History (HIST) 373

The Renaissance (Revision 1)

HIST 373 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Reading course - Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: HIST 300 and HIST 303 (HIST 373 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for HIST 300 and HIST 303.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

History Home Page

HIST 373 has a Challenge for Credit option.

check availability


HIST 373 surveys the state of Western Europe in the fourteenth century—a time of devastating economic catastrophe, social upheaval, and religious controversy—and then focuses on Italy, the heartland of the Renaissance, a country that was fragmented politically and often torn by severe social conflict yet led the economic and cultural recovery of Europe in the fifteenth century. The course examines in turn all the main aspects of the Italian Renaissance: the vibrant political and social life of the Italian city states, the growth and impact of the humanist movement, the writings of leading poets, philosophers, and political theorists, and the flourishing art and architecture created by Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and others. Extensive use is made of contemporary sources to obtain first-hand insights into the values and concerns of Renaissance men and women.


  • Unit 1: Introduction and Medieval Background
  • Unit 2: Crisis and Recovery, 1300-1500
  • Unit 3: Christianity in Turmoil, 1300-1500
  • Unit 4: Literature and Society
  • Unit 5: Renaissance Italy
  • Unit 6: Italian Renaissance Humanism
  • Unit 7: The Arts in the Italian Renaissance


To receive credit for HIST 373, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Short Essay 1 Research Essay Final Exam Total
25% 35% 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


Kenneth R. Bartlett, A Short History of the Italian Renaissance (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013).

Spitz, Lewis W. 1987. The Renaissance and Reformation Movements, Vol. 1: The Renaissance, Rev. ed. St. Louis: Concordia.

Ziegler, Philip. 1969. The Black Death. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Other Materials

The course materials include a student manual and two reading files.

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 373 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the entire challenge examination.

Part I: Exam Part II: Exam Total
50% 50% 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 1.

Updated February 15 2017 by SAS