FilmQ03e_Revival of European Commercial Centers and Civic Pride
How to Use Video as a Source
Step #1: Familiarize yourself with film questions prior to viewing the film. By reading the questions and understanding the vocabulary contained within, you allow yourself the luxury of viewing the film without having to look at the questions continuously.
Step #2: View and Listen Attentively. Unlike a book, a video provides information via visual images and audio. Both forms of data are ‘more valuable together’ than separately. For example, turn the volume off on your TV during your favorite program. Then, raise the volume while ‘blacking out’ the image. Under which conditions was the data most richly delivered? Always make sure that you have unobstructed viewing of a film and that the sound is audible.
As you view the video, pay attention to visual and/ or audio cues that reflect the issues raised by the questions below. Your responses should refer to video content as well as your current knowledge and understanding of history.
Step #3: Organize Your Thoughts. Unlike a book, the data from a video is often delivered at a constant rate. With a book, you can slow your reading speed when you encounter a particular segment that is complicated. You can also turn back to a previous page to review information. A film is a bit different in that you may not always have the option to use ‘slow motion’ or ‘rewind’. Therefore, maintaining focus on the imagery and sound is important. Targeted Notes will reduce the amount of time you’re looking away from the screen. By writing quick and simple phrases of a few words each, you maintain greater attention to film events.
Targeted notes use key words/ phrases that will ignite a thought or idea when you read them later. There is no concern for grammar or spelling while doing this. After the film has ended, you look at your targeted notes and manipulate the data to compile responses in complete sentences.
Organizational Tip: Vertically divide the sheet of paper where your responses will go. On the ‘left’ half, take targeted notes for each question given. After viewing the video, use the targeted notes to compose complete responses to each question (on the ‘right’ half of the sheet).
When made available, contribute your response, comments, criticism, and questions (in complete sentences) to the class via the Verso application (rather than on paper). The goal is to have everyone contribute at least once in preparing a review sheet of this video. The content you share now will be required on future quizzes and exams.
Your responses to these film questions will form the foundation of, or supplement, your notes for this lesson. The focus of the films will be the Northern Italian city of Sienna. This city will provide a case-study to investigate the origins and development of civic pride and citizenship. The city will also provide a vantage point from which to identify the feudal bonds (socio-economic, political) that are straining under the weight of ‘change’ spreading throughout Western Europe. Southern Europe (particularly Northern Italy), unlike Northern Europe, is fast becoming a nursery for municipal rivalries and “one-upmanship”.
SOURCE: Millennium Video Series, The 12th Century: Century of the Axe. CNN Productions, Inc. 1999. (8 Min. total)
Context: 12th C., Northern Italy
1. How is modern ‘civic pride’ connected to the past?
2. Naturally, one’s pride in town/ city would lead to competition with neighboring towns/ cities.
a. Offer two examples of how these Medieval municipalities compete.
b. Can you offer other methods of competition that Northern Italian towns/ cities of the High Middle Ages might pursue?
1. Consider your own situation as a ‘New Yorker’ when responding to these questions.
a. Why would Northern Italian cities, like Sienna, be proud to be called ‘citizens’ instead of ‘subjects’?
b. How would this ‘feeling’ threaten the livelihood of feudal landholders like the Pope (Church)?