Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

HIST216 Tyrants and Traitors: Britain and France, 1100-1800

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.

Paper title Tyrants and Traitors: Britain and France, 1100-1800
Paper code HIST216
Subject History
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

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.  

^ Top of page


Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37, 39
A2 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37, 39
A3 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37, 39
A4 Thursday 14:00-14:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37, 39
A5 Thursday 15:00-15:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37, 39