School of History

HST6714 – Apocalypse Now: Crisis, Change and Later Medieval Mentalities

Module code: HST6714

Credits: 30
Semester: YEAR

Module Convenor: Dr Eyal Poleg

This special subject module is an investigation into the Book of Revelation in the Middle Ages. We will follow the concept of apocalypticism and Millennialism (that is, expecting the imminent end of the world) through a wide array of sources, from paintings and engravings to tree trunks and archaeological sites. We will employ a holistic approach to the history of medieval Apocalypticism, drawing on the distinct disciplines of anthropology, palaeontology, material culture, museum studies, and archaeology. Suspecting that apocalyptic thinking might be based on objective reality, we will encounter the unfavourable events of the fourteenth century (famines, climate change and the Black Death) and ask how were they understood by contemporaries. We will then ask what was one to do when the world was coming to an end, and find answers in piety, imagery and radical movements. The module will end with a glance at the afterlife of the Apocalypse from the waning of the Middle Ages to post-modern American apocalypticism. 

This module MUST be taken in conjunction with HST6700 History Research Dissertation.

Assessment: Presentation (10 minutes) [10%], Timed Source Analysis [15%], Source Analysis (1,000 words) [15%], Draft Essay (1,000 words) [10%] and Essay (3,500 words) [50%]
Level: 6