Medieval Cultures


Medieval Cultures offers two distinct areas of historical focus: the Medieval and the Late Antique. The former focuses on the sixth through the fifteenth centuries, combining interdisciplinary perspectives with in-depth study of one or two related disciplines. Late Antique Cultures deals with the third through the ninth centuries, when ancient cultural forms were still in place but medieval cultures were beginning to take shape simultaneously. The first undergraduate degree of its kind in this country, Late Antique Cultures facilitates the study of human activity in all of its variety. A traditional area of study in Medieval Cultures is Western Europe, but students are encouraged to work in other cultural areas such as Byzantine, Islamic, Judaic and Slavic. The concentration serves students interested in the changing relation of cultural practices, social patterns, political and economic forms, and artistic and literary traditions in this important transitional period.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of Roman and medieval history, religions, and cultural production
  • Develop advanced skills in critical reading and thinking
  • Learn to read a medieval language or ancient Greek, Latin, or Hebrew
  • Complete an original research project


Click here for a list of the Medieval Studies concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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A capstone experience in Medieval Studies occurs in the context of the Honors Program, in which the candidate writes a thesis. Students must identify an area of special interest, such as an author (e.g. Basil of Caesarea, Prudentius, Boethius, etc.), a time period or theme (e.g. the tenth century, late antiquity, Christian humanism, etc.), or a more specific issue, such as the classical tradition and medieval imitation. Please visit the concentration website for more information on the requirements for Honors.


  • Late Antique Cultures

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.