Program in Medieval Studies


  • Director

    • Helmut Reimitz
  • Executive Committee

    • Charles E. Barber
    • Emmanuel Bourbouhakis
    • Marina Brownlee
    • Andrew Cole
    • Eric S. Gregory
    • Daniel Heller-Roazen
    • Beatrice Kitzinger
    • Daniela Mairhofer
    • Simone Marchesi
    • Sara S. Poor
    • Helmut Reimitz
    • Jamie Reuland
    • Jack Tannous
  • Associated Faculty

    • Emmanuel Bourbouhakis
    • Thomas Conlan
    • Michael A. Cook
    • Pietro Frassica
    • Lara Harb
    • Thomas W. Hare
    • William Jordan
    • Beatrice Kitzinger
    • Eve Krakowski
    • Russell J. Leo, III
    • AnneMarie Luijendijk
    • Daniela E. Mairhofer
    • Jennifer Rampling
    • Marina Rustow
    • Teresa Shawcross
    • Daniel Sheffield
    • D. Vance Smith
    • Jack B. Tannous
    • Rob C. Wegman
    • Xin Wen
  • Sits with Committee

    • Sarah M. Anderson
    • Pamela Patton
    • Donald C. Skemer
    • Alan Stahl

Program Information

The Program in Medieval Studies encourages the interdisciplinary study of the Middle Ages: its art, literature (Latin and vernacular), music, religion, science, philosophy, politics, and economic and social structures. Supported by the vast resources for medieval studies at Princeton (including an outstanding medieval manuscript collection and the photographic archive known as the Index of Medieval Art), the program sponsors one course: an introductory seminar, and a (non-credit) thesis writers' colloquium for seniors. Approximately another 40 courses directly relevant to medieval studies are listed following this description.

Admission to the Program

During the first year or sophomore year, each student who wishes to enroll in the program should take MED 227 The World of the Middle Ages or discuss with the director what other kinds of preparation might be otherwise acceptable. At the time of the selection of a major in a department, a student wishing to obtain a certificate in medieval studies at graduation should also seek admission to the program from the director. At this time, an on-line application (accessible from the Program website) to the program should be filled out and submitted.

Program of Study

MED 227 (or the equivalent such as HUM 216 and HUM 217) is required, as is, in the senior year, the thesis writers' colloquium. In addition, the student should take and pass four courses either that are cross-listed in Medieval Studies (for example, those listed in the following roster) or that are not cross-listed but cover a medieval topic. At least one of the four additional courses should be at the 400 level or above and not all can be from the same department. The senior thesis and at least one junior paper must deal directly with the Middle Ages. The student's course of study must receive the prior approval of the departmental representative (in the major) and the director of the Program in Medieval Studies.


Most students, especially those interested in pursuing medieval studies at the graduate level, are urged to take Latin, including medieval Latin, or Greek. However, many students will be interested in the vernacular traditions; in the absence of competency in Latin or Greek (or as a supplement to competency), students will need to demonstrate appropriate proficiency in another medieval language (Old or Middle English, Old French or Provencal, Middle High German, Old Norse, medieval Italian, medieval Spanish, Hebrew or Arabic) or in one of the major modern European languages to the 207 level: Russian, German, French, Spanish, Italian. In no case will a student be eligible for a certificate without fulfilling the language requirements as described here.

Senior Thesis Colloquium

Separate from any other departmental requirements, this noncredit colloquium will regularly bring together all seniors in the program in order to discuss issues and strategies related to conducting independent research and writing, such as problems of data collection, organization of ideas, and the process of writing. Meetings will be every other week during the Fall semester, and weekly during the Spring semester. In addition to discussing research strategies, students will have the opportunity to workshop drafts of their work in progress throughout the year. At the end of the Spring semester, students present the results of their research projects to the community in an afternoon mini-conference.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all requirements of the program will receive a certificate of proficiency in medieval studies upon graduation.



MED 210 The World of Late Antiquity (See HIS 210)

MED 218 An Unnatural History of the Middle Ages (See ENG 218)

MED 220 Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle Ages (See NES 220)

MED 225 Bondage and Slaving in Global History (See CLA 225)

MED 227 The World of the Middle Ages (also
HUM 227
) Spring LA

An introduction to medieval Europe from late Antiquity to 1400, providing an entry way to the most important milestones of medieval history, theology, literature, art, and culture. Two 90-minute sessions. Instructed by: H. Reimitz

MED 230 Music in the Middle Ages (See MUS 230)

MED 231 Constantinople: A Literary Journey to the Capital of Byzantium (See CLA 230)

MED 244 Sex and Salvation in Early Christian Literature (See CLA 245)

MED 245 The Islamic World from its Emergence to the Beginnings of Westernization (See NES 350)

MED 246 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Their Emergence in Antiquity (See REL 244)

MED 251 Christianity in the Roman Empire: Secret Rituals, Mystery Cults, and Apocalyptic Prophets (See REL 251)

MED 301 Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture (See SPA 301)

MED 303 Dante's "Inferno" (See ITA 303)

MED 307 The Icon (See ART 310)

MED 308 The Literature of Medieval Europe (See COM 310)

MED 309 The Medieval Period (See ENG 311)

MED 310 The Old English Period (See ENG 310)

MED 312 Chaucer (See ENG 312)

MED 313 Global Medieval Architecture (See ART 313)

MED 314 Gothic Architecture (See ART 314)

MED 315 Worlds Made with Words: Select Old English Literature (See ENG 313)

MED 320 Topics in Medieval Greek Literature (See CLA 320)

MED 321 Topics in German Medieval Literature (See GER 321)

MED 329 Sex and Gender in the Ancient World (See CLA 329)

MED 330 Medieval Philosophy: The Golden Century (See PHI 330)

MED 332 Women and the Classical Tradition (See CLA 332)

MED 343 The Formation of Europe in the First Millennium (See HIS 343)

MED 344 The Civilization of the High Middle Ages (See HIS 344)

MED 345 The Crusades (See HIS 345)

MED 387 The Nature of Reality in Medieval Arabic Literature (See NES 387)

MED 400 Touching Books -- An Introduction to the History of the Book (See ENG 400)

MED 412 Topics in Medieval Studies Not offered this year LA

An intensive seminar devoted to a particular aspect of European medieval life and culture. Topics change yearly. One three-hour seminar. Instructed by: Staff

MED 421 Beowulf (See ENG 421)

MED 422 Loss and Longing in the Anglo-Saxon Era: Elegy & Elegaic (See ENG 422)

MED 428 Empire and Catastrophe (See HIS 428)

MED 429 Mediterranean Contingencies: Byzantium and Its Medieval Others (See COM 429)

MED 430 Seminar. Medieval Art (See ART 430)

MED 431 Art, Culture, and Identity in Medieval Spain (See ART 431)

MED 432 Art and Music in the Middle Ages (See MUS 432)

MED 452 Magic, Matter, Medicine: Science in the Medieval World (See HIS 452)

MED 476 The Vikings: History and Archaeology (See HIS 476)