History 3363 - Fall 2013
Europe and the Mediterranean, c. 1200-1750

Room: Conwill Hall 108
Section 26444: TTh, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Instructor: Douglas Catterall

Office: 634 South Shepler Tower
Office Hours: T-Th 1-2P, 3:30-4:30P; W 9A-12p, 2-3:30 P.M.; F 8:30-10:00A
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 its shores and on the islands that populate it.  Chronologically we will move from the end of the crusades through to the middle 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 even 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) What became of the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies that dominated Iberian peninsula from 711 through 1492 (where the countries of Spain, Portugal, and Andora are now located)?

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, who lost, and who experienced the greatest impact?

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

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

We also place the greatest emphasis 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 Mediterranean Sea as a site for conduct of piracy and commerce.

3) The Spanish, Italian states and Barbary states involvement in the slave trade, from the 16th into the 18th century.

4) The history of Venice, the Ottoman empire and their areas of territorial competition such as Greece, Crete, and Rhodes, from the 16th into the 18th century.

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

Application of Contextual Knowledge:
Students will recall, appraise, and apply the explanatory value of factual knowledge related to:
U.S. History
European History
World History   

Synthetic Writing
Students will identify, organize, and assess conflicting interpretations and views of past events and issues with the historical profession.

Expository Writing
Students will construct and defend a sustained and coherent argument based on both primary and secondary sources.

Research Design
Students will define an appropriately focused topic, construct a defensible thesis, and effectively organize and document the defense of that thesis.

Texts and Other Aids

Major Secondary Works:

David Abulafia, ed., The Mediterranean in History (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2003) [Required: ISBN 978-1606060575]

Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2004) [Required: ISBN 978-1403945518]

Eric Dursteler, Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) [Required: ISBN 978-0801891052]

Molly Greene, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002) [Required: ISBN 978-0691095424]

Molly Greene, Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010) [Required: ISBN 978-0691141978]

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 (100 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.  Each of you will start with 10 points and you can earn up to 3 points for each day you come to class, depending on your contributions to class discussion and classroom activities.  No credit will be extended for partially-attended classes.

b. Class Chronikon (60 points possible):  To prepare you for the research paper and highlight particular themes in the course I will assign 6 short writing exercises that will each become blog entries for a class blog on the Mediterranean world that will effectively take the form of a chronicle of the Mediterranean c. 1500-1750, each of which will be worth 10 points  and be 1 typed, doubled-spaced page in length, written in Times Roman, 12-pt. font, and each of 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, but you will each be writing the "history" of a prototypical family from the Mediterrean world whose basic identity sketch you will choose by random lot in the second week of term, incorporating the readings associated with a given blog post in the process.

c. Meet the Prof (20 points automatic): 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 will be.  With that in mind, each of you MUST stop by my office during office hours to introduce yourself and discuss your paper sometime in the first three weeks of class, i.e. before the paper proposal comes due on February 5th.  This will allow me to gain a better sense for what your specific interests and needs are as they pertain to the course and provide a good opportunity to create a successful research process for your seminar paper.

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. *) near the date of the first day of that week.  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.

Seminar Paper (300 points): You will have to write a seminar paper on a topic related to some aspect of the Mediterranean and ideally tied to the family focus of your class chronikon work that uses a travel account and focuses on the everyday experiences of an individual or group over a 50-year period of the Mediterrean world's history c. 1500-1750.  I will make some chronicles or travel accounts available for general class use that you might find useful and you may also find that Google Books or the library will have others that I have not put on reserve.  You may also use interlibrary loan, but please note that this will take time so plan ahead!  The total value of the paper is 300 points of which 35-40 (depending on how long your rough draft is) will be earned as part of a drafting process and the remainder will be earned on the final draft.  To be allowed to turn in any part of the paper you will also be required to turn in a paper proposal.  In its final form, the paper must be 10-12 typed, double-spaced pages in length.  Your draft of 7 to 8 pages (35-40  points) will undergo a mandatory peer critique and a critique from me.  Failure to turn the draft in on time will result in an automatic loss of the points available for the draft, and writing drafts that are short of the minimum length will result in up to a 5-point deduction for each page you fall short of the minimum.  In addition, failure to participate in the in-class peer review will result in a 10% (30-point) deduction from the final paper score.  Due dates for the paper including the proposal and rough draft 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.

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: I communicate a lot via e-mail, but I use Blackboard to do so.   You will be automatically enrolled in the course Blackboard module, and all e-mail messages from me will then go to your CU e-mail account.

For those not aware of the basics of accessing student e-mail please read the following: "Students may easily access their CU email through AggieAccess by clicking on the email icon in the upper right corner after login. Please refer to http://www.cameron.edu/aitc/user_name.html for information about email addresses, usernames and passwords."

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.

Late Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive a letter grade, including drafts.  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 late and penalties specified for the assignment in question will be applied.

Late Class Chronikon Entries: No late entries 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.  You can do this by checking the participation mark column in Blackboard, which I will strive to update regularly.

Missed Reading Responses: There are no make-ups for reading responses, so please make a note of this.  Here again, though, each of you starts with a bonus and you have extra opportunities to earn your points in this area.  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.

Administrative Withdrawal: This instructor abides by the Cameron University Administrative Withdrawal Policy, which states that "if, during the course of the semester, a student's class average falls below a passing grade due to inadequate attendance" OR "if a student has not attended class for a sufficient period such that thirty percent of the evaluative material for the course has been missed and the drop/add period has expired," the instructor may request that you be administratively withdrawn from the course.

Early Alert: As encouraged by Cameron University, this instructor will use the Early Alert notification system.  Early Alert is a system for identifying students who are having difficulties in a given course.  The goal of the Early Alert system is not to penalize students, but rather to address problems—incomplete work, attendance, test scores, etc.—they may be experiencing. By addressing these issues early on in the semester, the hope is that students will be able to take the necessary steps to improve their standing.  Early Alert notifications will be sent to students as both an e-mail and as a physical letter.

Academic Dishonesty: The following statement encapsulates university policy on academic misconduct: "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."  Additional information is provided in the Cameron University Code of Student Conduct at: http://www.cameron.edu/student_development/student_conduct

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 policy for academic dishonesty in the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

a. The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required
of other students in the course;
b. The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of “W” or “F”;
c. 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

1-15* What is the Mediterranean World?
Read: The Mediterranean in History, 11-32.
What is the Mediterranean World?
Read: The Mediterranean in History, 33-65.
The "Prehistory" of the Early Modern Mediterranean
Read: The Mediterranean in History, 155-179.
The "Prehistory" of the Early Modern Mediterranean Read: The Mediterranean in History, 180-215.
1-29* Islam and the Mediterranean?
Read: The Mediterranean in History, 216-234.
Islam and the Mediterranean? Read: The Mediterranean in History, 235-249.
Turn In: Blog Post 1
2-5 Venetians in Constantinople: The Merchants
Read: Venetians in Constantinople, 1-22.
Turn In: Seminar Paper Proposal
Venetians in Constantinople: The Merchants Read: Venetians in Constantinople, 23-60.
Venetians in Constantinople: The Outsiders Read:  Venetians in Constantinople, 61-80.
Venetians in Constantinople: The Outsiders Read: Venetians in Constantinople, 81-102.
Venetians in Constantinople: The Outsiders Read: Venetians in Constantinople, 103-129.
Venice, Diplomacy, and the Ottomans
Read: Venetians in Constantinople, 130-150.
Venice, Diplomacy, and the Ottomans Read: Venetians in Constantinople, 151-187.
Turn In:Blog Post 2
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/>

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.

3-12* What did Slaves Do and How did the Live? Read: Christian Slaves, 69-135.
Turn In: Blog Post 3
3-14 Perceptions of Slavery in Mediterranean Europe Read: Christian Slaves, 139-193.
Turn In: Rough Draft of Seminar Paper
Spring Break--NO CLASS

3-21 Spring Break--NO CLASS
3-26 Ottoman Conquest of Crete Read: A Shared World, 3-44.
Do: In-Class Peer Critique
The Challenges of Governing Crete Read: A Shared World, 45-77.

Government on Ottoman Crete
Read: A Shared World, 78-109.
Turn In: Blog Post 4
Trade on Crete Read: A Shared World, 110-173.
The Slow Transformation of Cretan Society Read: A Shared World, 174-209.
State Actors in the 17th-Century Mediterranean
Read: Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants, 1-51.
Piracy in the 17th-Century Mediterranean
Read: Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants, 52-109.
Turn In: Blog Post 5
The Ottomans and Piracy
Read: Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants, 110-137.
Piracy and the Mediterranean in the Eighteenth Century
Read: Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants, 138-166.
Turn In: Blog Post 6
Piracy and the Mediterranean in the Eighteenth Century
Read: Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants, 167-232.
The Mediterranean in the 18th and 19th Century: A New Field of Competition?
Read: The Mediterranean in History, 251-282.
Final Examination Review
Turn In: Seminar Paper
Final Examination The examination will take place 8-10 a.m. and be held in the classroom in which we normally meet.

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