Primary Source-based Papers
The documents needed for each paper are ON RESERVE in the Library. I realize the copies I have of them are in a very small font size, so if you would like to print yourself larger versions, they can be accessed at the Medieval History Sourcebook at Fordham University.
You should make every effort to write well-integrated answers to the questions, with good grammar, spelling, and transitions. While you may want to use lots of direct quotations from the documents, these should be used sparingly, and you should avoid long, block quotes if at all possible.
In writing your papers, feel free to ask Dr. Myers questions, and discuss your ideas with your classmates. Keep in mind, though, that originality of thought is a bonus and will help you to a higher grade. And in writing all your papers, be sure that they are clear and understandable, even to a reader who knows nothing about the topics. For this reason I suggest that you ask a roommate or friend who is not in the course to proofread your papers, they should also help you catch typos. (If you have time, a visit to the Writing Studio in the Library is also something many students find helpful.)
Paper #1 - On the First or Third Crusade (due Thursday 4 December)
Q: Using either the example of the First or Third Crusade as a comparison, do you think the current western involvement in the Middle East is a modern-day crusade?
Be careful to remain objective in your analysis, this is a History paper, not strictly speaking an opinion paper. For either of the crusades you may wish to consider the following additional questions: What motivated the crusade (politically, spiritually)? What motivated the crusaders? What difficulties did they encounter in undertaking their adventure? What happened once they reached the Holy Lands? What was the nature of warfare at the time? What were the perceptions of the Muslims (and vice versa)? Was the crusade successful? And in the case of the Third Crusade, was the peace treaty equitable? Do you think it will bring peace?
Q1: How does student life at the University of Paris compare with that of Cornell College?
Again, be careful not to get too personal with this - stay objective! Additional questions to consider in writing this paper: In what ways are the students misbehaving? How do the authorities try to regulate the students? Does the situation seem to be getting better or worse over time? (you can define better and worse for yourself, but be clear about what you mean…)
Q2: How does marriage in the Middle Ages compare to marriage in the modern world?
Additional questions to consider: What are the roles of husband and wife? What are the expectations of physical contact between spouses? How does the church view marriage? What are the purposes of marriage? How is adultery viewed?
Q: The Magna Carta was designed to prevent tyranny in the form of the king, and it is cited as a forerunner of modern representative government. You must either discuss what aspects of the Magna Carta are similar to our modern government in the U.S., or what aspects are now outdated and no longer a part of modern government. You must refer to at least 12 points from the Magna Carta.
1 Morris Bishop, The Middle Ages (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968), p. 95.
2 Bishop, The Middle Ages, pp. 26-30.
3 Eileen Power, Medieval Women (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), pp. 30, 45.
4 Medieval History Sourcebook, "Magna Carta 1215," point number 51, <www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/mcarta.html>.
5 Medieval History Sourcebook, "Crusader Letters: Anselm of Ribemount to Manasses II, Archbishop of Reims," <www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/cde-letters.html>.
6 Anselm of Ribemount.
7 History 101: Europe 800-1300, class notes, December 1, 2003.