History (HIST) 371

Early Medieval Europe, 400−1000 (Revision 2)

HIST 371 course cover

View previous version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: HIST 302 (HIST 371 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for HIST 302.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

History Home Page

HIST 371 has a Challenge for Credit option.

check availability


History 371: Early Medieval Europe, 400−1000, is a three-credit, senior-level course that surveys the most significant political, economic, social, intellectual, and religious events and trends in Europe from the collapse of the ancient Roman Empire in the 400s to about the year 1000. Historians have long debated whether this period was a dark age or the birth of Europe. To engage students with these and other historical questions, the course presents primary source readings from the period as well as current scholarly interpretations of the Early Middle Ages. Through researching a particular historical topic in detail, you will exercise the research, critical thinking, and writing skills you will need for success at university and beyond.


The online Study Guide contains the thirteen units listed below.

  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: The Late Roman Empire, 284−476
  • Unit 3: The Cultural and Religious Transformation of the Late Roman Empire
  • Unit 4: The Barbarian Kingdoms of the Early Middle Ages
  • Unit 5: The Byzantine Empire: East Rome Transformed
  • Unit 6: Islam: Sibling Civilization of Medieval Europe
  • Unit 7: Christianization of Early Medieval Europe
  • Unit 8: Early Medieval Economy and Society
  • Unit 9: The Carolingian Empire: Part I: The Rise of the Carolingian Franks
  • Unit 10: The Carolingian Empire: Part II: Reform, Renaissance, and Decline
  • Unit 11: The Vikings, Part I
  • Unit 12: The Vikings, Part II
  • Unit 13: The Lordship and Kingship at the End of the Early Middle Ages, c. 850−c.1000


Your final grade in History 371: Early Medieval Europe, 400−1000 will based on your performance on three written assignments, four online-marked multiple-choice quizzes, and a three-hour invigilated final examination.

To receive credit for HIST 371, you must achieve a minimum of 50 percent on the final examination and a minimum composite course grade of “D” (50 percent).

The chart below summarizes the course activities and the credit weight associated with each and shows the order in which you should complete them, because each builds on the other.

Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Quiz 3 Quiz 4 Assignment 3 Final Exam Total
1.25% 1.25% 5% 20% 1.25% 1.25% 30% 40% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Arnold, Martin. The Vikings: Wolves of War. Lanham: MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.

Riddle, John M. A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500. Lanham: MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.


Gardner, Robert H. (Director). Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain. Unity Productions Foundation, 2007.

Other Materials

The print materials also include a Reading File.

Online Materials

The online materials include a Course Manual, Study Guide, Student Manual, and a Digital Reading Room.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 371 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on each of the three challenge components and a composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

Exam 1 Exam 2 Research Essay Total
30% 30% 40% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, August 17, 2011

View previous syllabus

Updated May 17 2016 by Student & Academic Services