The Christian Europe Study Program covers the histories of France, Italy and Germany from the Kingdom of the Franks to the Reformation. The first half of the program focuses primarily on France. Later units cover the Holy Roman Empire, the Church, and cultural aspects of European history. The Christian Europe study program includes:
Note: The Christian Europe program is being revised. Some study aids are unavailable.
The Christian Europe study Program covers twelve centuries of European history, from the fall of the Roman empire to the 17th century. During most of this period, Western Europe was a diverse collection of states and principalites with differing languages, laws, customs, and histories. Yet all were ruled by Christian princes and all of European culture was influenced by a Christian worldview.
Medieval Europe is fascinating but it is challenging to study such a diverse collection of peoples. Most conventional textbooks take a thematic approach and cover only the most important events effecting all of Europe (Christian conversion, feudalism, viking age, etc.), because it is impossible to cover national histories adequately in a single volume. Unfortunately, condensing so much history into such a narrow scope fails to give each nation its due or hold the interest of most students.
The Heritage Curriculum takes a different approach to European history that we believe is more likely to engage student interest. We offer a large collection of books that give adequate attention to the most interesting aspects of European history, and to simplify things somewhat the histories of Britain and Spain are covered in separate programs. We recommend, in fact, that students study British Middle Ages before tackling Christian Europe because it is the most accessible of our Medieval programs.
The Christian Europe program, therefore, focuses mainly on France and the Holy Roman Empire, the civilizations that arose from the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne. This limits the scope of European history enough for students to do an in depth study and gain a real appreciation of the subject.
Four of the eight units dedicated to Christian Europe, focus mainly on France. This is because France was the leading nation in continental Europe from Roman times to the 18th century,and its history is intimately associated with that of the Roman Church. Two units are dedicated to the Holy Roman Empire, and one covers the leading events in Church history. The final unit of Christian Europe is dedicatd to the the art, culture, and literature of Medieval Europe.
We believe the history and culture of Medieveal Europe are too vast to condense into a single text. The Heritage library and study program offer a broad selection of engaging histories, biographies, and adapted classics can really engage student interest and give European history its due.
The following links provide information about reading options for Christian Europe.
France—The first four units of the Christian Europe program cover France from the Merovingian kings to the Court of Louis XIV. The second unit focuses on the Normans and covers not only the Normans of France, but also Norman conquests in Italy, Sicily, and the Holy Lands.
Holy Roman Empire—Units five and six cover the history of the Holy Roman Empire and the Reformation Era in Central Europe. The Holy Roman Empire was composed of the German speaking portions of the Frankish Empire, including small states corresponding to modern Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Northern Italy.
Medieval Church—Unit seven covers the history of the Roman Church from the age of Charlemagne to the Counter-Reformation. The core reading for unit seven tells the Story of the Church from a Catholic point-of-view. Most other assigned reading is presented from a Protestant perspective.
Christian Culture—Unit eight focuses on some of the cultural aspects of the Middle Ages including Feudalism, Guilds, Chivalry, Castles, Monasteris, Art, and Architecture.
Advanced Students—There a great many books of interest in the Christian Europe collection, but the great majority were intended for intermediate readers. The only two advanced biographies are the lives of the Bourbon kings Henry IV and Louis XIV. Both are worthwhile, but the most enjoyable selections for advanced readers might be Charles Morris's Historical Tales.
Study Aids are provided to help students review important characters and events. Some resources relate to all of Medieval Europe and others to specific historical eras.
|Historical Maps||Outline Maps|
|Wars and Battles||Era Summaries|
Study Aids organized by Historical Era