Instructor: Heather Grossman
This course provides an introduction to the built environment of the Middle Ages and the great monuments of European architecture from the fourth to the fourteenth century, including the awe-inspiring basilicas of early Christian Rome, the domed churches of Byzantium, the cloistered monasteries of Romanesque France, and the Gothic cathedrals that rose over great commercial cities across the length and breadth of Europe. From the fall of Rome to the dawn of the Renaissance, a range of architectural styles shaped medieval daily life, religious experience and civic spectacle. We will become familiar with the architectural traditions of the great cathedrals, revered pilgrimage churches, and cloistered monasteries of western Europe, as well as castles, houses, and other civic structures. We will integrate the study of the architecture and its related arts with the study of medieval culture and society, exploring the role of pilgrimage, courts and civil authority, religious reform and radicalism, crusading and social violence, and rising urbanism. In this way, we will explore the ways in which the built environment profoundly affected contemporary audiences and shaped medieval life. The course will proceed chronologically, though thematic and topical issues will simultaneously be addressed. A visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is planned, and another optional trip to New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Cloisters Museum will occur as time and interest permits.
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