The Making of Europe: Rise of Civilization

Course code

Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level

We will bring you to the heart of Rome, where you will learn about the political, social and religious history behind the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and the birth of the Renaissance and Baroque. You will study the astonishing Italian accomplishments from the ancient to the early modern era. You will also visit a variety of beautiful ancient sites in the city, such as the Pantheon, Colosseum and many more! In case this course cannot be offered face-to-face, we might offer History courses online (although possibly in a different subject). Check our website for updated information.

During these two weeks we will travel through Roman and Italian history, studying its fascinating political, religious and cultural development in relation to Europe. Beautiful Rome was and is, in various ways, the ancestor of modern Europe: capital of the glorious Roman Empire, Rome rebuilt itself towards the end of the Middle Ages to rival the Florentine Renaissance. It even became the birthplace of the Baroque, with genius artists like Bernini and Borromini.

We will explore the city of Rome, enjoying its remarkable architecture, art and museums, such as the Pantheon, the forums of Caesar and Augustus, the Capitoline museum, the accomplishments of Michelangelo on Saint Peter’s Basilica and the many beautiful early churches like the Santa Prassede. During classes, topics to be treated are the Roman Republic and Empire, ancient religion - including the birth of Christianity - and the confusing Middle Ages that were characterized by political and religious strive. After treating the Renaissance and Baroque period, we will even briefly glimpse ahead to Mussolini’s Rome. By the end of this truly interactive course students will have seen some of the most breath-taking highlights of European history and they will have unravelled the politics behind it!

NB: Wish to combine this course with a course in the Netherlands? This course is part of the track 'Founding Europe: From Antiquity to the 19th Century'. You can even extend this with a course in Berlin, in our track 'The Making of Europe'.

Course director
Matisse Huiskens, MA & Thom van Leuveren, BA

Aim of the course

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe and evaluate different theories and conceptualisations of the historic development of Europe, with specific attention for Italy; 
  • Show an understanding of various historic monuments and their relation to historic developments; 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the European developments; 
  • Demonstrate this critical knowledge and understanding in written and verbal form.

Study load

12 to 16 hours of lectures per week; approximately 10 hours of field trips; self study


Course fee:
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Fee covers
Course + course materials

Extra information about housing

Your accommodation is available to you from Sunday 4 July onward. You will be housed in a hotel for the duration of this course. You can check in between 2 PM and 10 PM.

More information

Utrecht Summer School | E: | T: +31 30 253 4400


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
01 June 2021