topic, decided upon in advance.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Master-Apprentice: Renaissance Art

This 'master-apprentice' is intended for students who want to acquire in-depth knowledge of Renaissance art, including that of the Low Countries, or that of Italy in its relation to the Low Countries.

There are various ways to design this module. Together with the teacher, you can compile a bibliography and write a critical report, to be discussed in a conversation. You can also actively engage in the current research of your teacher, and write a report about your share and the critical issues you encountered; this report, too, needs to be discussed in a conversation.

Important to note: because of the nature of this module, there is no fixed schedule. You need to set this up with the teacher, whom you need to approach yourself after registration.

When you register for this module, please also send a notification to the programme coordinator, Victor Schmidt (v.m.schmidt@uu.nl). The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Media and Persuasion in Premodern Europe

Persuasion is a crucial but also an elusive force in European premodern history. This course explores how individuals created, developed and applied forms of persuasion through different media of communication. It focuses in particular on textual, visual and oral media and the significance of the rhetorical tradition, for example preaches, songs, gossip, drama, pamphlets and images. We will address questions such as: how did rulers, writers, artists and preachers try to persuade their audiences? What is the significance of charisma? How can we study the persuasive power of historical sources?

Throughout the weeks, we will focus on a specific case study, i.e. the persuasive role of media in the Protestant Reformation. What persuaded 16th century people to follow this religious movement? To give this case study a broader historical framework, we will consider how medieval people dealt with persuasion in the late middle ages. All students will be invited to reflect actively on how media and persuasion are useful notions to analyse in relation to sources and situations pertaining to their own period and topic of specialisation.

​The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Medieval Written Culture I

An advanced course, in which the culture of writing in the Middle Ages is studied. After a general introduction, attention is paid to codicology, the relation between images and texts, early printed books, the study of MS fragments, editorial principles, and archival studies. There will be one excursion.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Medieval Written Culture II

An advanced course, in which the culture of writing in the Middle Ages is studied, more in particular the relationships between non-verbal, oral and written communication. There will be attention for pragmatic literacy as well. There will be one excursion.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Literature and Premodern Societies

This course is concerned with the ways in which the literatures of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period relate to their contemporary societies. We adopt a threefold approach. (Strand 1) Students investigate how medieval or early-modern society is represented in medieval and early modern texts. From this perspective we will, for example, look at the portrayal of members of the cultural elite, of city guilds, merchants and individual citizens in a variety of texts. (Strand 2) The second perspective focuses on the ways in which literature functioned in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Students will study the various relations between authors and patrons, will look at performance traditions, and will analyse literary texts that were meant to contribute to societal debates, or which, also in broader cultural terms, may be interpreted as investments in the circulation of social energy. (Strand 3) Medieval and Early Modern literatures will be studied from a diachronic perspective. Students will look at literary traditions and characteristics and will search for both continuities and ruptures in the development of literature in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period. On each occasion the question may be raised: Is it appropriate to distinguish between two distinct historical periods, or should we challenge their often divided academic status?

Latin I

De student maakt kennis met nominale (naamvalssysteem, substantiva en adiectiva) en verbale (tempus, modus, diathese) vormen van het Latijn. Verder leert hij/zij syntactische structuren herkennen en verwerft zich een basisvocabulaire bestaande uit frequent voorkomende Latijnse woorden. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Latin Culture of the Middle Ages

In this thematic course we study aspects of medieval culture through reading Latin source texts. Supported by the reading of secondary literature we read Latin representatives of medieval culture, concentrating on a literary genre (e.g, saints lives, letters, historiography) or on a specific concept (e.g. amicitial, citizenship).

The course counts as language requirement Latin for students in the RMA AMRS with sufficient elementary knowledge of the Latin grammar (BA2 level).

Career orientation: ​Analytical and professional skills.

Latin II

De student bestendigt en vermeerdert zijn/haar kennis van de vormleer en de syntaxis van het Latijn, vergroot zijn/haar kennis van het vocabulaire, en doet ervaring op met het lezen van Latijnse teksten, waarbij hij/zij het woordenboek leert hanteren. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Latin in Late Antiquity

The term ‘Late Antiquity’ denotes the period between c. 300-c. 600. We study the Latin language and literature in this period and concentrate on the transformation of classical traditions, innovations in the field of culture and religion (history of Christianity), and the development of the Latin language. Themes central to the course are (among others) citizenship and religion; corporality, death and afterlife; historiography; old and new Europe. The relevance of the authors we will read exceeds the period itself, therefore reception and transmission of the capita selecta will be part of the course.

The course counts as language requirement Latin for students in the RMA AMRS with sufficient elementary knowledge of the Latin grammar (BA2 level).     

Language Requirement I

This course, taught as a tutorial, follows up on the basic course introducing the language and its literature to students. As such, it delves deeper into both topics, aiming to gives students more exposure to the rich variety of texts present in the language. Taught as a tutorial, it introduces a medieval language (e.g. Old French, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, etc.) and its literature to students. Classes will be varied but will generally consist of translating texts, frequently with discussion of the primary literature and aspects of the pertinent secondary literature.

Career orientation
​Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Language Requirement II

This course, taught as a tutorial, follows up on the basic course introducing the language and its literature to students. As such, it delves deeper into both topics, aiming to gives students more exposure to the rich variety of texts present in the language. Taught as a tutorial, it introduces a medieval language (e.g. Old French, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, etc.) and its literature to students. Classes will be varied but will generally consist of translating texts, frequently with discussion of the primary literature and aspects of the pertinent secondary literature.

Career orientation
​Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Track 3: Early Medieval Insular Languages and Cultures

Latin I

De student maakt kennis met nominale (naamvalssysteem, substantiva en adiectiva) en verbale (tempus, modus, diathese) vormen van het Latijn. Verder leert hij/zij syntactische structuren herkennen en verwerft zich een basisvocabulaire bestaande uit frequent voorkomende Latijnse woorden. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Old Irish: Language and Culture 1

Old Irish is the Celtic language of Ireland between ca. 600 and 900 AD. It has an exceptionally rich and varied literature. The language is one of the most complicated languages in the world. It is the parent of the Modern Gaelic languages of Ireland and Scotland. This course offers an introduction to Old Irish grammar as well as a first survey of medieval Irish saga literature, and students will translate short texts from the Táin Bó Cúailnge, ‘The cattle-raid of Cooley'.

Career orientation
Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Paleography (Medieval)

Middeleeuwse boeken en documenten zijn handgeschreven. Daarmee zijn het objecten die niet alleen interessant zijn vanwege hun inhoud, ook de vorm zelf leert ons een heleboel over wat, wanneer, waar, door wie en voor wie ze gemaakt zijn. Het zijn objecten waarnaar je kunt leren kijken, net zoals schilderijen dat zijn voor kunsthistorici, of plantjes voor biologen. In deze cursus maken we kennis met de basisdisciplines van het leren kijken naar middeleeuwse handgeschreven boeken en documenten: de paleografie (de studie van de historische ontwikkeling van het schrift) en de codicologie (de studie van de materialiteit van het boek). We leren aspecten herkennen en interpreteren, we oefenen met het lezen en transcriberen van tekst, en met het doen van onderzoek naar latere gebruikssporen in handschriften. Ook besteden we aandacht aan een nieuwe en baanbrekende trend in het handschriftenonderzoek: de inzet van digitale middelen om handschriftencollecties te ontsluiten en verder te analyseren.

Het college heeft 2 bijeenkomsten per week, en voorts zullen we tenminste 1 maal naar een archief gaan, en 1 maal naar een handschriftencollectie om middeleeuwse materialen te zien.
Het college wordt afgesloten met een tentamen, waarin de vaardigheden van transcriberen, dateren en beschrijven worden getoetst. Daarnaast toetsen praktische opdrachten verschillende aspecten van het werken met middeleeuws handgeschreven materiaal.

Latin Culture of the Middle Ages

In this thematic course we study aspects of medieval culture through reading Latin source texts. Supported by the reading of secondary literature we read Latin representatives of medieval culture, concentrating on a literary genre (e.g, saints lives, letters, historiography) or on a specific concept (e.g. amicitial, citizenship).

The course counts as language requirement Latin for students in the RMA AMRS with sufficient elementary knowledge of the Latin grammar (BA2 level).

Career orientation: ​Analytical and professional skills.

Latin II

De student bestendigt en vermeerdert zijn/haar kennis van de vormleer en de syntaxis van het Latijn, vergroot zijn/haar kennis van het vocabulaire, en doet ervaring op met het lezen van Latijnse teksten, waarbij hij/zij het woordenboek leert hanteren. De student leert hypothesen op te stellen ten aanzien van hem/haar deels onvertrouwde materie, om vervolgens tot een synthese van de door hem/haar geraadpleegde bronnen en de collegestof te komen.

Old Irish: Language and Culture 2

In this course, students will receive further instruction in Old Irish grammar, expanding on the knowledge acquired during Old Irish 1. In addition, students will learn how to translate Old Irish texts; different poetic genres will be treated, as well as metre, rhyme and ornamentation; and students will receive further instruction with regard to literary genres, backgrounds and literary analysis.

Career orientation
Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Latin in Late Antiquity

The term ‘Late Antiquity’ denotes the period between c. 300-c. 600. We study the Latin language and literature in this period and concentrate on the transformation of classical traditions, innovations in the field of culture and religion (history of Christianity), and the development of the Latin language. Themes central to the course are (among others) citizenship and religion; corporality, death and afterlife; historiography; old and new Europe. The relevance of the authors we will read exceeds the period itself, therefore reception and transmission of the capita selecta will be part of the course.

The course counts as language requirement Latin for students in the RMA AMRS with sufficient elementary knowledge of the Latin grammar (BA2 level).     

Language Requirement I

This course, taught as a tutorial, follows up on the basic course introducing the language and its literature to students. As such, it delves deeper into both topics, aiming to gives students more exposure to the rich variety of texts present in the language. Taught as a tutorial, it introduces a medieval language (e.g. Old French, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, etc.) and its literature to students. Classes will be varied but will generally consist of translating texts, frequently with discussion of the primary literature and aspects of the pertinent secondary literature.

Career orientation
​Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Language Requirement II

This course, taught as a tutorial, follows up on the basic course introducing the language and its literature to students. As such, it delves deeper into both topics, aiming to gives students more exposure to the rich variety of texts present in the language. Taught as a tutorial, it introduces a medieval language (e.g. Old French, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, etc.) and its literature to students. Classes will be varied but will generally consist of translating texts, frequently with discussion of the primary literature and aspects of the pertinent secondary literature.

Career orientation
​Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Early Medieval History and Pseudo-history in the insular world I

Judged by modern standards, medieval history writing makes strange and prejudiced reading. Well before the boom that medieval historiography was to enjoy in the British Isles during the twelfth century, early medieval insular history writing was already laying the groundwork for modern historical historiography. Despite its often unabashed political and religious agenda, early medieval history writing provides vital information on the early history, politics and cultures of the British Isles. This course explores how early insular historians conceived of history and the purpose of history writing, the place of Christian religious belief in the interpretation of historical phenomena and the interaction between the historian's personal perception and the way that historical narrative is framed.

Career orientation
Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Early Medieval History and Pseudo-history in the insular world II

This course represents a thematic continuation of the previous course on History and Pseudo-history. As such much of the content description remains the same (see below). That said, while the previous course has a stronger focus on anchoring the students' linguistic abilities, here, the focus shifts to using those language abilities to read more advanced texts and to start treating those texts as sources of data for research.

Content (from Early Medieval History and Pseudo-history I):

Judged by modern standards, medieval history writing makes strange and prejudiced reading. Well before the boom that medieval historiography was to enjoy in the British Isles during the twelfth century, early medieval insular history writing was already laying the groundwork for modern historical historiography. Despite its often unabashed political and religious agenda, early medieval history writing provides vital information on the early history, politics and cultures of the British Isles. This course explores how early insular historians conceived of history and the purpose of history writing, the place of Christian religious belief in the interpretation of historical phenomena and the interaction between the historian's personal perception and the way that historical narrative is framed.

Career orientation
Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Early Medieval Insular Religion

Christianity came to the British Isles from different directions and in various stages of the early Middle Ages. Once the Christian tradition had taken root in insular culture, it developed a strongly missionary character. In this course we study the literary encounters of continental and insular culture through the prism of religion. To this end, we will study sermons, saint’s lives based on Christian apocryphal literature, and poetry. A central question in our work concerns the engagement of these texts and their authors with their audiences. Special attention will be paid to the vocabulary of persuasion applied by the authors and performers so as to shape their audiences according to their aims and convictions.
Sources:
- Latin and Old English sermons
- Old Irish and Latin apocrypha/saint’s lives
- Latin Poetry, Old English hymns

Career orientation
Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Early Medieval Insular Law

The theme of the course is: 'Equality and inequality in early Medieval law: social and ethnic dimensions'. In Medieval law, social status and ethnicity strongly determine legal status. Medieval law is defined by the interplay of a common Roman legal tradition and vernacular law. This will be illustrated by the comparison of a Latin law lext (Lex Salica) with an Old Irish text (Críth Gablach) and an Old English text (Laws of Ine of Wessex). Out of those three medieval languages, students select the language in which they are most proficient and translate passages from original texts in that language under the supervision of a language teacher. The translation forms part of a paper that addresses a specific aspect of medieval laws on status.

Career orientation
Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Track 4: Renaissance Studies

The European Renaissance in Interdisciplinary Perspective (compulsory)

The Renaissance is both a classic and controversial part of European history. Although historians have struggled to define and understand the phenomenon, few would deny that the term reflects a major development in cultural history of premodern Europe. This course, the core research seminar of the Renaissance Studies track, offers an interdisciplinary perspective on the phenomenon, exploring artistic, literary, intellectual and political developments in Europe and their interaction.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Media and Persuasion in Premodern Europe (compulsory)

Persuasion is a crucial but also an elusive force in European premodern history. This course explores how individuals created, developed and applied forms of persuasion through different media of communication. It focuses in particular on textual, visual and oral media and the significance of the rhetorical tradition, for example preaches, songs, gossip, drama, pamphlets and images. We will address questions such as: how did rulers, writers, artists and preachers try to persuade their audiences? What is the significance of charisma? How can we study the persuasive power of historical sources?

Throughout the weeks, we will focus on a specific case study, i.e. the persuasive role of media in the Protestant Reformation. What persuaded 16th century people to follow this religious movement? To give this case study a broader historical framework, we will consider how medieval people dealt with persuasion in the late middle ages. All students will be invited to reflect actively on how media and persuasion are useful notions to analyse in relation to sources and situations pertaining to their own period and topic of specialisation.

​The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

History of the Early Modern Book (compulsory)

This course provides a knowledge and skills base for RMA-students seeking to work with the early modern printed book in Europa. It gives a general overview of the advent, development and impact of the printing press, and introduces the students to different book historical debates, approaches and research fields. It will also show the importance of book historical research for other fields of early modern history. The course will be built around the three main fields of book historical research (production, distribution and consumption) and will explore, discuss and apply the current standards of research. It will deal, among other things, with the materiality of print, the reconstruction of print runs, the dissemination of knowledge via the printed book and the challenges of reconstructing readership. The course will also elaborate on relevant institutions (research libraries; book historical organisations), electronic tools (bibliographies; databases; search tools) and publications (journals; handbooks).

Please note:
Students from the RMA programme History and Philosophy of Science are welcome to participate in this course: please register in Osiris during the registration period in June. Students who are not admitted to either the RMA programme Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies or the RMA History and Philosophy of Science are in general not permitted to take this course without approval of the course coordinator.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Career orientation:
Bibliography (research libraries); Heritage; Publishing; Research

Literature and Premodern Societies (compulsory)

This course is concerned with the ways in which the literatures of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period relate to their contemporary societies. We adopt a threefold approach. (Strand 1) Students investigate how medieval or early-modern society is represented in medieval and early modern texts. From this perspective we will, for example, look at the portrayal of members of the cultural elite, of city guilds, merchants and individual citizens in a variety of texts. (Strand 2) The second perspective focuses on the ways in which literature functioned in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Students will study the various relations between authors and patrons, will look at performance traditions, and will analyse literary texts that were meant to contribute to societal debates, or which, also in broader cultural terms, may be interpreted as investments in the circulation of social energy. (Strand 3) Medieval and Early Modern literatures will be studied from a diachronic perspective. Students will look at literary traditions and characteristics and will search for both continuities and ruptures in the development of literature in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period. On each occasion the question may be raised: Is it appropriate to distinguish between two distinct historical periods, or should we challenge their often divided academic status?

Religion, Violence and Refugees in the Age of Shakespeare (compulsory)

This course introduces the student to the phenomenon of religious violence during the early modern period, and to the various ways in which this impacted European culture and society. It begins by introducing the student to the ways in which the literature and culture of Shakespeare’s England experienced the situation and fashioned a response to the Reformation across Europe. In the process, the student is introduced to the international dimension of the problem, and becomes aware of research opportunities in a broader European context (England, France, the Netherlands).

I. As its point of departure, the course takes the St Bartholomew Massacre of 1572, and studies this violent encounter between the Catholic and Huguenot factions of France in an international context. Attention will be devoted to the drama of Shakespeare’s contemporary, Christopher Marlowe, with a special focus on 'The Massacre at Paris' (1592).
II. It continues to study the social unrest created by the Reformation, with special attention devoted to the refugee problem. It does so with reference to 'The Play of Sir Thomas More' (1595), of which Shakespeare was one of the authors.
III. The course also looks at the beneficial effects of the refugee problem. It does so by studying the impact in England of Huguenot refugee John Florio, who translated Michel de Montaigne's 'Essays' (1603) from French into English.
IV. Finally, the course looks at the image of Islam in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It does so by taking as its starting point the literary image of the Turk in Shakespeare’s 'Henry V' (1599).

Examples will be offered enabling students to explore each of these 4 themes in greater detail: Religion as a theme in the drama of Christoper Marlowe ('The Jew of Malta' and 'Doctor Faustus'). The St Bartholomew Massacre in Dutch drama, including Lambert van den Bosch’s 'Carel de negende anders Parysche Bruyloft' and Reyer Anslo’s 'De parysche bloed-bruiloff' (1649). Queen Elizabeth and the refugee problem. Montaigne’s religion. The Turk in European literature and culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The course attempts to understand the early modern phenomenon of religion, violence and refugees in its contemporary contexts, but it also considers how our perception of these events may have been shaped by our own present day encounters with religious fanaticism, armed conflict and forced migration.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Language Requirement I (compulsory)

This course, taught as a tutorial, follows up on the basic course introducing the language and its literature to students. As such, it delves deeper into both topics, aiming to gives students more exposure to the rich variety of texts present in the language. Taught as a tutorial, it introduces a medieval language (e.g. Old French, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, etc.) and its literature to students. Classes will be varied but will generally consist of translating texts, frequently with discussion of the primary literature and aspects of the pertinent secondary literature.

Career orientation
​Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication

Language Requirement II (compulsory)

This course, taught as a tutorial, follows up on the basic course introducing the language and its literature to students. As such, it delves deeper into both topics, aiming to gives students more exposure to the rich variety of texts present in the language. Taught as a tutorial, it introduces a medieval language (e.g. Old French, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, etc.) and its literature to students. Classes will be varied but will generally consist of translating texts, frequently with discussion of the primary literature and aspects of the pertinent secondary literature.

Career orientation
​Honing of analytical skills
Professionalization of oral and written communication