Europe is the second smallest continent but has experienced a long, varied, and rich history that reaches from the Caucasus to Iceland, from the gulags of Archangelsk to the rock of Gibraltar. Over millennia, European history developed in exciting and sometimes unexpected ways as forces of unification (Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, the papacy, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, the European Union, and many more) struggled with the pressures of fragmentation (nationalism, Vikings and other barbarians, heretics and reformers, rebels and revolutionaries, and the Euro crisis).
Specialists in this region can study practically every kind of history over millennia with historians who are internationally recognized experts in their fields. Europe is where the “western tradition” waxed and waned over the centuries, and students may get to know Augustine and Locke, Calvin and Clausewitz, Newton and Nietzsche. Europe was the homeland of the Inquisition, imperialism, fascism, and the Holocaust, but also of the Enlightenment, human rights, the Renaissance, and the Industrial Revolution. Courses in European history range from broadly conceived survey lectures covering practically all of European history with a broad brush to more specialized lecture courses and seminars. While lectures emphasize the big picture, seminars work closely with historical sources (when needed in translation), training students in research and writing skills.