Historical Foundations of Western Civilisation : Antiquity

lfial1420a  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

Historical Foundations of Western Civilisation : Antiquity
3 credits
22.5 h
Flament Christophe; Van Haeperen Françoise;

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
Two themes will be considered:

Real and fictitious fortified castles in the Middle Ages :
As a symbol of the very period which witnessed their development, medieval castles are certainly informative about war and its evolution. That is why we will lay siege to those wooden or stone fortresses and take them by storm, with the help of sophisticated machines and cannons. For all that, we will not forget that castles were also an environment, the setting of Arthurian adventures and the ornaments of splendid miniatures at the end of the Middle Ages. Via Romantic writers and the 19th century as a whole, which contributed to its rehabilitation, the medieval castle still has a particular meaning in the collective unconscious, which we will have to call into question.

Travelling in the Middle Ages :
The Middle Ages, most notably from the 11th century on, proved a remarkable era for travels and travellers. Whether continental or maritime, routes favoured faith (pilgrimages, flows of monks and mendicant friars), knowledge (quest for manuscripts, continuing coming and going of masters and students), trade (more and more globalised), discovery of the unknown: by expanding their horizons, and consequently ours, explorers reconciled novelty with their prolific imaginary world and thus made next generations want to go and find other wonders. The course will aim at giving an insight into the motivations, the means, the traits and the works of travellers during a curious and fertile period.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


- For each of the four periods, to master the chronology of the history of Western civilization and the main foundations of Western history.
- By examining some sources, to master how historical knowledge is developed.
- For each of the periods studied, to be able, starting from a "reading folder," to elucidate some of the major problems of historical research.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Teaching methods
Evaluation methods
Other information
Online resources
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Bachelor in History

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures : Classics

Bachelor in History of Art and Archaeology : General

Minor in History