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ME3223   The Rise and Fall of the Carolingian Empire, c.750 - 900

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: See

This module deals with the history of the Carolingian dynasty, who ruled the last pan-European empire of the middle ages, stretching from Brittany in the west to the frontiers of what is now Hungary in the east. Beginning with the spectacular conquests and cultural reforms of the emperor Charlemagne, the module traces the transformation and ultimate disintegration of the empire under his descendants. Why did the empire collapse? And even more importantly, what held it together in the first place? Central themes include the construction and maintenance of royal power through ritual, history-writing and iconography; the ethos of the aristocracy; warfare and the impact of the Viking raids; the development of the office of queenship; exploitation of the peasantry and economic change; and the importance of the period for the emergence of Europe.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass at least 60 credits from {ME1003, ME1006, ME2003, HI2001, MH2002}

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 2-hour seminar, plus 1 office hour.

Scheduled learning hours: 20

Guided independent study hours: 280

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 60%, Coursework = 40%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 60%
Practical examinations : 13%
Coursework: 27%

Re-assessment: 4,000- to 5,000-word essay = 100%


Module teaching staff: Dr R Cimino