Prof. Maryanne Horowitz Rise of French Culture
Fall 2016: History 223


Prof. Maryanne Horowitz   Office S. Swan 314.
    Phone 323-259-2583
Class Meets: Mon., Wed.  8:00-9:25  Location: Fowler 110

Office Hours:  Mon & Wed 10-10:30 and Friday 8-9:50 a.m. and by appointment 

Students:  please use the updated on-line syllabus..  On-line syllabus has links.

Horowitz Home Page   


Campus mail to Horowitz,  
Hist. Dept., S. Swan 


Course Objectives:

To learn basic methods of historical investigation, particularly analysis of textual and visual sources.

To experience the process of interpreting major movements in medieval and early modern French culture.

To develop skills in historial argument, writing, and oral presentation.

Books & Internet

For purchase:

Alistair Home, Seven Ages of Paris  NY: Vintage  (l copy on reserve)

Montaigne, Selections form the Essays, trans. J. M. Cohen (Penguin pb.)

Margaret C. Jacob, The Enlightenment: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin's pb.)

George Huppert, The Style of Paris: Renaissance Origins of the French Enlightenment (Indiana Univ. Press pb.)

Recommended choice between:

Abelard and Heloise,  Forbidden Fruit: From the Letters of Abelard and Heloise: (Penguin pb.) (see electronic reserve ) or

Daily Living in the Twelfth Century Based on the Observations of Alexander Neckam in London and Paris (reserve)

Other  readings on Electronic Reserve through Oxy Moodle

La BoetieThe Politics of Obedience, Marie de France, poems,

Additional resources:  

·         Colin Jones, Cambridge Illustrated History of France (Cambridge pb.)


      25% each:  Attendance and Participation, Mid-Term Exam, Exam 2, 6-8 page paper plus endnotes and primary and secondary source bibliography.

1) Attendance, class participation and discussion (includes short written assignments). 

 2 & 3) Mid-Term Exam1 and Exam 2 will include a 40-minute essay and paragraph responses to “Identify and give the significance” or “Relate one item to another item.”

4) Paper:   6-8 page paper plus endnotes & primary and secondary source bibliography 1) Compare Montaigne to 2-3 authors in Jacob, Enlightenment to argue for or against Huppert's thesis in The Style of Paris: Renaissance Origins of the French Enlightenment. Or 2) Evaluate the extent which radical political theory appeared in Montaigne and La Boétie in the context of 16th century France. In either case, use Univ. of Chicago Endnotes as in Hacker's guide (on reserve)

This class will have lectures and discussion. To keep up, it's best to complete assigned reading by Monday. The reading assignments are varied: a textbook focused on politics and culture in Paris with images, letters between Abelard and Heloise or student diary of Alexander Neckham,  essays by Michel de Montaigne and  La Boétie of late 16th century Renaissance, and a short historical interpretation of relationship of Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Huppert), an anthology on the Enlightenment (students to focus on the French philosophes of late 17th and 18th centuries)

Schedule by weeks   

Bring Forbidden Fruit for discussion  (may be printed from electronic reserve)

1)     Wed. Aug. 31 Introduction to course and student interests.  Emergence in Feudal France of Romanesque Architecture (images in Jansons's, ch. 11, on reserve) Read Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris, pp. 7-27.  Abelard and Heloise, Forbidden Fruit, ch. 1, "Lessons in Love" (electronic reserve print from  part 1 and part 2)


2) Mon. Sept. 5 Bring Horne and printout of Abelard and Heloise. Material culture previous to 1000. Individual analysis of images/text in Horne. Background to Abelard and Heloise. Discuss ch. 1, “Lessons in Love.”


 Wed. Sept. 8. 8:00 am  Arrive at film viewing room 124 in library. In-class seeing of The Name is the Rose-131 minutes (or can be seen from reserve desk over the weekend)  Forbidden Fruit. ch. 2 Heloise "Fresh Wounds of Love,"ch. 3 Abelard "Loving the Living"


3) Mon.  Sept. 12 Discuss The Name is the Rose for portrayal of monasticism, views of womendiverse attitudes towards manuscriptsbeginnings of empirical investigation in natural science and in law.  Bring your printout from electronic reserves to discuss first Letters of Abelard and Heloise. Differences of A and H on relationship and on public reputation, misogyny from texts, societal sexism,  monastic life, aspects of 12th century Christianity, impact of relationship on women's education, etc. Rise of Towns. Gothic Architecture continues. (images in Jansons's, ch. 12 on reserve)  


Wed. Sept. 14. Bring Horne to class.  Discuss  ch. 4 Heloise "Forbidden Pleasures" and ch. 5 Abelard "Flesh & Bones." Bring text or use computer to MOODLE to compare viewpoints of Abelard and Heloise in stage of passionate love and in later monastic life

See images in Jansons's, ch. 14, pp. 469-474.  From medieval French and Latin manuscripts to  15th-16th Century French and Latin printed books.  Rise of University.  Analyze structure of scholastic argument from handout example of Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, question 44, art. 1 and beginning of art. 2, concerning Catholic doctrine of Creation "ex nihilo"(from nothing). Read Horne, pp. 1-7 on ancient and early medieval background on Paris.


4) Read Horne, pp. 28-56.    Read electronic reserve by Marie de France.

Mon. Sept 19 Introduction to Eleanor of Aquitaine, Marie de France, and Courtly Love. Bring text of Marie for group telling of tale of Yonec. Analzye moral of the fables.  Images from 15th Century French Material Culture


Wed. Sept. 21 Start Horne age two pp. 57-74.  Bring Horne for reviewing.  Montaigne and his times.


5) Mon. Sept. 26 Read in Montaigne "To the Reader, " I: 8 "Of Idleness," I: 27"That it is folly to measure truth and error by our own capacity,” I:47 “On the uncertainty of our judgement” Bring Montaigne to discuss. Optional: English translation of Marie de Gournay on reserve.


Wed. Sept. 28 “Skepticism in Philosophy: Montaigne” 

 Read Horne pp. 75-87 on rise of Henry IV.  Bring Montaigne to discuss in depth ch. I:28 “On Friendship” which concerns his relationship with La Boétie.


6) Read Horne pp. 88-90.  Read On intellectual climate in mid-16th century France, read George Huppert, The Style of Paris: Renaissance Origins of he French Enlightenment,  ch. 1-3, pp. 1-49.  Students emailing chapter bullet points should email to by Sun Oct. 3 5 pm. All students are to read the chapters themselves, but emails may help finding major points. (At beginning of the film Da Vinci Code, one enters rooms in the Louvre containing paintings Da Vinci brought to France under King Francis I. Film recommended.) Read Montaigne, I:31 "On Cannibals"


Mon. Oct. 3 Student presentation on Montaigne's "On Cannibals" Bring Huppert and Horne to discuss France in 16th century and to death of Henry IV. (See also images inJanson's History of Art (Reserve) ch. 18, pp.621- 628). Introduce historical context of Judge Coras's pamphlet on Martin Guerre.

Images from 16th Century Material Culture.     



Wed. Oct. 5 Lecture on Early Readers of Montaigne. Review Handout passed out for studying for essay exams next week. 



See The Return of Martin Guerre  Room 124 of library. Discussion of film on Mon. Oct. 17.

No class this week. Office hours only Friday.


        8) Read Huppert, chs. 4-9, pp. 50-120. Students emailing chapter bullet points should email to by Wed. Oct. 20 5 pm.

 Read La BoétieThe Politics of Obedience (electronic reserve) Montaigne, from Bk. II "On cruelty" and I:26 "On the Education of Children," 

Mon. Oct. 17   What did you learn about 16th century French life from the film?  propertied peasants, diversity of judges, judicial system, literacy, storytelling, issue of how one knows something for sure..


Wed. Oct. 19  Exam I through Mon. Oct. 17.Abelard and Heloise, Horne (Introduction, Age one and Age two and first 3 pages of related color images),  and Huppert and lectures, Montaigne, story of Martin Guerre, and visual evidence of France in medieval and Renaissance periods. 


Report on and discuss arguments of Huppert. Individuals assigned to specific chapters.  Have

La Boétie in class to analyze the arguments. 


9)  Read Montaigne III:6 "On Vehicles."  III:2 "Of Repentance"

Mon. Oct. 24 Bring Montaigne to discuss his essays. French Religious Wars.

Montaigne, III, 13,"On Experience"  Read Horne, age three pp. 90-101. Counter-Reformation, Marie de Medici, Louis XIII.


Wed.  Oct. 26   Bring Montaigne to discuss "Of Experience" and earlier essays. Begin

lecture on Lecture on Trends towards Absolutism under Richelieu, Mazarin, and then Louis XIV.


Evaluate originality of Montaigne in relationship to Huppert's analysis of 16th century thought.   Some images from Janson's, ch. 21 on Versailles.


10)  Read Horne, pp. 104-118.

 Age of Louis XIV  Recommend dvd Vatel (R)

Monday. Submit proposal for your paper with a primary and secondary source bibliography in Univ. of Chicago format.  Paper starts with class books, but can include other books, and especially appropriate articles.


Mon.  Oct. 31 Lecture on French Moralist Tradition, the Libertines, and Freedom of Thought

Wed. Nov.2 Lecture on Crisis of the European Conscience, 1680-1715 (considering argument of historian Paul Hazard)  Discussion of changes and continuities in French intellectual expression, 16th through 18th centuries. 


11) Read Horne, 119-127   Read Jacob, Enlightenment, Introduction.   Work on paper. 

Mon. Nov. 7 Written suggestions for exam questions welcome especially via email. Bring Enlightenment to make comparisons and contrasts between different authors Go directly to room 124 in library for experiencing Molière Tartuffe (110 minutes) in English from British Broadcasting, following by analysis..   (An English translation of this comedy is available on Google books and might be printed ahead)


Wed. Nov.9 Discussion of Tartuffe and of preparing for exam 2.



Mon. Nov. 14 Lecture on French Revolution.



Wed. Nov. 16 Discussion on whether Enlightenment is the main source for French Revolution. Review for exam through Mon. Nov. 14.  Essay question may cover material since the beginning of class, but I.D. questions will be since Exam 1.


13)  Read in Horne, pp. 128-134. Read in Enlightenment,  Voltaire Letters concerning the English Nation and Diderot,  Encyclopedia.

Mon. Nov. 21   Exam 2.


 Paper is next task.

14) Read Horne, pp. 135-158 on movements toward French Revolution. Read in Enlightenment, Introduction by Jacob, anonymous "The Three Imposters, “ Rousseau  The Social Contact, and Kant,What is Enlightenment?  Review Voltaire, Diderot assigned last week.

 Bring Enlightenment to class this week.



Mon. Nov. 28 Bring Enlightenment to discuss " Voltaire and Diderot and Jacob's Introduction and  

Treatise of the Three Imposters"



Wed. Nov. 30. Bring Enlightenment to discuss Rousseau, The Social Contact, and Kant,What is Enlightenment? Lecture on  French Classicism: Poussin, Claude Lorraine & on Rococo: Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, Vigée-Le Brun (Images inJansons's ch. 21, 22 on reserve) . 



 Fri. Dec. 2

 **Paper in hard copy and in email (for a student to read) Friday by 9:25 a.m. at Horowitz office Swan 314.


15)  Recommended dvd Marie Antoinette.


Mon. Dec. 5


15) Mon. Dec. 5 Bring 2 copies of written comments on a student paper. Sum up thesis and argue with the thesis.  Read Diderot,  Supplement to Bourgainville’s Voyage.  Last Class. For discussion, bring Horne and Enlightenment. Compare Diderot on Tahitians to Montaigne on Amerindians.



POLICIES in Hist. 223:

Medical note required for taking a makeup exam. Lateness on a written assignment or absence from assigned group presentation requires a medical note (with advance planning, one might change a group assignment).

Students will type short and long essay exams in a PC lab.  The exams will provide some choice.  A long essay focuses on a  major topic treated in class lecture and discussion in which you will interpret an aspect of a historical period (especially politics and culture) by its specific primary sources ( texts or visual artifacts). A general question may ask you to include a certain number of specific people, events, texts or images from a list.  The second exam will include an interpretative essay comparing an aspect of different historical periods or interpreting causes for a transformation from one period to the next.

Short essays worded "Identify and give the significance"  or “Compare one item to another item” will highlight items emphasized and given significance during class, as well as items emphasized in lectures.

The lecture topics indicate the likely exam questions.  Citing primary sources will strengthen your essays.

College Policy on Academic Honesty: Current policy at   This class helps prevent plagiarism by teaching you how to endnote either quoted or summarized material in Univ. of Chicago format. It is appropriate to bring an early draft of your paper to faculty office hours to discuss whether you are properly putting reading into your own words and putting quotation marks when borrowing phrases, and whether you are endnoting both your summaries and your quotations.

Computers are encouraged for reference to an e-book or e-article or for note-taking, but for no other activities such as messaging, emailing, or browsing.

College Policy on Disabilities: Students with documented disabilities who are registered with Disability Services are required to present their accommodation letter to the instructor at the beginning of each semester or as soon as possible thereafter. Any student who experiences significant physical or mental impairments may contact Disability Services at (323) 259-2969 to learn about available services and support.  More information is available at

Extra Credit:  1) Each student may write l extra credit report on a historical film (medieval  through early modern) recommended on this list in supplement to class work. In a typed sheet, present and evaluate the historical interpretations presented by the film and the issues the film raises; then write questions you would need to pursue further in historical sources to ascertain the historical accuracy of the film. Possibilities:  Lion in Winter, Ever After, Vatel, Marie Antoinette. 2) Students who read French may write up in English answers to questions on some of the French readings on electronic reserve. Variety of assignments from which to choose; it's best to do readings appropriate to century we're then studying. 3) Reports on field trips such as French decor rooms in Getty Center, medieval or Renaissance works in Norton Simon Museum or LACMA,  or to a performance of medieval to early modern time period. Write 1 typed page describing and analyzing key objects you viewed or the performance you witnessed. Share orally with classmates.