It is commonly believed that the Middle Ages was an age of stagnation and stasis in which people lived narrow lives, confined geographically and intellectually to small villages and family farms. This course challenges that belief, demonstrating that the era was one of dynamic movement in which people motivated by curiosity, by conquest, by gold, and by God traveled throughout Europe to the edges of the known world. We will explore these journeys in the words of missionaries, pilgrims, crusaders, and adventurers as they pushed the boundaries of European consciousness towards China, into the far north, and across the Atlantic. Our goal is to understand why medieval men and women traveled, what they sought, what they found, and what they brought back with them.
HUAS94005 Religious Studies