Tenth Grade: Medieval Jewish Civilization—Syllabus

2007

September 30

Introduction and Expectations

Review of Sectarian Judaism, Destruction of the Temple, Bar Kochba 

October 7

Early Christianity

Impact of Christian theology on Jews, Pauline Christianity

Texts: Excerpts from Paul, the Gospels, and Exodus

October 14

Apocalyptic Thought

Text: Moses of Crete, 414 CE

October 21

Christianization of Rome

Texts: Council at Elvira, Novella 146 of Justinian 

October 28

Early Christian Theology, The Doctrine of Witness

Text: Augustine (from The City of God) 

November 4

Jews Under Islam; Mohammed and the Spread of Islam

Representation of Jews in the Koran

Texts: Excerpts from Al-Qur'an

November 11

Dhimmi

Text: Pact of 'Umar

November 18

Abbasids, Exilarch, and Gaonim

Text: Natan HaBavli 

November 25

Thanksgiving—No class

December 2

Rationalism and Kalam

Text: Saadia HaGaon

December 9

Karaism

Texts: Chronicle of Anan Ben David, excerpt from Book of Precepts of Anan Ben David, excerpt from Book of Rules of Benjamin Al-Nahawandi

December 16

Al-Andalus

Texts: Excerpts from The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal; Hasdai ibn Shaprut

December 23, 30

Winter Break—No classes


2008

January 27

Karaism

Texts: Chronicle of Anan Ben David, excerpt from Book of Precepts of Anan Ben David, excerpt from Book of Rules of Benjamin Al-Nahawandi

February 3

Origins of Sephardic Jewry

Text: Ibn Daud (from Sefer HaKabbalah)

February 10

Judah HaLevi

Texts: poetry, Al-Khazari

February 17

Presidents' Day weekend—No class

February 24

Origins of Ashkenaz

Text: Jewish Merchant Charters

March 2

Maimonides, Part I

Text: Iggeret Tayman

March 9

Yom Iyun

March 16

Maimonides, Part II: Messianism

Texts: Hilchot Melachim, chapters 11–12

March 23

Disputation at Barcelona, 1263

Text: Ramban's record of the disputation

March 30

Jews and Christians Revisited, Part I

Text: Toldot Yeshu

April 6

Jews and Christians Revisited, Part II

Text: Chronicle of Bar Shimshon

April 13

Spanish Inquisition

April 20, 27

Passover—No classes

May 4

Spanish Inquisition

Text: The Cardinal's Snuffbox

May 11

Spanish Inquisition

Text: The Cardinal's Snuffbox

May 18

Spanish Inquisition

Wrap-up, last day of class