History 3363 - Fall 2008
Europe and the Mediterranean, c. 700-1750

Room: Nance Boyer 3009
Section 0748: TTh, 2-3:15 p.m.

Instructor: Douglas Catterall

Office: 634 South Shepler Tower
Office Hours: TTh, 1-2 and 3:30-4:30 p.m.; W,  10 a.m.-12 p.m.; and by appointment
work telephone: 581-2949
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Goals and Approach:
This is a course that thinks of history in terms of how people interacted with one another, as opposed to focusing mainly on events, a particular period of years, a single country, or even a single culture.  One of the main ways in which people had contact with one another was through maritime zones, usually defined by major bodies of water, and that is why the focus of this course is the Mediterranean Sea and the cultures that grew up along it.  Chronologically we will move from the fall of the Roman empire through to the end of the 18th century, a period in which interactions in the Mediterranean often meant Muslim societies of North Africa and the Near/Middle East that occupied the territory that nowadays collectively comprises the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Isreal/the Palestinitan Authority, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey, trading, fighting, sharing ideas with, and migrating to those portions of the Mediterranean now occupied by Spain, France, Italy, the states of the Balkan peninsula, and Greece.  These peoples also ventured into the Black Sea to states where we now find countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, the Ukraine, Georgia, etc. and we will discuss their activities there as well, albeit to a lesser extent.

To cover this fairly large region we will focus on answering particular questions:

1) How and why did the Iberian peninsula (where the countries of Spain, Portugal, and Andora are now located) become host to multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies and why did this come to an end in the 16th century?

2) How did Italian city-states, especially those with a maritime presence, become powerful not only in Italy but across the Mediterranean and into the Black Sea region what caused the decline in their influence?

3) To what extent did religious and ethnic as opposed to political conflict define relations between Muslims and Christians and how did Muslim and Christian societies approach the challenge of organizing societies with a dominant culture and many sub-cultures?

4) What drove slavery in the Mediterranean, i.e. who benefited and who lost?

5) How did religion and the state mix in the Mediterranean world?

6) What were the major intellectual forces stirring in the region?

We also focus on a limited number of places to answer these questions in order to make our task more manageable: 

1) the Iberian peninsula, with an emphasis on those regions that we now identify as Spain, from the 5th through to the 16th century.

2) the Italian city-state of Genoa, from the 10th to the 16th century.

3) the slave trade as conducted by Italian states and the Barbary states, from the 16th into the 18th century.

4) Venetian/Greek/Turkish interactions on the Island of Crete, from the 17th into the 18th century.

This course will provide you with opportunities to improve in the following three areas of intellectual endeavor:

Contextual Knowledge:
In this course you will improve your knowledge of the events, historical actors, and transformational trends that unfolded in Southern Europe c. 700-1750 and pertained to the development of socities and communities in the Mediterranean.  In particular you will learn about 1) major changes in intellectual endeavor and their broader influences on European societies; 2) some of the crucial shifts in religious belief and practice and their broader impact on Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East; 3) the basics of the social, economic, and political events of this era; 4) an understanding of the political and social institutions of the major states in the region; and 5) a better sense for how peoples in the region interacted with one another.  You will gain information on these topics by reading, evaluating, discussing, and writing about the books and in-class readings assigned for the course and by writing the various papers and shorter writing assignments as well as the final examination that the course requires.

Historical Thinking and Research Skills:
Since this is a seminar in which our main goal will be to understand how different historians have tried to understand complex historical phenomena, you will improve your ability to evaluate conflicting interpretations of past events and issues. You will do this in two ways: 1) by contributing to discussions
in class, which is a major component of the course grade, and 2) by writing/composing the various papers, projects, in-class essays, and final examination that form the writing component of the course. All of the papers in this course are tied in some way to the research process that historians typically use.  In order to write these papers you will thus learn how to engage closely with primary and secondary source materials.  We will also discuss how historians have tried to relate their work to that of other historians (historiography); how they have used sources to explore the past (methodology); and how historians deal with the complex task of defining change, continuity, and the causes behind each.  Thus, you will be thinking about how to conduct, organize, and present research by examining and discussing how others have done these things and you will gain a knowledge of the terms and categories that historians use when they practice their craft.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to experience the research process as you write your primary and secondary source-based papers.

Texts and Other Aids

Major Secondary Works:

Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2003)

Steven A. Epstein, Genoa & the Genoese, 958-1528 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996)

Molly Greene, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000)

Chris Lowney, A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Primary Sources and Related Readings:

Additional source hand-outs and readings as needed.  Most of these will come in two forms: 1) journal articles or book chapters that will be put on reserve at the CU Library or be online accessible and 2) printed  primary sources needed for the two papers in the course which will be available either as e-books through the CU Library web-portal or from the class reserve at the CU Library.

All of the above readings will be required for the course. They are all, apart from the supplementary materials listed under "Primary Sources and Related Readings,"available at the CU Bookstore, although I do not require that you buy them there.

Requirements: Course work consists of three elements: participation, which consists of several elements; formal writings; and an essay-based final examination.

Participation (150 points):
a. Discussion (112 points possible): This is an upper division course run largely as a seminar.  Participation in discussion is therefore mandatory and your grade will suffer if you do not participate.  You can earn up to 4 points for each day you come to class apart from review days and quiz days, depending on your contributions to class discussion and classroom activities.  No credit will be extended for partially attended classes.

b. Working Papers (60 points possible):  To prepare you for the two papers I will assign 4 short writing exercises (Working Papers), each of which will be worth 15 points and be 1 typed, doubled-spaced page in length, written in Times Roman, 12-pt. font and which must be properly footnoted (see me before starting an assignment if any of these standards are unclear).  The emphasis will vary from paper to paper.  Often I will be asking you to write up a brief analysis of the main point of a section or sections of the reading in question.  In other words, I won't want just a summary, but an actual discussion of what's going on in the piece.  Other papers may require something slightly different.

c. Meet the Prof: As this is a discussion-based course, the better I know each of you, and the better each of you knows me, the more effective our time in the classroom with be.  With that in mind, I ask that, at some point during the first few weeks of term, each of you should stop by my office during office hours to introduce yourself .  This will allow me to gain a better sense for what your specific interests and needs are as they pertain to the course.

d. Credit for Participation: A perfect score in participation is 150 points.  Thus you need a minimum of 135 for an A, at leasts 120 for a B, at least 105 for a C, and 90 points for a D.  Anything less than that is an F.

Reading Responses (150 points): There will be eight reading responses taken at the beginning of those class-days on which they are given, each of them worth 20 points and which should be no more than a full written page, but not less than a half page depending on the size of your handwriting and the concision with which you express yourself.  You may not earn more than 150 points total, but since performance on the reading responses can vary there are 10 extra points' worth of opportunities to earn that maximum of 150 points and everyone will start out with 10 points.  Weeks during which you will be set a reading response are marked below with an asterisk (i.e. *).  One of the two days of a given week, which I will choose, will be designated for a reading response, but I will not give out that information in advance.

Reaction Papers (300 points): You will have to write two focused essays/reaction papers on a topic related to two of the four major books assigned for the course.  The first of which will have a value of 175 points and the second of which a value of 125 points.  Paper #1 will be your design for one room in a museum or archival exhibit space that must coherently link together 10 different artifacts that you identify in a primary source related to the material covered in units 1 or 2 and will also present an overall interpretation of what links the artifacts together.  You will have the option of doing this in an essay of 6-8, double-spaced pages in length or as a Powerpoint presentation of at least 25 to 30 slides.  Paper #2 is to be 4-6 typed, double-spaced pages in length and will focus on the major work we read this term, Robert Davis's Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters.  Papers are to be typed in Times Roman font with a 12-pt. pitch and must be appropriately footnoted (please see me before writing a paper if you have questions about these standards).  Due dates for the papers are listed below. General guidelines, including my expectations for a paper, are to be found by clicking on the hypertext in this sentence. Specific guidelines for the papers will be provided and linked to this syllabus in a timely manner.  To find them click on the hyptext for Paper #1 or Paper #2 as appropriate that you find immediately below and to locate source materials in the CU Library Reserve click the hypertext for the class archive:

Paper #1: The "Archaeology" of Biographies, Chronicles, and "I" Documents in the Medieval Mediterranean

Paper #2: Understanding Change in the Early Modern Mediterranean: How Europeans Coped with Captivity

Class Archive

Final Examination (150 points): There will be a comprehensive, essay-based final examination.

Grading Breakdown:

Course Component
Component Point Value
Reading Responses & Reaction Papers
Final Examination 150
Total of All Categories 750

Calculation of your mark: In this course 750 points is a perfect score.  Thus an A requires a minimum of 675 points, a B at least 600 points, a C at least 525 points, a D at least 450 points.  Anyone earning less than 450 points fails the course and earns a mark of F.  PLEASE NOTE: I WILL NOT DISCUSS MARKS WITH STUDENTS ONCE REGULAR CLASSES HAVE ENDED UNTIL GRADES HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED.

General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  

Attendance: As noted above, regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  I would also like to note that frequent lateness in coming to class and frequent early departures will also be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor.  I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such. 

Student Email: Student email accounts and other services may be found at http://studentmail.cameron.edu The User Name Construction link provides information about user names and passwords. Students should check their Cameron email regularly regardless of whether or not they have other email accounts. A student who wishes to be contacted at an address other than Cameron email should be sure to keep a current preferred address on record in MyCU.

Preparation: All assignments for a given day, whether reading or writing, are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and discussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Paper Submission Procedure: All papers receiving academic grades (i.e. papers or formal writings) for this course will be submitted via the CU Turn It In portal.  Instructions for how to do this will be forthcoming in good time for the submission of the first paper.  No paper submission of such work will be acceptable so do not ask.

Late Papers/Formal Writings: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive a letter grade.  All papers that are submitted at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time.  Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete and submit the work, the paper will receive a zero.

Late Working Papers: No late working papers will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class and your marks on informal writings and I have designed the grading system to allow you a "head start."  Thus, as long as you manage to achieve the necessary points for participation, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation, I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand for yourself so that you know whether or not you are achieving the  level of participation for which you are hoping to receive credit.

Missed Quizzes and Examinations: There are no make-ups for any quizzes or in-class essays given as part of this course.  Please make a note of this.  A make-up for the final examination is granted to the student solely at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.

Academic Dishonesty: Each student is expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach.  Students are expected to maintain complete honesty
and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, will be subject to disciplinary action.  Additional information is provided in the Cameron University Code of Student Conduct http://www.cameron.edu/student_development/student_conduct/As per Section 4.07 of the CU Student Handbook: "Each student is expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach.  Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty¦ will be subject to disciplinary action."  For examples of academic dishonesty please see the full version of Section 4.07 at: http://www.cameron.edu/student_development/student_conduct/academic.html

Among the most serious offenses a student can commit is plagiarism, which is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions.  Instructions on the basics of citation may be found under the general guidelines for papers and can and should be consulted before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not choose to examine this page, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in Sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;

2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or

3) The student's grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure. 

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement: As per the Office of Student Development, "It is the policy of Cameron University to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law.  Students with disabilities who need classroom accommodations must make their requests by contacting the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209, North Shepler Room 314."

Website for this office:


Schedule of Readings, Topics, Assignments, and Activities

List of Topics
Readings, Assignments, and Activities
Introduction & Get Acquainted

8-21 What is the Mediterranean World and Why Begin with Iberia?
Read: Karl W. Butzer et al., "Irrigation Agrosystems iin Eastern Spain: Roman or Islamic Origins?," Annals of the Association of American Geography 75, no. 4 (1985): 479-485, 500-501 (Available through the Academic Search Elite or JSTOR databases at the CU Library or via the web anywhere if you have the proper login information)
The Iberian kingdom of the Visigoths & Early Muslim Iberia
Read: A Vanished World, 1-42.
Early Christian Responses to Muslim Society on the Iberian peninsula
Read: A Vanished World, 43-78; Jessica  A. Coope, "Muslims and Christians in Spain" in Expanding Empires: Cultural Interaction and Exchange in World Societies from Ancient to Early Modern Times, edited by Wendy F. Kasinec and Michael A. Polushin (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 2002): 115-132. (CU Library Reserve).

The Revival of Northern Iberia
Read: A Vanished World, 79-102.
The Fall of the Emirate of Córdoba and the Aftermath

9-9* The Fall of the Emirate of Córdoba and the Aftermath Read: A Vanished World, 103-142.
Turn In: Working Paper #1
Jewish and Muslim Contributions to the World of Letters and the Renaissance
Read: A Vanished World, 143-190.
9-16 The Changing Cultural Landscape of Iberia: Fernando III and Alfonso X
Read: A Vanished World, 191-225.
Why did convivencia end?
Read: A Vanished World, 227-261.
The Rise of the Italian peninsula
Read: Genoa, 9-19.
The Rise of Genoa
Read: Genoa, 19-53. 
Turn In:
Working Paper #2
Genoa Comes Into Its Own
Read: Genoa, 54-95.
Genoa and the Mediterranean World
Read:  Genoa, 96-139.
Turn In: Working Paper #3
Genoese Politics and Culture in the Late 13th Century
Read: Genoa, 140-187.
Turn In: Working Paper #3
Political Conflict and Plague
Read: Genoa, 188-227.
The Renaissance in Genoa
Read: Genoa, 228-270.
NO CLASS--Fall Break

10-21* The Decline of Genoa
Read: Genoa, 271-323.
10-23* Shifts in Mediterranean Trade and Politics After Genoa: the Rise of Spain, the Ottomans, Venice, and the Barbary Corsairs and the Rise of the Captive Narrative Read: Anne G. Myles, "Slaves in Algiers, Captives in Iraq
The strange career of the Barbary captivity narrative,"  Common-Place 5, no. 1 (2004) at <http://www.common-place.org/vol-05/no-01/myles/>
10-28 The Size of the Slave Trade and How it Worked Read: Christian Slaves, 3-26.
The Taking and Making of Slaves
Read: Christian Slaves, 27-65.

What did Slaves Do and How did the Live?

Read: Christian Slaves, 69-135.
Turn In: Paper #1, rough draft
Perceptions of Slavery in Mediterranean Europe Read: Christian Slaves, 139-193.
The Rise of the Ottoman empire and the Decline of Venice in the Mediterranean and the Northern European Interlopers
Read: Selection from Linda Colley, Captives, 73-98. (CU Library Reserve)
Turn In: Paper #1, final draft (may be turned in on 11/15 for full credit)
Ottoman Conquest of Crete
Read: A Shared World, 3-44.
 The Challenges of Governing Crete Read: A Shared World, 45-77.
Government on Ottoman Crete Read: A Shared World, 78-109.
Turn In: Working Paper #4 (may be turned through midnight on 11/23 for full credit)
Trade on Crete Read: A Shared World, 110-173.
NO CLASS--Thanksgiving Holiday

The Slow Transformation of Cretan Society Read: A Shared World, 174-209.
Final Examination Review
Turn In: Paper #2
Final Examination The examination will take place 1-3 p.m. and be held in the classroom in which we normally meet.

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