No later than the fourth day of the academic week, please respond to this thread by writing a thorough and thoughtful 300 word essay that answers one of the following questions:
- Discuss the impact of technology on Medieval society and culture and the impact of society and culture on the development of Medieval technology.
- Choose any of the questions asked by Hans Peter Broedel in the Doing History section of “The Medieval Period” chapter, and answer it, tying your response to other areas of The Medieval Period chapter.
- The term Middle Ages was invented during the Renaissance in order to heap opprobrium on what was seen as a sterile age in which government had degenerated into feudal anarchy, religion into superstition, and scholarship into pedantic quibbles of schoolmen over texts that they scarcely understood. First, explore why people rediscovering the works of classical Greece and Rome saw the Middle Ages as sterile; and then state whether or not that was a fair assessment, providing examples to support your view.
- The intellectual history of the later Middle Ages has traditionally been described as decadent, autumnal, waning. Yet recently a few scholars have asserted that the period between 1250-1450 was one of innovation, change, possibility. Which view is more accurate and why? Medievalists tend to dismiss this argument out of hand. Take a fresh look at this argument and consider the extent to which the Middle Ages was an sterile age, merely passing on diluted versions of the heritage of antiquity, and the extent to which it contributed new and vital elements to the European tradition.
- Describe the agricultural technology used by Medieval Europeans and West Africans. In your opinion which was more effective (or even more advanced)? Use examples from the reading to support your answer.
For this week, citing three times exclusively from Broedel’s chapter is perfectly acceptable. Simply cite broadly from among the 11 sections of this chapter.
Your Initial Post is expected to be a 300 word prose essay, with a thesis statement and 2-5 paragraphs supporting and explaining the thesis. Remember to base your response on information and analysis from the readings. Cite the information and analysis you provide. Explain what you learned in your own words, and do your best to synthesize the authors’ analyses into your own original analysis; do not rely exclusively on quotations from the readings to make your points. Please change the title of your post to something unique. Note which question you choose to answer.