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    An examination of treason and tyranny as a prism for understanding the making of the modern state.

    Treason is considered the worst crime; traitors in history were subject to the harshest punishment. Yet, those who allegedly committed treason were often those who attempted to dethrone, or even kill, the tyrant. Treason and tyranny are thus two sides of the same coin.

    This paper examines both the development of treason laws and the theory and practice of resistance to tyranny including tyrannicide in Britain and France from the late Middle Ages to the time of the French Revolution. Through the prism of treason and tyranny, the paper aims to explore how and why the modern state came into existence, highlighting the ‘dark side’ of that historical process. This course is designed for students who are interested in late medieval and early modern European (British and French) history and political, legal and intellectual history.

    About this paper

    Paper title Tyrants and Traitors: Britain and France, 1100-1800
    Subject History
    EFTS 0.1500
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    One 100-level HIST paper or 54 points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music

    Professor Takashi Shogimen -

    Teaching staff

    Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Professor Takashi Shogimen


    No textbook required.

    Course outline

    Available via Blackboard.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    1. A broad understanding of the history of treason as well as dissent from tyranny as a prism for an understanding of the making of the modern state.
    2. A critical awareness of key scholarly debates around tyranny, dissent from/resistance to tyranny, tyrannicide (regicide), and treason and sedition.
    3. A nuanced understanding of historical incidents and debates on tyranny, resistance to tyranny and regicide as well as of judicial measures around treason.
    4. Demonstrated abilities to examine relevant historical sources (both primary and secondary) and produce cogent and lucid analysis in the written form.  


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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