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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2112 Jewish Communities in Medieval Europe

20 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Prof. Emilia Jamroziak

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module explores the life of Jewish communities in medieval Europe between the fall of Rome to the early sixteenth century across Western and Eastern Europe to understand the variety of experience. It focuses on two major themes. The first is the internal life of the communities, their organisation, the role of religion, education and gender as well as economic structures. The second is the relationship with the Christian majority: its secular and ecclesiastical authorities, the problems of co-existence and persecution. The module also introduces important primary sources and helps to understand the key line of the development of the historiography.Content note: this module includes consideration of themes of anti-Semitism, racism, violence and conspiracy myths (including fictional child abuse)".


The objectives of this module are:
(1) To equip students with sound knowledge of the history of medieval Jewish communities in Europe (including Iberian peninsula)
(2) To encourage students to develop understanding of the place of Jewish communities in medieval Europe
(3) To encourage students to develop a sophisticated understanding of the relationship of a religious minority and the.Christian majority in the period 500-1500

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:
(1) A sound understanding of the nature of medieval Jewish communities and their development in Europe (2) A nuanced understanding of the relationship with the Christian majority (3) A strong appreciation of why and how co-existence, oppression and violence was experienced in the period 500-1500 (4) An understanding of the primary sources (including the role of archaeology) and the main lines of development of historiography.


This course engages students with a set of exciting and important questions about the nature of Jewish experience in medieval Europe. It seeks to explore not only the 'passive' image of victims of Christian majority, but also the 'active' autonomous life of the communities (their legal status, the role of religion, education, economic structures, gender) and the changing forms of the relationship with the Christian society and its secular and religious authorities.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours182.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparatory reading for lectures and seminars.
Engaging with the work of other seminar participants.
Researching and writing essay.
Researching and writing primary source-interpretation exercise
Exam revision.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Performance will be assessed through two written pieces of work, one standard-length essay and a short primary source-interpretation exercise (10%).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000-word essay.60.00
AssignmentPodcast with 1000-word essay40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/05/2024 13:08:24


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