HISTORY 410. The European City in History
Professor: Robert W. Brown
History 410, The European City in History, explores, through the study of selected cities at unique moments of their historical importance and cultural creativity, the European urban tradition from the Roman Empire to the present. The study of cities provides a singular perspective upon European history, for within the urban environment have taken place the greatest achievements of human energy and talent as well as many of its darkest deeds. The positive range from the attainment of political democracy and individual freedom to the creation of major works of art, music, and thought; on the negative side are environmental despoliation; crowding, overpopulation, and disease; not to mention poverty and social as well as economic exploitation. Cities selected for study include Rome, Paris, Florence, Bruges Amsterdam, Manchester, London, Berlin, Moscow, and New York. By the close of the semester, each student should have gained an overview of the European urban tradition, an appreciation for the contributions of selected cities to European culture, an understanding of the perennial problems confronting cities, and a comprehension of the stages through which urban life in Europe has moved from the Roman Empire to the present.