The course is a discussion class for first year students. Readings will be structured around the detailed examination of five momentous days in the Middle Ages that reflect significant developments in medieval history and can be shown to have had an impact on World History. The Five Days include the conversion of Constantine, the foundation of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, the First Crusade, the ascension of Pope Innocent III, and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Linking these five events are themes of religious conversion and conflict, scientific and philosophical thought, canon law and morality, exile and emigration. The course will explore, among other processes, the forces that shaped medieval and modern ideologies, the formation of religious and national identities, and the rise of empires and imperialism.