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ARC 42 — Cornerstone Cultures of Northern Europe: The Celts, Franks, and Vikings

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—Jun 5
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 16
Units: 2
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 3—Jun 5
10 weeks
Drop By
Apr 16
2 Units
Patrick Hunt
Like the Greeks and Romans in southern Europe, the Celts, Franks, and Vikings laid cultural foundations across northern Europe that continue to this day. We cannot fully understand modern France, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden—in fact, most EU and NATO countries— without considering their ancient roots. In this course, we will begin by studying the Celts, the oldest of the three cultures, with origins tracing as far back as 800 BCE in Austria. Even the Roman historian Tacitus noted the Celts’ never-before-seen customs of wearing mustaches and plaid clothing. Arthurian legends and chivalry are also grounded in Celtic values and traditions. The Franks, originating east of Germany, put their stamp on history after the fall of the Roman Empire around 800 CE largely through the administrative genius of Charlemagne and his children, who unified Europe and revived literacy in what became known as the Carolingian Renaissance. The Vikings came from Scandinavia and the Baltic at around the same time and changed the face of northern Europe through seafaring, shrewd trade, and conquest, leaving such Norman descendants as William the Conqueror. Close readings of texts complemented by richly illustrated slide presentations will be part of each lecture. Students will come away with a new understanding of modern northern Europe’s deep roots, tangled among three very different ancient cultures.

Patrick Hunt, Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project

Patrick Hunt is the author of twenty books, including Hannibal, Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, When Empires Clash: Twelve Great Battles in Antiquity, and Caravaggio (Life & Times). He is also a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council. Hunt received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Barry Cunliffe, The Ancient Celts (ISBN 9780198752936)
(Required) Derek Wilson, Charlemagne: A Biography (ISBN 978-0307274809)
Robert Ferguson, The Vikings: A History (ISBN 978-0143118015)