At the dawn of the last millennium in the year 1000, Europe was one of the world's more stagnant regions - an economically undeveloped, intellectually derivative, and geopolitically passive backwater, with illiteracy, starvation, and disease the norm for almost everyone.
Yet only three centuries later, all of this had changed. A newly invigorated cluster of European societies had revived city life, spawned new spiritual and intellectual movements and educational institutions, and had begun, for reasons both sacred and profane, to expand at the expense of neighbors who traditionally had expanded at Europe's expense. This series of 24 lectures, filled with memorable detail, examines how and why Europeans achieved this stunning turnaround. By its conclusion, you will be able to describe and analyze the social, intellectual, religious, and political transformations that set into motion this midsummer epoch of the medieval world - an epoch you will come to know very well through Professor Daileader's vivid descriptions and examinations of its people, including
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©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
author of Lowcountry Legend's series
I adore the medieval in any form, but this professor makes a period that is so obscure come alive. He doesn't romanticize the period nor does he belittle it. He inserts humor and quotes that still stick with me.
Of Professor Daileader's Medieval trilogy, this is probably the weakest offering. The reason I say that is mainly because of my own preference for narrative history rather than social/economic history, of which this course embraces mostly the latter.
That being said, I still highly recommend this course for anyone interested in the period. Daileader's delivery is highly entertaining and he even injects a fair amount of humor to the lectures.
Start with the Early Middle Ages though, since I think that is perhaps the best in the trilogy.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
The professor does a great job in bringing this era to life, exploring society high and low during this era, as well as developments in religious thought, education, and political thought.
Very deep, prepare to be blown away.
His lecture content and subject matter were excellent. His diction could be improved a bit. He slurred a bit much. A problem when you're listening in the car.
In the category of History, this is one of my favorites. I only purchased this to give me some background to help me appreciate current history. I expected a dry, boring lecture, but was surprised to find that it held my interest throughout. I've also listened to The Early Middle Ages, which I found just okay. This one is the more interesting.
I most appreciated that this was not so much a history of battles and personalities, but more an anthropological survey of how our social, political and religious institutions evolved to what they are today. The information is valuable for understanding class structures, prejudices, and what we hold valuable.
I first thought he did a decent job, considering it was a lecture. I've since listened to other Great Courses lectures and would rate him very highly, both in delivery and content. Looking forward to listening to his other courses.
I'm really looking forward to listening to other Great Courses lectures. My local library has a few on DVD. While the DVD format is nice because it provides maps and such, they are frequently damaged. For ease of listening, I prefer the audiobook downloads.
"Another excellent course from Professor Daileader"
This is the second of a trilogy of courses presented by Professor Daileader and on a par with the excellent first one on the Early Middle Ages. Having a much shorter time frame to cover than in the first course, Professor Daileader structures these lectures into three distinct groups: Society; Religion; and, Politics & War. Initially I was concerned that this would lead to an uneven course but I was surprised by how interesting and engaging the religious elements were.
As with the previous course, the great strength of the course is the light touch that Professor Daileader brings to it. He is entertainingly wry at times but never to the detriment of clearly explaining the subject matter. Particularly refreshing is the sense of self awareness he clearly has. Where other lecturers in these courses seem to be unaware of how their subject can seem to the casual listener the Prof Daileader seems only too aware of how strange or difficult some of the things he covers are.
All in all this is an excellent and enjoyable course that I would recommend but for the best experience listen to the Early Middle Ages first.
The weakest of the series, but still very good. Good overview and a good insight into the European continents history as a whole, as opposed to just focused on the home land.
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