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University Degree: Medieval History

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 6
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    If sodomy/homosexuality was 'unmentionable' in the Middle Ages, how can we write its history?

    5 star(s)

    Of the secondary evidence available to us through the study largely of gender, again, caution is important. Often, the writing must be seen as promoting a particular point of view. It is my belief that this essay will highlight three key issues. Firstly, the study of homosexuality in the middle ages is vital for the understanding of the evolution of gay culture. Secondly, that what we term as homosexual in the Middle Ages varies enormously with today's concepts of being gay.

    • Word count: 3250
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Did the state of the English Church by the 1530s mean that it was "ripe for reform"?

    4 star(s)

    If it is reasonably clear how the reformation evolved in England it is far more uncertain why these changes occurred. There is a spectrum of explanation for the reformation, ranging from pure political events as the cause to the conversion of the population at the other extreme. Although it would be unwise to claim that only one of these was prevalent, historians have disagreed as to which is the most significant. If the government was predominantly responsible for the events of reformation this would not indicate that the church or its ideology was in any sense in a poor state that demanded reform.

    • Word count: 1714
  3. Marked by a teacher

    What were the main causes of population decline in England from the beginning of the fourteenth century?

    4 star(s)

    of the wealthy and the monks who kept detailed records which although useful is frustrating as they are hardly likely to be representative of the population as a whole. Though they are useful as a guide, if their death rate increases it is likely the rest of the countries did too though by what rate it is difficult to know. Hatcher describes the sources as "hard to win and treacherous to interpret."2 The best quality sources are monastic records whose problems I have already described.

    • Word count: 2669
  4. Marked by a teacher

    T o what extent does the Demographic Transition Model provide a reliable and accurate representation of Europe's demographic past? What are the main problems of measuring the chief variables in the model?

    4 star(s)

    Stage One (UK pre 1760) is characterised by high birth rates, high death rates and slow rates of population growth, occurring in a traditional, agricultural society. Population levels fluctuate somewhat but there is no steady growth. There is a lack of medical care or sanitation and little use or access to birth control. Large families have cultural and religious value and are needed for agricultural labour. Mortality decline precedes fertility decline. Thus stage two (UK 1760-1880) indicates increasing rates of demographic growth, typical of a modernising society beginning the process of industrialisation.

    • Word count: 3238
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Response to Pandemic Death: The Black Death in Europe

    4 star(s)

    Europe spent the majority of the fourteenth century in an economic slump; small villages were becoming overcrowded, famine weakened the lower and middle classes, and the general public was not in a state of well being (Zeigler 32). Famine was a result of poor farming due to erosion, extreme cold weather, and inability to properly take care of the land (33). Death due to starvation skyrocketed with the rapid increase in population and the inability to feed them (34). There small wars being fought from the British Isles to the eastern most parts of Europe where the Black Death was said to originate (Mullet 21, Janis, McNeill 159).

    • Word count: 3237
  6. Marked by a teacher

    The second industrial revolution.

    3 star(s)

    Economical issues on Productivity and technology The second industrial revolution witnessed the growth in some industries of huge economic of scale and throughput and was a new kind of industrialization, a "revolution" affected in large part by the partnership of science and technology. New material, new sources of power, and the application of scientific knowledge to industry increased rapidly the productivity. For example, steel was almost a semiprecious material with a world production of eighty thousand tons, but by the year 1900 the production had reached 28 million tons.1 Electricity was a major new form of energy that proved to

    • Word count: 1692
  7. What impelled the English to fight the Hundred Years War?

    An example of this is in 1367 when Bertrand Du Guesclin was captured by the Black Prince and ransomed for 100,000 Francs. It is demonstrated in Geoffrey Baker's Chronicles that to the aristocracy this was more important than actually truly weakening the enemy by killing soldiers as the chronicle states, 'They [the English] would have slain more, is they had not been so eager to capture (for ransom) those of high value'_. This was a key motivation for for men of high birth as the timing of the hundred years war coincided with the outbreak of the black death in

    • Word count: 1527
  8. A Critical Analysis of the Sack of Limoges (1370) according to Jean Froissart

    was just Le Bel recited and what was added by Froissart from his own knowledge or his other sources.4 He used and relied upon the 'reminiscences' of the knightly group of men from both England and France as well as possibly using heralds such as Sir John Chandos who compiled a life of the Black Prince.5 He also had the benefit of meeting the Black Prince and being with him at certain points of his life, such as in the winter of 1366, in Aquitaine.6 Curry has written on Froissart that 'there has been much academic debate over the nature, sources and reliability of his works.'7 However this surely is an issue for any chronicler of the time.

    • Word count: 2960
  9. A Commentary on the Laws of King Alfred, 871-901 A.D.

    society, such as theft, murder or treason, as well as ideas regarding religion such as Chapter 43 of the law-code regarding the 'celebration of mass-days'9 we can only learn so much from it. With this in mind and with the lack of contemporary charters, we are left with just a few historical documents that become vital if we are to understand their world at all from the point of view of the contemporaries. We know that 'the written laws can sometimes be reinforced by evidence from Doomsday Book'10 and so know that what we have today can be said to be what were the codes.

    • Word count: 1727
  10. What impact did the Scandinavian settlement have on pre-Conquest society and economy in England?

    AD suggesting that it was still considered as a part of Alfred's vision for England and just in invaders hands.3 There were four phases of the Viking raids and subsequent settlement; the first was sporadic raids and looting from 789 to 864 AD; the second was the permanent colonisation between 865 and 896 AD; the third, the extortion of tribute (chiefly from Wessex) from 980 to 1012 AD and finally the forth was the political conquest between 1013 and 1066 AD.4 The settlement had a direct impact on these third and forth phases.

    • Word count: 2439
  11. To what degree was the Black Prince the epitome of the Age of Chivalry?

    However not everything that the Black Prince ever did has been considered chivalric, some of it appears could be classed as very un-chivalric. However this is when wider issues are ignored such as whom exactly was it that chivalry concerned? We must also define chivalry. Chivalry was simply, a code of conduct that the noble classes would try to follow in their lives which was suppose to make you a model human being. One of the reasons given for the Black Prince being un-chivalric is the sack of Limoges in 1370.

    • Word count: 3272
  12. How important was royal patronage in the establishment and development of Portuguese overseas empire 1415-1550

    was quite exceptional'.2 This act carried out by members of the royal family is not simply royal patronage but royal engagement in the establishment of Portuguese empire in North Africa, and their involvement in the region did not cease following the capture of Ceuta, 'from Joao I to Manuel I (1495-1521) Portuguese rulers became deeply enmeshed in North Africa'.3 Establishment of empire went further with the capture of Tangier, Al-Ksar as Saghir and Asilah under the direction and command of the royal princes.

    • Word count: 4172
  13. How important were the political and economic factors in the Christianization of Vikings

    argument is raised on whether the old ways were more beneficial to the lower class peasantry than the method of society incorporated after Christianization. The peasantry of pre-Christianized Denmark paid their local chieftains (go�i) tribute, but on a restricted scale. If the go�i attempted to impose themselves too much then the peasants could simply transfer to another go�i,6 making the power of a go�i dependent upon his personal and political skills.7 This implies that the peasants may have been at an advantage under the Old Norse society, which therefore highlights the importance of the political factors in the Christianization of

    • Word count: 3585
  14. Effects of the Fourth Lateran Council on France. When Louis VIII began his reign as King of France after his father Philip Augustus died in 1223, it became clear that he would be a lot more respectful to the church doctrines than his father.

    A prime offering of this plenitude of sinful religious is shown by an instruction by Pope Gregory IX in 1236. It is very similar to the instance in Lincoln in 1239, this is because Pope Gregory again adds to the instruction of punishment of simoniac nuns in Amiens 'if that is possible'2. This again shows a lack of conviction to the punishment set by Pope Innocent III and also jeopardises the strength of the implemented canons. The reason this kind of flexibility weakened the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council is that by allowing leniency on certain occasions it sets

    • Word count: 1655
  15. Who were the winners from the interdict dispute of 1206-1214, and who were the losers?

    An interdict from an spiritual point of view is "to cut off authoritatively from certain ecclesiastical functions and privileges"2. In terms of the interdict dispute that took place between 1206 and 1214 many different functions and privileges were rescinded an example of one of these functions is the development of churches, any construction was crushed under the influence of the interdict. In order to counter this "disgrace3", John retaliated by punishing any clergyman who rejected the celebration of divine service by confiscating their possessions, John was then excommunicated in November 1209. Whilst this feud took place Stephen Langton and the other bishops under threat moved to France to seek refuge.4 Pope Innocent III is a renowned papal leader who

    • Word count: 2705
  16. Free essay

    Effects of the Fourth Lateran Council on Germany. The pope administered legates to each nation in Europe, in order to ensure the bishops adhered to the Canon law.[2] In Germany this privilege was assigned to Cardinal-Priest Peter De Sasso, who was sent in

    do penance for the remainder of their life.'3 The problem that is being eradicated from church life via this constitution is that of simony, which is the sin of buying of buying or selling ecclesiastical preferments or benefices and making a profit out of anything sacred. What C. 64 is dealing with is roles within the church being offered at a price, and states that both the receiver and the received will be removed. It also states that if simony had taken place before the decrees were incorporated, then the bishop who had taken the payment should be moved to a different section of the same order.

    • Word count: 2030
  17. This paper examines the appeal of the school of Zen to the warrior class and what it offered the changing society of Japan. The main point of appeal of this new religion was that it brought new ideals and values to the people of Japan. Zens focus on

    It does not rely on any sacred foundation, but rather on the individuals understanding of their environment and surroundings (Sansom, 1978, p.339) and it sought to convey this enlightenment non-verbally. The sect of Zen Buddhism offered a different and simpler was of achieving spiritual blessing which allowed them to come to terms with the warrior life and death. At the same time, it opposed the complicated and elitist rituals of the previously established schools (Adolphson, 1997, p.244). Zen's focus on spiritual enlightenment through zazen (meditation), the vigorous collaboration between the warriors and Zen masters, the emphasis on self-awareness and understanding were all new and challenging experiences for the Japanese warriors (Collcutt, 1982, pp.192-3).

    • Word count: 1049
  18. Place-Name Evidence for the Coexistence of Viking Settlers and other Groups in Derbyshire

    The first element appears to be from OE middel, meaning 'middle'. However, a later form of this is Melton(e) (Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 1227, cited in Cameron, 1958: 104), which seems to indicate a replacement by the ON cognate me�al. A final example is evident in Ashford, the pre-Scandinavian form of which is �scforda (926) and its post-Scandinavian form is Askeford (1265), (Townend, 2002: 70). Here, the OE �sc ("ash tree") is replaced by ON cognate askr. These cognate replacements provide evidence of the Scandinavians' ability to use a switching-code to adapt OE place-name elements in order to make them more comprehendible to their group.

    • Word count: 3538
  19. Medieval Viking Tactics

    Ship building and seafaring were their lifeblood, and they even took their ships with them to their graves. Archeological excavations of Viking burials at Oseberg and Gokstad in Norway revealed real boats buried with dead Viking warriors. These vessels are now in an Oslo museum. The long-ships were known to the Vikings as a "surf dragon" and an "oar steed," and these vessels varied in length from about 20 to 30 meters to than in length. The long-ships were propelled by oars, sails, and crews ranging from 25 to 100 Viking warriors.

    • Word count: 965
  20. History of Russia. Examine the Impact of Mongol Rule Upon Medieval Rus

    After the initial destruction of Kiev, other well established Kievan cities suffered cultural and economic decay. Subjugation of the regions was no better exemplified than by the emasculation of the monarchy, Russian Princes could no longer make decisions without the Khan's permission, they were forced to be subordinate to the Khans and to collect and bring them tributes from across the entirety of Kiev Rus'. This was compounded by an artificial state of instability created by the Khans, where the Princes were kept in-line by a system of repeatedly selecting a new Grand Prince, forcing each Prince to be obedient to the Grand Prince of the time.

    • Word count: 1522
  21. Achilles, Aeneas, and Roland

    The Illiad was an epic written by a Greek poet named Homer. It takes place in the last days of the Trojan War. Achilles was an integral part of the war. He helped raise the Greek soldiers' moral, he was an excellent fighter and swordsmen, and he killed Hector, who was the leader of the Trojan forces and son of the King of Troy. It is said that Achilles was half man and half god. He is the offspring of Peleus, King of Thessaly, and the sea nymph Thetis, who had dipped her infant son in the river Styx, thus making him invulnerable except for the hell by which she held him.

    • Word count: 964
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  23. Were the Crusades a shameful episode in the history of the west?

    and more than half of his troops deserting. According to historian W.B. Bartlett, it was not in the loss of material or life that the significance of the defeat lies but in the psychological and spiritual effects of the battle. For at Manzikert, the major casualty was the soul of an empire itself.3 With such a powerful and aggressive force expanding its territory in the East the people of Christendom had every reason to be worried, especially as Europe had already witnessed similar hordes of the Eurasian steppe lands.

    • Word count: 3296
  24. Populating more important than Overpopulation

    What I'm proposing is that if people fear overpopulation, then they need to populate; they need to put more people on the earth, so more people can use their brains to solve these problems. While there will come a time when the earth simply can't hold any more people that time is very far away. It was Tertullian that, around 200 A.D, commented, "Everywhere there are people, communities-everywhere there is human life!" (6) This wasn't a positive statement though as it first sounds.

    • Word count: 1840
  25. Knight Weaponry

    The drawing of Sir Robert Shurland at his tomb on the Isle of Sheppey displays him with a spear-type weapon but also with a sword on his hilt.2 This sword was a double-edged with a long blade. It was not curved but straight hilted. The longsword required a lot of strength to wield but was still able to be carried by one arm. It was diverse in thrusting and slashing opening up armor leaving an enemy defenseless. The end-handle or pommel of this sword was widely used to attack enemies up close.

    • Word count: 4199

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • The scale of the raids, the density of the settlements and the degree of destruction have been greatly exaggerated'. Discuss this assessment of Viking activity in England in the ninth and tenth centuries

    "Nils Lund claimed it was misleading to arrange numbers, influence and permanent effects co-ordinately, the latter two being the premises, the first the conclusion drawn from these. Again and again we come back to the same question of whether it is possible for a small group of invaders to effect large-scale change (and, in relation to the Vikings, destruction). As we have seen, the Vikings had a massive and permanent impact on English society, partly positive, partly negative, but always significant. Hopefully it has been established that it is not necessary for there to have been thousands of invaders for this change to happen, at least in the first place. We need to remember to see the Viking period as fragmented: the early period being a great deal more destructive; the later period more constructive, however unless significant archaeological evidence comes to light, we cannot draw firm conclusions on the scale of the Viking raids or the density of settlement, or the timescale involved."

  • To what extent did commerce flourish in this period?

    "Trade can indeed be seen to have grown during and following the eighth century but this is only relative to the period before. There are two further arguments against a view that trade flourished in this period. Firstly compared to the Roman Empire, where trade was abundant, the volume of trade is still relatively small. Secondly, throughout much of the period under consideration trade was practically non-existent following the fall of the Romans. In conclusion trade did not flourish in this period. It is fair to say that there was a period of growth after 700 but this was preceded by a period of considerable decline; therefore the growth that was taking place started from practically zero and was not sufficient to return commerce to the levels enjoyed by the Romans. However this growth is important as it paved the way for the rapid expansion and flourishing trade which can be seen at the turn of the millennium and thereafter. 2068 words"

  • Can We Distinguish Between a ‘Revolution’ and a ‘Social Movement’? To What Extent Can It Be Argued That the Age of Revolutions Is Over?

    "In conclusion it can be seen that there are some ways in which the praxis of revolutions and social movements differ, such as the degree of violence used and the participation and dedication of the members. Although revolutions are borne from social movements, very few social movements engender a revolution. The majority of social movements are of the type that do not have revolutionary intentions but aim to change specific aspects of society. It is these which now have a far greater chance of success than those with revolutionary aims. The classic type of revolution can be considered over in the West where security is tight, peoples' basic needs are satisfied, international links are strong and where there is no cause yet great enough to unite sufficient numbers of people. Revolutionary movements do however, have the potential to succeed in the developing world where hunger, mass poverty, religious fundamentalism and lack of democracy are able to fuel a revolutionary outcome. A more sophisticated, non-violent revolution, does however, seem possible engendered by a strong coalition of social movements opposed to the globalisation of capitalism."

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