Week 12: The Final Exam

Final Exam

Directions – Answer Part I or Part II …. Following the specific directions per task below.

Part I – Select TWO of the following questions and address the issues present in 3-4 paragraphs. The answer should have some kind of resolution or solution.

  1. Analyze how political transformations contributed to continuities and changes in the cultures of the Mediterranean region during the period circa 200-1000.
  1. Some historians regard feudalism as such a system that by its very nature is anarchic, while others see it as a constructive response to the difficult circumstance of the times. Discuss the role of feudalism during the Medieval period.

3. If anyone invented the term the Renaissance, then it was Jacob Burckhardt. Based on your readings, analyze Burckhardt’s interpretation of the Renaissance. What criticisms have been leveled against it? Who do you agree with more and why? How would you define the term Renaissance in the context of fifteenth and sixteenth-century Italy?

  1. Examine the rise and fall of the Medieval Church. What were the various conflicts that arose between the Papacy and the State? How do the issues that plagued the Church in the Middle Ages allude to the eventual “reform” of Martin Luther in the coming century?

Part II – Select ONE of the following essay questions and write a well-thought out historical response that has a thesis and develops points using historical evidence, as well as a reasonable conclusion.

  1. The difficulties presented by the problem of the decline and fall in Rome are numerous. The passage of time and the vagaries of fortune have destroyed much of the evidence we should like to have and have preselected the rest. Besides the problem of sources, lies the difficult methodological problem of distinguishing cause from effect and assigning the proper weight to each contributing factor. What exactly were the reasons that Rome declined and fell? Be sure to reference the source documents in the discussion.
  2. The Pirenne Thesis posited that the appearance of Islam brought an end to the ancient world. Yet Rome and the classical heritage continued to have a central place in European history to the very end of this course. In a thoughtful historical essay examine at least four ways that Rome or the classical heritage continued to influence the development of Europe in the period between 750 and 1050.
  3. Traditionally, the Renaissance and the Reformation have been viewed as marking the transition to modernity. Recent scholarship has tended to cast that view in doubt and to find the real break later on in the eighteenth century Enlightenment. In what ways are the Renaissance and Reformation harbingers of the modern world? In what ways do they remain quite medieval? On balance, should they be viewed as late medieval or early modern?

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