History 11

Era of Christendom

This course is an introduction to the post-Pagan Roman world (which encompassed the province of Britannia, in the west, to the Kingdoms of Armenia and Georgia in the east), and to the expansion and transformation of that world, i.e. the new lands won for Christ by missionaries and the renewal or abolition of many western and central European institutions and traditions. More than this, the Kolbe 11th grade History Course is an attempt to present as an elaborate thriving organism, an often slandered or overlooked period in which the Christian ideal shaped and inspired the social and political order.

Course Description

Students will study this era through its sources, occasionally comparing them against the judgments of modern historians, in order to form an impression that is marred neither by the pejoratives of progressives nor the sense of vindication often voiced by Catholics. Students will be able to identify the greater themes of this era and to distinguish between the vagaries of life in this (or any) era, the anomalies of this era, and its ideals. An over-emphasis on particulars—a trick of progressive and anti-Catholic historians—is misleading. Similarly, the person who passes judgment on this era with reference to only the political formulations issued by popes and the recorded aspirations of saints will have obscured or overlooked a very complex culture. In short, the goal is to let this era manifest itself to the student, while supplying occasional readings or glosses that put the readings in proper context.

For this reason, the Kolbe 11th Grade curriculum is entitled The Era of Christendom, rather than "Dark Ages Curriculum", for the designation "Dark Ages" is shamefully derogatory and unscientific, as the historian Theodor Ernst Mommsen observed. We feel it is important therefore that even something so seemingly insignificant as the title of the course suggest a fresh approach to this subject.


Course Expectations

Students taking this course for Kolbe Core (OK) credit will have four major assignments each semester.  Two of those four assignments will be paper topic essays, and the other 2 may also be essays, but could instead include other types of creative projects, oral presentations, or other appropriate assignments pertinent to the course.  Additionally, core students should also expect to have daily reading, minor weekly written assignments, required participation, and exams as assigned by their instructor. All assignments are given and graded by the instructor.

Course Texts
  • The Era of Christendom Reader
  • Byzantium
  • Viking Portable Medieval Reader
  • Chronicles
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers


Course Details:

Section Number





Dr. Hasler

Mrs. Prudlo

Dr. Hasler

Grades (Typical)

9 - 12 (11th)

Live Class Meets

1x per week

1 hr. 20 min.





Class Period





6:00-7:20 AM AM PT

9:00-10:20 AM

7:30 - 8:50 AM PT

10:30 - 11:50 AM ET

10:30 - 11:50 AM PT

1:30-2:50 PM ET 



Credits (Type)

10 (History)

Transcript Designation


Companion Courses

Literature of Christendom

Apologetics & Church History II

Classical Rhetoric


Also offered at the Kolbe Honors (OH) level.