Medieval and Early Modern
Until relatively recently, the historical study of what was commonly called the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation was built upon a number of assumptions: that the history of western Europe was the history of progress; that historical study should be organized around the development of nation-states; and that the glorious culture of classical antiquity was lost during the “Dark Ages” but recovered as Europe moved into a more “modern” form of Christian piety, enlightened government, and secular morality. Many factors have forced historians to rethink these assumptions and reorganize their approach to what it is now called the Medieval and Early Modern Period. Likewise, today’s more globalized world is not content with a Eurocentric approach to the study of history. Maryland’s program in Medieval and Early Modern history aims at familiarizing students with a range of cultures that flourished in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas and then teaching the comparative and transnational methods needed to evaluate core ideas and institutions.