United Kingdom, Durham

The Northern Borders of Empire to the Making of the Middle Ages

when 4 July 2016 - 29 July 2016
duration 4 weeks
fee GBP 2800

During this multi-disciplinary course designed by our Department of Archaeology and Durham Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, students will spend the initial two weeks:rnrnParticipating in a major archaeological project focused on the northern edges of the Roman Empire in Britain playing a full part in the excavations and gaining first-hand knowledge and experience of UK archaeological professional practice.rnrnReceiving on-site seminars and workshops with expert visitors exploring matters of cutting edge concern in archaeology and cultural history.rnrnGaining a full understanding of the archaeology of the military frontier of Roman Britain including Hadrian’s Wall and a wider appreciation of the archaeology and history of Northern EnglandrnrnThe second two weeks of the course focus on Medieval theory modules with experts from the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies focussing on the following topics:rnrnSaints, Scholars and Vikings: the Northern World in the Early Middle Ages 'From the fear of the Northmen, dear Lord deliver us': so runs the prayer from northern England faced with the terror of Viking raids from the 8th century to the middle of the eleventh century. The Vikings encountered a northern world rich in material and cultural life, glorying still in the golden age of Northumbrian power from the previous century and the age of saint so memorably chronicled by Bede. How these world collided, the consequences of these encounters and the changing shape of the communities which inhabited this region will all be explored.rnrnrnLand of the Prince-Bishops: Culture and Conquest in the High Middle Ages 'Half church of God, half tower against the Scots': so Walter Scott characterised the imposing mass of Durham Cathedral. At the apogee of their power in the period from the 12th to the 14th centuries the Prince-Bishops of Durham wielded power both worldly and spiritual, and were one of the major forces defining, governing and dominating the north, but with influence well beyond. This module will examine the sources and circumstances of that power, looking at the re-foundation of Durham Cathedral, the life and influence of its community, individual bishops from the lascivious Flambard to the warrior Hatfield, and the mechanisms of power: castles, economic life and political intrigue.

Course leader

Dr David Petts and Dr John Clay

Target group

This course is suitable for undergraduate or postgraduate students with an interest in Archaeology and Medieval History.rnrnYou do not need to have studied either subject already to apply for the course.rnrn

Course aim

Study - at a top -5 research intensive UK University

Stay - in a beautiful, historic city in the North East of England

Spend - one month on this unique multi-disciplinary course, gaining transferable credit

Fee info

GBP 2800: Course fee includes accommodation in a University College and meals are provided.


Please contact the International Summer School Office for information about current scholarship opportunities.