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


 Unique Programs 


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

The courses that make up these programs focus on the major works of a tradition that extends, from Herodotus to Hobsbawm, over two and a half millennia, while the limitation of the corpus to Mediterranean and European historiography provides depth and coherence to the study of this vast field.

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, and so on. In parallel, secondary research materials integrated into coursework and research materials will illustrate the contrasting methods and perspectives of modern and contemporary historians. In this way, students will gain a deep understanding of the different influences which have contributed to shaping contemporary conceptions of History.

 Bright Prospects 


The proposed programs have been developed in consultation with faculty responsible for graduate admissions at some of the world’s top universities. They are specially designed to help students gain admission to M.A. programs including focus on historiography and / or requiring broad reading at the undergraduate level.

Students will also be well prepared for further studies in related and interdisciplinary academic fields, in teaching or in law.

For students seeking to enter the job market directly, the HDDP’s History programs will provide a superior credential for highly skilled positions in the public and private sectors in fields including diplomacy, the military, politics, writing, communication, and curation.

 More Details 


More detailed information, including course descriptions, weekly programs, assignments, and learning outcomes, is provided in the Course Catalogue.

Following the overview of program courses, a full list of the primary readings comprising the honours specialization has been included.

The Honours Degree Program in History


First year

Herodotus, bust


HIS 1.1 Ancient Historiography I, the Greeks  

HIS 1.2 Ancient Historiography II, the Roman Era 

HIS 1.3 Medieval Historiography  

HIS 1.4 Golden Age Arabic and Italian Renaissance Historiography 

HIS 1.5 Renaissance Spanish Historiography  



Second year

 Edward Gibbon, portrait by Henry Walton

HIS 2.1 Ottoman Historiography 

HIS 2.2 Early Modern French Historiography 

HIS 2.3 Enlightenment Historiography I  The Roman Empire 

HIS 2.4 Enlightenment Historiography II – Early Modern Colonization of Asia and the Americas 

HIS 2.5 19th Century Historiography I – Early Modern German History 




Third year

Jules Michelet, portrait


HIS 3.1 19th Century Historiography II  Pre-Modern France and Early Modern Europe 

HIS 3.2 19th Century Historiography III – Renaissance Italy 

HIS 3.3 19th Century Historiography IV  Russian History 

HIS 3.4 19th Century Historiography V – Medieval and Early Modern England 

HIS 3.5 20th Century Historiography I – Material History of the Spanish Golden Age 



Fourth year

Frantz Fanon, portrait


HIS 4.1 20th Century Historiography II – Cultural Historiography of the Netherlands in the Late Medieval and Golden Ages 

HIS 4.2 20th Century Historiography III – Postcolonial History 

HIS 4.3 20th Century Historiography IV – Genealogical History of Sexuality 

HIS 4.4 20th Century Historiography V – Neo-Marxist Historiography of European and World Modernity 

HIS 4.5 Historiography of the French Revolution 



Primary Readings Required for the Honours Degree in History


Assembled from the bibliographical information for each course, the following list provides a panoptic view of what is to be covered in the program on a year-by-year basis. This list is purely for informational purposes and does not correspond to the type of comprehensive undergraduate exit exam that traditionally characterized humanities programs at universities such as Oxford or Geneva. It may, however, serve as an indication of the depth and breadth of the program proposed by the HDDP, and may also serve as a basis for comparison with programs in similar specializations at other universities.

The dates given in brackets are those of the first publication in the original language. The edition to be used for the course readings will be determined in consultation with the Project’s Head Librarian and the course’s professor. Translations are listed according to the title of the translation to be used. Again, the precise edition to be used will be determined in conjunction with the Head Librarian and the teaching professor.


First Year

“Schwankendes Gleichgewicht” [Unstable Equilibrium], abstract watercolour painting with pencil by Paul Klee,1922


Herodotus, The Histories [c. 430 BC]
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War [c. 410 BC]
Caesar, The Gallic Wars [c. 49 BC]
Livy, History of Rome [c. 9 BC]
Tacitus, Agricola [98 AD]
---. Germania [c. 98 AD]
---. The Annals [c. 100 AD]
Plutarch, Parallel Lives [c. 100 AD]
Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars [121 AD]
Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks [664]
Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People [731]
Villehardouin, Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade [1213]
Joinville, Life of Saint Louis [1309]
Froissart and Monstrelet, Chronicles [1391; 1444]
Commynes, Memoirs [1498]
Ibn Khaldun, The Prolegoma [1377]
Guicciardini, History of Florence [1509]
---. History of Italy [1561]
Machiavelli, History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy [1532]
Gómara, General History of the Indies [1552]
Las Casas, Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies [1552]
Díaz del Castillo, True History of the Conquest of Mexico [c. 1568]


“Schwankendes Gleichgewicht” [Unstable Equilibrium], abstract watercolour painting with pencil by Paul Klee,1922


Second Year


Hoca Sadeddin Efendi, The Reign of Sultan Orchan [1588]
Ḥajjī Khalīfa, History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks [1656]
 Mustafa Naima, Annals of the Turkish Empire [1730]
Estienne, A World of Wonders […] taken from the Apologie for Herodotus [1566]
De Thou, Monsieur de Thou’s History of his Own Time [1620]
Spon, The History of the City and State of Geneva [1620]
Bayle, A General Dictionary, Historical and Critical [1697]
Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [1776-1788]
Raynal, et alia, History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies [1770]
Leopold von Ranke, Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg and History of Prussia during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries [1847-1848]



Third Year

“Schwankendes Gleichgewicht” [Unstable Equilibrium], abstract watercolour painting with pencil by Paul Klee,1922


Michelet, A Summary of Modern History [1827]
---. History of France [1855]
---. preface to the 1869 edition of the History of France
Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy [1860-1867]
Soloviev, History of Russia from the Earliest Times [1851-1879]
Macaulay, “History” [1828]
---. The History of England from the Accession of James the Second  [1848]
Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England in its Origin and Development [1873-1878]
Bloch, The Historian’s Craft [1949]
Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II [1949]




Fourth Year

“Schwankendes Gleichgewicht” [Unstable Equilibrium], abstract watercolour painting with pencil by Paul Klee,1922


Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages: A Study of the Forms of Life, Thought and Art in France and the Netherlands in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries [1919]
Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age [1987]
Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism [1950]
Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth [1961]
Nkrumah, Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism [1965]
Saïd, Orientalism [1978]
Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present [1999]
Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference [2000]
Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. I, The Will to Knowledge [1976]
, vol. II, The Use of Pleasure [1984], vol. III, The Care of the Self [1984], vol. IV, Confessions of the Flesh [2018]
Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789-1848 [1962]
---. The Age of Capital: 1848-1875 [1975]
---. The Age of Empire: 1875-1914 [1987]
---. The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914—1991 [1994]
Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France [1790]
De Maistre, Considerations on France [1797]
Thiers, The History of the French Revolution [1823-1827]
Carlyle, The French Revolution, A History [1837]
Quinet, Ultramontanism [1845]
Blanc, History of the French Revolution of 1789 [1847-1853]
Michelet, History of the French Revolution [1847-1853]
Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the Revolution [1856]
Taine, The Revolution [1875-1893]
Kropotkin, The Great French Revolution [1893]
Lefebvre, The French Revolution: from its Origins to 1793 [1951-1957]
Soboul, The Sans Culottes [1958]
Furet, Interpreting the French Revolution [1978]
Michel Biard and Marisa Linton, Terror: the French Revolution and its Demons [2021]