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You are here Undergraduate > Single Honors History > HIU33100 James IV Renaissance King, Medieval Failure

HIU33100: James IV (1488–1513): Renaissance King, Medieval Failure?

James IV was, in the infamous words of R. L. Mackie, a ‘moonstruck romantic’ who dreamt of uniting Europe in a new crusade. In complete contrast Norman Macdougall considered the king shrewd and able, his calamitous death at the battle of Flodden nothing more than an unfortunately bad day at the office.
  • Module Coordinator:
    • Dr David Ditchburn
  • Duration:
    • Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours:
    • 2 hours per week
  • Weighting:
    • 10 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • Four document commentaries

We have too the more bizarre ‘analysis’ of the king published in 1970 by Ada Stewart, who sincerely believed herself to be the king’s reincarnation. James IV invites starkly differing interpretations. He founded a university, funded experiments in alchemy, and lavished expense on art, artillery and warships. Each class will examine in depth, and in its wider European context, a key primary source from his reign. Documents to be examined include accounts of on what he spent his money, acts of parliament, charters, diplomatic correspondence and the account of the king written by a Spanish envoy, Pedro Ayala.