History is Philosophy teaching by examples.
― Thucydides, quoted by Dionysius of Heraclea, Ars Rhetorica, XI, 2, ed. Tauchnitz


No one was allowed to leave the theatre during his recitals, however pressing the reason. We read of women in the audience giving birth,
and of men being so bored with listening and applauding that they furtively dropped down from the wall at the rear,
since the gates were kept barred, or shammed dead and were carried away for burial.
― Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, “Nero”, 23, tr. R. Graves

Be it known, that to those engaged in affairs of state, no science is so necessary as that of geography. […]
Of the necessity of this science the following will be a sufficient proof; that the Infidels by application to it
have discovered America, and become masters of India: and even the despicable Venetians […]
have opposed their power to that of our august Monarch, who rules from east to west.
― Ḥajjī Khalīfa, History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks, introduction, tr. J. Mitchell

The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people
as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.
― Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, I, 2

Those who are alive live through an idea; those who do not are the zombie host.
― Michelet, History of the French Revolution, V, ix

The colonist makes history. His life is an epic, an odyssey. He is invested with the very beginning: “We made this land.”
He is the guarantor for its existence: “If we leave, all will be lost, and this land will return to the Dark Ages.”
Opposite him, listless beings wasted away by fevers and consumed by “ancestral customs” compose
a virtually petrified background to the innovative dynamism of colonial mercantilism.
― Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, tr. R. Philcox



History – Mediterranean and European History and Historiography


The focus of the proposed B.A. and B.A. hon. degree programs in History – Mediterranean and European History and Historiography and their distinctive methodological and structural principles will make them unique in Canada.

The programs will study the art of writing History within the broader European tradition and will focus on works by the historians who have exercised the greatest influence over the contemporary understanding of History and practice of historiography. Limitation of the corpus to Mediterranean and European historiography will lend coherence to a vast field and allow for sufficient historical depth.

The programs will teach History as a liberal art and as one of the core subjects of modern humanities. Students will learn to use primary sources by reading medieval historians on the subject of the Middle-Ages, Renaissance historians on the Renaissance, etc., while secondary research materials integrated into coursework will provide contrasting perspectives from more modern historians. In this way, students will gain a deep understanding of the different influences which have contributed to shaping contemporary conceptions of History.



The Honours Degree Program in History


First year

Herodotus, bust


HIS 1.1 Ancient Historiography I, the Greeks:  Herodotus, The Histories; Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

HIS 1.2 Ancient Historiography II, the Roman Era: Caesar, The Gallic Wars; Livy, History of Rome; Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars; Tacitus, Germania; The Annals; Plutarch, Parallel Lives

HIS 1.3 Medieval Historiography:  Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks; Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People; Villehardouin, Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade; Joinville, Life of Saint Louis; Froissart and Monstrelet, Chronicles; Commynes, Memoirs

HIS 1.4 Golden Age Arabic: Ibn Khaldun, The Prolegoma Guicciardini, History of Florence, History of Italy Machiavelli, History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy

HIS 1.5 Renaissance Spanish Historiography:  Gómara, General History of the Indies; Díaz del Castillo, Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies; Las Casas, True History of the Conquest of Mexico



Second year

 Edward Gibbon, portrait by Henry Walton

HIS 2.1 Ottoman Historiography: Ḥajjī Khalīfa, History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks; Hoca Sadeddin Efendi, The Reign of Sultan Orchan; Mustafa Naima, Annals of the Turkish Empire

HIS 2.2 Sixteenth-and Seventeenth-Century French Historiography: Estienne, Apologie pour Hérodote; De Thou, Monsieur de Thou’s History of his Own Time; Dupleix, History of the Gauls; Bayle, A General Dictionary, Historical and Critical

HIS 2.3 Enlightenment Historiography I: Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

HIS 2.4 Enlightenment Historiography II: Raynal, Philosophical and Political History of the Two Indies

HIS 2.5 19th Century Historiography I: Leopold Von Ranke, Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg and History of Prussia during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 



Third year

Jules Michelet, portrait


HIS 3.1 19th Century Historiography II: Jules Michelet, History of France

HIS 3.2 19th Century Historiography III: Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

HIS 3.3 19th Century Historiography IV: Sergey Solovyov, History of Russia from the Earliest Times

HIS 3.4 19th Century Historiography V: Macaulay, History of England from the Accession of James the SecondWilliam Stubbs, Constitutional History of England

HIS 3.5 20th Century Historiography I – The Annales School and Material History: Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft; Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II



Fourth year

Frantz Fanon, portrait


HIS 4.1 20th Century Historiography II – Postcolonial Historiography: Aimé Césaire, Franz Fanon, Kwame Nkrumah, Edward Saïd, Gayatri Spivak, Dipesh Chakrabarty

HIS 4.2 20th Century Historiography III – Genealogical Historiography: Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality

HIS 4.3 20th Century Historiography IV – Cultural Historiography: Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

HIS 4.4 20th Century Historiography V – Neo-Marxist Historiography: Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire, The Age of Extremes (The Short Twentieth Century, 1914–1991)

HIS 4.5 Historiography of the French Revolution: De Maistre, Chateaubriand, Burke, Tocqueville, Carlyle, Michelet, Taine, Lefebvre, Soboul, Kropotkin, Gauchet, Schama, Furet, Hobsbawm