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Unit of study_

HSTY1002: Age of Empires

In this unit you will develop the analytical skills to understand historical change. We will examine political, economic, social and cultural trends in a range of regions across a large span of time, c. 1000-1750 AD. Topics covered include Christianity and Islam, varieties of states and empires, and political transformations. We will examine the significance of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, and consider what these episodes look like in a global context.


Academic unit History
Unit code HSTY1002
Unit name Age of Empires
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Nicholas Eckstein,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Online exam
35% - 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Participation Tutorial participation
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Document test (primary source analysis)
15% Week 04
Due date: 20 Mar 2020 at 23:59
750 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Short secondary source analysis
15% Week 08
Due date: 20 Apr 2020 at 23:59
750 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Article/chapter analysis
25% Week 13
Due date: 15 May 2020 at 23:59
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction; 2. Living with empire - introductory. Lecture (2 hr)  
No tutorials in Week 1 Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 02 1. Empire(s), types and typologies; 2. Nature's dominion. Empire and the environment. Lecture (2 hr)  
Introduction to tutorial program and assignments. Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 03 1. & 2. The early Islamic world: from Caliphate to Caliphates (1st to mid-7th c AH / 7th to mid-13th c. CE Lecture (2 hr)  
Nature's dominion Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 04 1. Who’s the most imperial of them all (1)? The Carolingians before Charlemagne. 2. The Vikings: an empire? Part #1 (Kimberley) Lecture (2 hr)  
Muhammad, Prophet of God and Statesman Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 05 1. Who’s the most imperial of them all (2): Carolingians, Ottonians, and the 'Imperial Church System'. 2. The Vikings: an empire? (2) Lecture (2 hr)  
The Viking Diaspora and the settlement of Greenland Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 06 1. Empires and Magnificence. 2. Early-Modern Venice. #1. The city as cosmopolis. Lecture (2 hr)  
Fight in writing: the letters of Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV during the investiture controversy Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 07 1. Early-Modern Venice. The city as cosmopolis. #2 2. Osman's Children: The Ottomans Lecture (2 hr)  
Florence and Istanbul: a common imperial language? Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 08 1. & 2. Spaces of Empire: expansions and subjugations. Lecture (2 hr)  
Osman’s Children: The Ottomans Studio (1 hr)  
Week 09 1. & 2. Alexander’s Heirs: The Safavids and Mughals Lecture (2 hr)  
Columbus and empires of the Other Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 10 1. & 2. Empires and slavery Lecture (2 hr)  
Alexander’s Heirs: The Safavids and Mughals Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 11 Edges of Empire: cross-cultural encounters Lecture (2 hr)  
Slavery and imperial violence Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 12 Reading week Individual study (1 hr)  
Week 13 1. Age of Empires - the unit in review; 2. A guide to the exam. Lecture (2 hr)  
Trans-imperials; crossing imperial cultures. Tutorial (1 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience. In HSTY1002, lectures will be recorded, but the recordings will only be made available on request and for a limited number of reasons. See the following examples:
  1. If you have a lecture clash with another unit, you should arrange to alternate your attendance (one week one unit; one week the other unit). In such cases you will need to send an email to your coordinator explaining the situation and including the other unit (the clash) in which you are enrolled.
  2. Illness. If you cannot attend because of illness the recording will be released to you. You will need to email your coordinator in such circumstances and may be asked to supply a medical certificate.
  3. If the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency has prevented you from coming to Australia all lecture recordings will be released to you. If you have any difficulty in this regard, please email the unit coordinator, who will assist.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of more than one period, place, or culture of the pre-modern era
  • LO2. demonstrate an understanding of the variety of approaches to interpreting the past, particularly political, cultural, social and intellectual
  • LO3. identify and be familiar with written, visual and digital primary sources belonging to the pre-modern era
  • LO4. examine historical issues by undertaking research that begins with a problem and establishes its historical context
  • LO5. analyse historical evidence, scholarship and changing representations of the past using the skills of sifting through information to weigh its significance and close reading of various texts
  • LO6. construct an evidence-based argument or narrative in oral and written form.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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