AH 12 Syllabus 

                Course Syllabus  AH 12 Spring 2016                                                


Middle Ages: Art/Mediterranean World and Europe (AD 300-1400)


Monday-Wednesday 9:30-10:50 AM Room VAPA 1001  Dr. Brian Legakis. 

Office Hours M-Th 8:30-9-30 AM   W 6:00-7:00 PM Wat

Cabrillo phone 479-6368 Home phone - 688-1325   

E-mail –  brlegaki@cabrillo.edu   or   qtermile@me.com       

Ancient Art Website – www.cabrilloarthistory.com


PURPOSE OF COURSE  -  Middle Ages or Medieval Art is a course that is designed to survey the architecture, painting, and sculpture of Europe from the time of the Fall of the Roman Empire until the rise of the Renaissance in Italy.  Every effort will be made to establish a historical and cultural background for the art and artists discussed in the slide illustrated lectures, readings, and museum/gallery viewings.  Geography, economics, biography, literature, archaeology, religion, philosophy, and customs are among the topics selected to depict an integrated picture of the art and life of this period.  Topics include Late Roman art, Early Christian Catacombs, Art of the Invasions, Carolingian Art, Islamic Art, Romanesque, Gothic and Trecento periods. 



Marilyn Stokstad, Michael Cothren,  Art History Portable, Book 2 Medieval Art, Edition 5

ISBN 9780205949335



Class attendance – is vital.  Three absences may cause a student to be dropped.

Text readings - for class, exams, and essays.

Exams - Quizzes on reading and lectures, held on announced days.

Two examinations on the readings, lectures. The final examination covers the entire course.

Essay Exams - will be assigned on the readings. as well as special topics.    All written assignments are due on the announced date.

Grading - Letter grades will be given to all exams and essays.  The course grade is based on the final exam, midterm exams, quizzes and essays, as well as attendance and participation.

 Student Learner Outcomes – Individual student activities with measurable results

1. Write an essay that synthesizes the vocabulary terms and concepts included in the study of art of the Middle Ages.

2. Analyze the identity of known and unknown art works of the Middle Ages in terms of period and iconography.


Class attendance is critical and note taking is crucial.  Cell phone use during lectures is not permitted. No food or drink is allowed in the lecture hall. Reading assignments completed on time will aid the student in the lectures.  Students must check in with course website often.



Students needing accommodations should contact the instructor ASAP.





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AH 12                             Calendar Spring 2016

Date          Due           Lecture Topic                                                                 Text readings, etc.                  

1/25                           Introduction  to  Course,                                            Purchase  text read introduction

1/27         A1             Classical Background                                                



2/1                              Late Antique + Early Christian 1                              Read Early Christian

2/3                              Early Christian 2


2/8                            Early Byzantine 1                                                       

2/10         Quiz 1       Early Byzantine 2                                                        Read Early Byzantine             


2/15                  Washington’s Birthday Campus Closed

2/17                           Early Byzantine 3 Exam Review


2/22                          Dark Ages 1                                                                   Read Dark Ages

2/24                            Dark Ages 2                                                                  


2/29                           Carolingian 1                                                                Read Carolingian

3/2 Midterm ExamEarly  Christian and Dark Ages               Review  notes  and  readings


3/7                              Making Illuminated MSS + Quiz 2 Review

3/9                              Carolingian 2+


3/14                            Viking Art                                                                      Read Viking Art

3/16                           Lecture Topic Open and Review


3/21                           Ottonian                                                                         Read Ottonian                                                              

3/23   Book Quiz         Lecture to be announced                                                                                


3/28                  Spring Break – No Classes

3/30                  Spring Break – No Classes


4/4                              Islam + Romanesque 1                                                Read Romanesque

4/6                              Romanesque 2


4/11                           Romanesque 3                          

4/13  A2 Review        Middle Byzantine                                                         Read Middle Byzantine 


4/18                           Late Byzantine                                                              Read Late Byzantine

4/20                            Gothic 1                                                                          Read Gothic


4/25                           Gothic 2 

4/27         A2               Gothic 3


5/2                              Gothic 4

5/4                              Trecento + Exam Review                                            Read Trecento


5/9                              Medieval Myth and Legend + Conclusions           Handouts

5/11  Final Exam   In class normal class time


5/16-5/21           Finals Week -  No Class No Exam


Assignments and Examinations    AH 12 Spring 2016

 The sum total of all exams Quizzes and Essay assignments = 25 pages of writing.


Midterm Examination: - Covers all lectures and readings. Objective.  Slides, map, terms and fill ins and a "short" length essays.  All slides will be chosen from a review list.  No notes, notebook or text.

Final Examination

The last day of class, slide and terms – comprehensive. Covers all lectures and readings with special emphasis on Romanesque and Gothic. All slides and terms will be chosen from a review list.

 Quizzes: Two quizzes based on lecture material and text readings – short review list provided. No notes or text.


Are turned in the first five minutes of class in person. Typed, each essay relates to our lectures and readings. Due dates are:

 A 1 – A Photo asignment - check online.

A2 - Due 4/27

Theme: Five Masterpieces of the Medieval World from Global Museums. A personal selection of five great works of art from the periods and regions of AH 12.  3 pages minimum.  Double-spaced, one-inch margins.

1. You are given the task of selecting five personal masterpieces of Medieval Art from our course. Select one from the following periods, Early Christian,  Early Byzantine, Dark Ages, Romanesque, and Gothic.

2. Your selection can come from objects seen in lecture, your text, or other sources such as museums.

3. Each work should satisfy three criteria or masterpiece qualifiers.   Quality of craftsmanship, important art historical iconographical value, and an outstanding example of its period.

Masterpiece Qualifier Criteria Explanations:

Quality of Craftsmanship includes materials used and their execution.  While subjective, most students by the end of the course will be able to determine this characteristic.

Iconography is the study of the subject and story behind it.  Your work must have an important story it tells or the object has an important historical story because of the role it played in history.

Outstanding Example from its period, or period qualifier. Explain how each work of art demonstrates the qualities and characteristics from the period that it was selected.


Your paper needs to include:

1. Title Page – The only place for your name and title is on the first title page.  This information is not repeated anywhere else on the paper.


2. Introduction – Tell me what you are about to do.  This paper is your choice of five masterpieces of art from the Medieval world all selected from Museums – no exceptions unless they come from architecture.  Each of the works demonstrates three important characteristics necessary to qualify it as a masterpiece: Craftsmanship. Iconography and Period characteristics.  Your introduction will clearly state your definitions of these three characteristics and finally include a list of your five objects by name.  Do not start your paper off with a general statement about art or with a quote.


3. Body of Paper will have at least five detailed paragraphs, one for each masterpiece and should include:                    1. Identification of masterpiece by name, museum, or location and medium.

                  2. Description. Two or three sentences describing the object.

                  3. Craftsmanship qualifier.  You need to be specific, not merely that it is beautiful or awesome.

                  4. Iconography qualifier. Be detailed with this part.  The subject and story are very important.

                  5. Period Characteristics qualifier. Provide at least two or three traits that make your choice a      perfect example selected from each period.  It could be style, location, subjects, or function of art.


4. Conclusions : Select one of the five as your choice to represent all of medieval art and why?  Next select only one of the three masterpiece criteria qualifiers and explain how you think this one criterion is more important than all the rest and why.


5. Sources. Cite all sources with a Bibliography at the end. Note – No encyclopedias are used for this paper.  Wikipedia as a source will automatically give you an F on this paper. Illustrations of all selections at the end are helpful for the reader but not required.         


6. Your paper will be written in your own words. Plagiarism even of three to four word phrases will result in a considerable grade deduction, and in clear cases will give a failing grade to the paper. No quotes unless they are by an historical person from the past.                                                                                     Page 3






Note Taking and Preparing for Art History Courses


How do you prepare for Art History courses?  Most of you are new to Art History courses.  Even those who have had Art History before or even my own courses might take a moment to read these tips. 


Art History may be studied in many different ways.  Naturally it is about art objects of great beauty and inspiration.   Some students feel that to be able to appreciate art it requires a natural talent.  Natural talent always helps.  Art Studio majors take Art History as part of their training for their major as artists, and their contributions in class are always helpful.  The study of Art History clearly encompasses the things working artists deal with daily – design and composition, line, shape, color, textured surfaces, and much more.  Art History also covers the subject matter and the stories around these subjects.  These discussions take us into the life and history of the period and the experiences of artists.   In talking about the artists we look into their favorite methods of creating, which brings us back to the art objects themselves.  As you can see, we often move back and forth between art and people and places.  There are things to observe, measure, and describe in great detail – just as in science, anthropology or history classes.  Art History is factual, and it is about much more than just dates and titles.


How do students learn the facts and methods of Art History?  Some are able to learn entirely on their own through their own research.  Many, however, find it overwhelming to get through the terms and names and subjects by themselves.  Taking this course assumes you would like to learn in a classroom atmosphere.  Each day you will see and learn about new art from exotic places.   My lectures are full of stories and experiences.  You may want to sit back and take it all in for the moment, but it is likely you will forget the details unless you take notes – really good notes.


You will need to take notes for quizzes and exams and for yourself.  I used to give out elaborate handouts only to find that students stopped taking notes.  Now my handouts are on the slide images, around them, above and below.  My stories need to be taken down as well because I weave all the information together into a whole.  Don’t make choices.  Everything is important and every slide you see could end up on an exam.  They will not all be used as there are too many, but you will not know which ones we will examine until you receive the exam review sheets.  I do not know myself until I actually make up the exams.


So, every day in class come prepared with your notebook and take everything down.  Date the top of each page and at some point put the subject or artist above each page so you can find it quickly at a later date for study or to clarify your answer in a quiz.    Ideally you would read these notes after each lecture but I know that is not always possible.  The lecture slides are labeled and available online.  Check the online support for this class often.  It will help you in many ways, but it cannot substitute for great notes.   With all that you have invested in your notebook, ID it clearly. 







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