Europe and the Environment in the Middle Ages

From Ptolemy, Geography, 1469

Ever since 1967, when Lynn White, jr., published his essay, "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis." in Science, scholars have attempted to prove or disprove his thesis.  White argued that we need to look at the cultural climate of the Middle Ages in Europe in order to explain the environmental crises that were gaining international recognition in the 1960s.  This course will closely examine the White thesis and the response to it by reading the scholarly literature on medieval environmental history published in the last fifty years.

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Revised 8 October 2000