21H.007J | Fall 2012 | Undergraduate

Empire: Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Studies


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session


This course is an interdisciplinary and comparative investigation of the Roman empire of Augustus, the Frankish empire of Charlemagne, and the English empire in the age of the Hundred Years’ War. Empires discussed were created, formed, sustained, and contested through conquests, art, economics, government, and literature. One of the goals of this course is to introduce participants to the field of mideval studies, using ancient empires as a case study. Though exploring different types of evidenence and a variety of readings, the course will cover what has happened int he field of mideval studies, and where it’s going.

Assessment and Grading

Class Participation 30
Paper 1 10
Revision of Paper 1 15
Paper 2 20
Paper 3 25

Class Participation: 30%

Your grade for class participation will be based on the following:

  1. Attendance: Your attendance is required at all of our meetings.
  2. Reading: You are required to complete all reading assignments in time for the meeting with which they are associated, as indicated on the schedule. You are also required to bring with you to class a copy of any reading that has been assigned.
  3. Active participation: You are expected to arrive at our meetings having completed all the reading and prepared to pose questions and actively to contribute to the discussion of the material covered that day.

Four Writing Assignments: 70%

Students will write a paper of 1,250 words length on each of the three imperial case studies that make up the course. In accordance with the regulations for CI-H subjects, students will also submit a substantially re-worked version of their first paper as an exercise in revision.

  • Paper 1: Session 8 (10%)
  • Revision: Session 12 (15%)
  • Paper 2: Session 17 (20%)
  • Paper 3: Session 26 (25%)

Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism—the use of another’s intellectual work without acknowledgement—is a serious offense. It is the policy of the Literature and History Faculty that students who plagiarize will receive an F in the subject, and that the instructor will forward the case to the Committee on Discipline. Full acknowledgement for all information obtained from sources outside the classroom must be clearly stated in all written work submitted and in all oral presentations. This includes images or texts in other media as well as materials collected online. All ideas, arguments, and direct phrasings taken from someone else’s work must be identified and properly footnoted. Quotations from other sources must be clearly marked as distinct from the student’s own work. For further guidance on the proper forms of attribution, consult the style guides available in the Writing and Communication Center, and the MIT Website on Plagiarism.

Policy on Late Submission of Papers

Unexcused late submissions will incur a penalty of one partial grade step (e.g., from A to B+) for each day late. Only serious and documented circumstances will be accepted as excuses (e.g. serious matters of health or other personal emergencies).

Policy on Laptop Computers in Class

You are welcome to use laptop computers in class to take notes or consult assigned readings on the course site. However, using computers to surf the web, write emails, update your Facebook page, etc. during class time will not be tolerated.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments