The City. From Medieval to Modern

Spring Term 2002

Bernard D. Cooperman

Francis Scott Key Hall 2116c


Please note: The online syllabus is frequently updated, so check back often.

We will make every effort to provide readings on line and through the reserve desk in McKeldin Library. Readings are approximately 100 pages per week. All students are expected to be prepared to discuss the readings listed for each class.

Week 1

1/29 Tuesday Introduction. What is a city?

Friedrichs, The Early Modern City, "Introduction," pp. 3—15. Study Questions.

1/31 Thursday The late medieval city. Late medieval urbanization in Europe.

Fernand Braudel, "Towns and Cities" from The Structures of Everyday Life.

Videorecording: Teofilo Ruiz, Medieval Europe: Crisis and Renewal; Part I,

Lecture 3, "Urban Society."


Short Essay I. Due in Class, 2/5/02

What are the issues to be raised in the study of the city?

Choose two encyclopedias, one general and one devoted to a special field (such as Women's History; Russian History; Renaissance History, Architecture, Engineering, Medicine, etc.). In each, find the article dealing with "Cities" or "The City." In a paper no longer than two pages, report on how the authors define both the term "city" and the intellectual issues involved in the study of the city. Explain any differences in approach that you find. Feel free to praise or criticize the approach that your sources used.

Be prepared also to report briefly in class on your findings.

Please note: on-line and CD-based encyclopedias like Encarta, and one-volume "desk" encyclopedias are not acceptable for the purpose of this assignment. To find an encyclopedia devoted to a subject that interests you, do a "keyword" search on Victor using the words "encyclopedia" and any others that you feel are relevant. You might also wander through the shelves of the reference section in McKeldin.

Note also: Full source citation and footnotes or endnotes are expected for all assignments.


Week 2

2/5 Tuesday What did the early modern city look like? The shaping of the city.

Spiro Kostof, "The Walled Edge" (26-39) and "The Street" (189-195), from The

City Assembled: The Elements of Urban Form through History (Boston, 1992).

Paul M. Hohenberg and Lynn Hollen Lees, "Introduction: Urbanization in

Perspective" (1-21), from The Making of Urban Europe 1000-1950 (Cambridge,

Mass. and London, 1985). Optional: Ch.1, "The Structures and Functions of Medieval Towns"

(22-46) and Ch.2, "Systems of Early Cities" (47-73).

Friedrichs, The Early Modern City: Ch.1, "Boundaries and Buildings;" (19-42).


2/7 Thursday The city sees itself. City views, city scenes, cartography, patronage.

Short Essay II. Due in Class, 2/12/02

Comparing City Views

Examine two maps, paintings, or engravings of cities or city views dating from our period (1450--1750). In an essay of approximately one page, report on what the artist's goal was in presenting the picture as he did? Pay attention to what was emphasized and what was omitted from the picture. I will try to load a few sample graphics on the web site as examples, but feel free to find your own. Note: Please include copies of the graphics with your paper.

Be prepared also to report briefly in class on your findings.

Week 3

2/12 Tuesday Governing the city. ‘Closed’ and ‘open’ governing classes: Venice and Seville.

Friedrichs, The Early Modern City: Ch.2, "City and State" (43-60).

2/14 Thursday Amsterdam and Antwerp.

Week 4

2/19 Tuesday Traditional role of religion in the city. Catholicism in the shaping of city

government: confraternities and poor relief.

Friedrichs, The Early Modern City: Ch.3, "City and Church" (61-89).

2/21 Thursday Production and exchange. Guilds and fairs.

Friedrichs, The Early Modern City: Ch.4, "Production and Exchange" (90-113).

Week 5

2/26 Tuesday Technology, work and status.

Friedrichs, The Early Modern City: Ch.6, "Work and Status" (139-165).


2/28 Thursday Women and work in the early modern city.

Friedrichs, The Early Modern City: Ch.7, "Family and Household" (166-181).


Week 6

3/5 Tuesday Marriage and family in the early modern city.

3/7 Thursday Public and private space in the early modern city.

Week 7

3/12 Tuesday The Ottoman city, at the edge of Europe.

3/14 Thursday Sermons, sermonizers and urban religious enthusiasm: Savonarola and Florence.

Week 8

3/19 Tuesday Jews in the early modern city.

Term paper topics due

3/21 Thursday

Week 9

3/24-3/30 Spring Break


Week 10

4/2 Tuesday The Reformation in the city. Who were the Protestants?

4/4 Thursday Passover


Week 11

4/9 Tuesday Radical Protestantism in the city: Münster and Geneva.

Preliminary term paper bibliography due

4/11 Thursday Deviants and criminality. Religious and moral deviance, prostitution,


Friedrichs, The Early Modern City: Ch.9, "Poverty and Marginality" (214-242).

Week 12

4/16 Tuesday The Inquisition as an urban phenomenon.

4/18 Thursday Order and disorder in the early modern city.

Week 13

4/23 Tuesday Popular culture in the early modern city.


4/25 Thursday Civility, aristocracy and the court.


Week 14

4/30 Tuesday Education and uban social mobility

5/2 Thursday Toward the modern city.

Capital cities: Haussmann’s remodeling of Paris?

Term paper due


Week 15

5/7 Tuesday Literary representations and descriptions of the (early) modern city.

5/9 Thursday Conclusion.

Week 16

5/14 Tuesday Conclusion. Discuss term papers and final exam.



Christopher R. Friedrichs, The Early Modern City 1450-1750

Rampolla, Mary Lynn. A Pocket Guide To Writing In History


Lovinger. Paul W. The Penguin Dictionary of American English Usage and Style : A Readable Reference Book, Illuminating Thousands of Traps That Snare Writers and Speakers.


30% 10 (almost) Weekly Assignments. At least two of these will be quizzes.

60% Final Paper.

10% Class Participation.