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History's Heroines, Heroes, and Legends with Christopher Bellitto

Every history has a myth and every myth has a history. Join us as we explore both in the ancient and medieval worlds.

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Time & Location








History's Heroines, Heroes, and Legends with Christopher Bellitto

This is a 6-meeting virtual class using the Zoom platform.

Mondays, Sept 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 14 

7-8:30 pm CT

About this class:

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” So we hear in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).  Indeed, we can add that every history has a legend and every legend has a history. Join us as we try to untangle one from the other as we learn from both. We will spend our time in the classical and medieval world. We begin with the trial of Socrates and then move to the great tale of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. From ancient Greece and Rome, we travel to the early Middle Ages and the myth of Pope Joan—a fabrication that tells great truths. Next, we visit Canterbury and the martyrdom of Thomas Becket—was it a hit ordered by his frenemy King Henry II? Join us in medieval Spain to uncover the truth behind the Inquisition. Finally, we walk with Joan of Arc from a peasant village to royal courts.

Instructor bio:

Dr. Christopher M. Bellitto is a Professor of History at Kean University in New Jersey, where he teaches courses in ancient and medieval history. A specialist in medieval and church history, his latest book is Humility: The Secret History of a Lost Virtue (Georgetown University Press, 2023). He has twice won grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary and a Fulbright Specialist in New Zealand and the Netherlands. Dr. Bellitto also serves as series Editor in Chief of Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition and Academic Editor at Large for Paulist Press. He offers public lectures frequently and is also a media commentator on church history and contemporary Catholicism.

HND Value Statement

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota. However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally. Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University. To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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