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Renaissance and Reformation Europe

An image depicting a group of figures from classical mythology in a garden
Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, 1482

A survey of the political, cultural, religious, intellectual and social changes in Renaissance Europe, especially Italy, from ca. 1200-ca. 1650. Course readings focus on great works of literature, including ones by Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Cervantes, Rabelais, Erasmus, Luther, Isotta Nogarola, Teresa of Avila, and lesser known historical sources on such topics as witchcraft, prostitution, philosophy/science and the Classical tradition. Lectures place sources in their historical contexts with an emphasis on gender, religious belief and practice, politics, Antiquity, social tension (Jews, Muslims, and Indigenous peoples), and other themes. Some events covered include the Black death (1348), the Fall of Constantinople (1453), the French Invasion of Italy (1494), the Spanish Reconquista (1492), and the conquest of Tenochtitlan/Mexico (1519).  

Tentative Evaluations: 

4 Online quizzes 20%
2 Four-page maximum papers 30%
4 Tutorials during lecture times 20%
Final exam 30%


Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.