Fall 2017
Mr Lehmann
12:30-1:45 TTh Office Hours: 11-12 TTh OBA
East 213
East Hall 210, 5573, clehmann@usd.edu

This course treats the history of the European Renaissance and Reformation and the political and cultural history of Europe in the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries. Lectures, readings, discussions, and a term paper will introduce students to the leading figures, events, and ideas of the period as well as to methods of historical investigation.

Students must fulfill the following requirements: five short essays about the readings (10 points each) and midterm and final examinations (50 points each). Grading: of a total of 150 possible points, 135-150 = A, 120-134 = B, 105-119 = C, 90-104 = D. A student who expects to miss more than two meetings should consult the instructor before the third day of class.

ELECTRONIC-DEVICE-FREE CLASSROOM. Turn off and stow your electronic devices before the class begins. Students should attend all meetings, read all assignments, and participate actively in discussions. A student who expects to miss more than three meetings should confer with the instructor before the end of the second week. The instructor may drop students who cannot meet these requirements.

Follow this link to BOR- and college-mandated statements.

Students must have the following books, which are available at the bookstore or from your preferred vendor, by sale or rental. NB: Be sure to secure the specified editions except as noted.

Jonathan W Zophy, A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe: Dances over Fire and Water. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2009. 0136056288
You may use the third edition of this book (0130977640), much more cheaply available in used copies.

Johan Huizinga. The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Trans Rodney J Payton and Ulrich Mammitzsch. Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 1997. 0226359948

Pico della Mirandola. On the Dignity of Man, On Being and the One, Heptaplus. Trans Douglas Carmichael. Cambridge: Hackett, 1998. 0872203964

Machiavelli. The Prince. Trans Daniel Donno. New York: Bantam Books, 1966. 0553212788

Erasmus and Luther. Discourse on Free Will. Trans Ernst F Winter. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. 1780938233

Natalie Zemon Davis.  The Return of Martin Guerre.  Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ Press, 1984.  0674766911


Recommended: Kate L Turabian. A Manual for Writers. 8th ed. Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 2013. 0226816389


Write essays four to five pages long about each of the following readings. Keep the following issues in mind as you read, then compose essays that respond in general terms to the questions. The essays will constitute the starting point for in-class discussion. Each essay must include proper parenthetical citation (author, page number) for each instance of an idea referred to or passage quoted. Quote sparingly or not at all. Include a proper bibliographic citation at the end of your paper. For all matters of style follow Turabian, Manual for Writers and the history department writing guide. Students who want full credit must submit these essays in class on the assigned days.

  1. Huizinga, Autumn of the Middle Ages, chs 1-6, 12-14
    The first English translation of this book bore the title Waning of the Middle Ages. Read the book carefully for the author's theme; think about why he called his period an autumn. In your essay argue that the first translator did a disservice to Huizinga or that the new translators did so when they restored the equivalent of the Dutch word for autumn.
  2. Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man
    The remarkably successful reconciliation of classical, pagan thought and Christian religion distinguishes the Renaissance. Use Pico's argument to show how such a reconciliation could happen.
  3. Machiavelli, The Prince
    Does Machiavelli have a positive or negative view of human nature? Does he think any kind of absolute moral order exists in the world to guide human conduct? How should the prince, his subjects, and political theorists judge the prince's actions?
  4. Erasmus and Luther, Discourse on Free Will
    Identify the two or three main issues that separate Erasmus and Luther in their debate. How significant do you consider the differences? Could you reconcile the differences, if not the debaters?
  5. Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre
    How was Arnaud able to assume Martin's place? Think less of Arnaud's cleverness and more of the conditions that made people, esp Bertrande, accept him as Martin.


22 Aug Introduction: What are the Renaissance and Reformation? (Zophy ch 1)
24 Aug Chronology and Sources
29 Aug The Medieval Background (Zophy chs 2-3)
31 Aug Disc: Huizinga, Autumn of the Middle Ages
5 Sept Political History of Renaissance Europe (Zophy chs 4, 8)
7 Sept Renaissance Humanism of the South (Zophy ch 5)
12 Sept Disc: Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man
14 Sept The Northern Renaissance (Zophy ch 9)
19 Sept Renaissance Political Thought
21 Sept Disc: Machiavelli, The Prince
26 Sept The City Republic and the Ideal of Liberty
28 Sept The Age of Exploration and Discovery
3 Oct

Renaissance Art (Zophy chs 6-7)

5 Oct Renaissance Architecture
Slides: Renaissance Architecture and Art
12 Oct Historiography of the Reformation
17 Oct Ecclesiastical Corruption and Late Medieval Reforms
19 Oct Luther’s Discovery of Solfidianism (Zophy ch 10)
24 Oct The Monk, the Prince, the Emperor, and the Pope (Zophy ch 11)
26 Oct Discussion: Erasmus and Luther, Discourse on Free Will
31 Oct Zwingli and Anabaptism (Zophy ch 12)
2 Nov Calvin (Zophy ch 13)
7 Nov The Reformation in France and England (Zophy chs 14-15)
9 Nov Reformation Political Thought
14 Nov The Catholic Reformation (Zophy ch 16)
16 Nov The Religious Wars (Zophy, ch 17)
21 Nov Disc: Return of Martin Guerre
23 Nov No class: Thanksgiving Break
28 Nov Advances in Science and Technology (Zophy ch 18)
30 Nov Baroque Art and Architecture
5 Nov Catchup and Review
Monday 11 Dec

12:30 - 2:30 pm: FINAL EXAMINATION