The Late Middle Ages - the two centuries from c. 1300 to c. 1500 - might seem like a distant era, but students of history are still trying to reach a consensus about how it should be interpreted. Was it an era of calamity or rebirth? Was it still clearly medieval or the period in which humanity took its first decisive steps into modernity?These 24 provocative lectures introduce you to the age's major events, personalities, and developments, and arms you with the essentials you need to form your own ideas about this age of extremes - an age that, according to Professor Daileader, "experiences disasters and tragedies of such magnitude that those who survive them cannot remember the like, and doubt that subsequent generations will be capable of believing their descriptions.
"You'll look at the Black Death, the carnage of frequent wars, and the religious turmoil we associate with the Middle Ages." But you'll also look at the beginning of the intellectual and cultural movement known as Humanism, which planted the seeds of modernity. Humanism's precepts, which hearkened back to the moral inspiration inherent in classical artistic values, humans have an enormous capacity for goodness, for creativity, even for the achievement of happiness.
But these were hardly the only forces that tug modern-day historians in multiple directions. The Middle Ages was also a period when the persisting legacy of knights, serfs, and castles coexisted with the cannons and muskets newly made possible by gunpowder. With so many contradictions, it's no wonder that historians have differed widely on how to judge this era-debating even when it ended and modernity began.
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This was an excellent series, and well worth the listen. Professor Philip Daileader is a great scholar and an excellent lecturer. This is part three in a three part series on the middle ages taught by him and published by the Great Courses. Listening to all three are great, but you can listen to one as a standalone course and also benefit from it.
Professor Daileader takes you on an overview of the late middle ages, which he describes as roughly 1300-1500 AD. You will learn about the major political events and personalities of this time as well as social, intellectual, religious, and economic changes. Learn about the early humanists who gave birth to the Renaissance. Learn about how gunpowder change the weapons, armor, and architecture of Europe. Learn about the final collapse of the Roman Empire in the East with the fall of Constantinople. Learn about the dynamic personalities of Ferdinand and Isabella and their leadership in the reconquest of Spain, the institution of the Spanish inquisition, and the sending of Columbus on his fateful voyage in 1492. This is just a small taste of what you will learn here.
Professor Daileader also takes time to introduce you to the historiographical aspects of studying the middle ages and his personal opinion on the length and impact of the middle ages.
I could not recommend this series more highly, especially as way to learn about the time bridge between the high medieval age and the Renaissance, Reformation, & Enlightenment eras that took the west by storm soon afterwards.
This lecturer brings the characters with their strengths and struggles to life. He helps the listener experiance what life was like for people as they struggled to survive the times.
The last in Professor Daileader's trilogy on the Middle Ages is perhaps the least interesting of the series. The reason lies largely in the fact that he focuses less on individual figures of the time and more on the broader historical trends that defined the age.
That being said, it is still a powerful and engaging course, and well worth listening to. I would, however, recommended starting with the Early Middle Ages and working your way up. By jumping straight into this one you will rob yourself some fantastic courses, and you won't be able to fully appreciate where he is coming from here.
Top tier. His other courses are equal standouts. I have listened to quite a few Great Courses and he is among the very best
He has a great ability to synthesize and structure key trends, while still providing conflicting views and historiographic context. In addition, I found him to be consistently amusing and at times quite funny.
No it woul be impossible as there is too material and too much content to absorb in one sitting
I want more of his courses!
The trilogy of the Middle Ages by Professor Daileader provides great insights into the history of the middle ages. From religion to famous authors to events to life in those years, Dr. Daileader covers it all with clarity, humor and interesting details. If you have any interest in history, don't miss these 3 courses.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
I sat through three courses on the subject with Professor Philip Daileader, and I enjoyed this one the most of the three. If you're interested in the era, go ahead and get this course.
I bought this during the second half of my world of the middle ages class and it was a great supplement to the information I received in class
Highly recommended - I really enjoyed these lectures which illuminate a period of time not immediately attractive to our present day
"Great lectures, accessible and interesting"
It's as good as any of the history lecture series I've listened to. I've listened to about six or seven series.
I've listened to the Early Middle Ages and the High Middle Ages. Both great.
This is going to be a long film!
He makes a few small mistakes with his English - he's a native speaker though, from New York I think. And he seems to have a cold in 'The Early Middle Ages'. But he has a very down to earth, entertaining and clear delivery. There's a lot of history here - to a layman like me, it seems comprehensive and well-balanced. He's obviously very capable and loves his subject. He has a great sense of humour. He makes the 'Deja Vu, all over again' joke two or three times and it made me laugh each time. He makes other humorous asides too that made me laugh out loud. Not sure what passers-by think - I listen through headphones while walking. I thoroughly recommend this series and the others I've mentioned. I've listened to a number of the lectures more than once and enjoyed them each time.
"A slightly weaker finish to the trilogy"
Having listened to and thoroughly enjoyed the first two of Prof Daileader's three courses on the Middle Ages I had very high hopes of this, the concluding part of the trilogy but I found it a slightly down note to end. My suspicion is that this is not really the professor's preferred period and that came across in a course that seemed to skate the subject where the previous ones really mined into the earlier periods.
It is still a worthwhile listen with much of interest but I found I was less engaged than in the first two and that the whole course didn't really knit together as I would have liked.
In summary, worth a listen but not up to the usual standards.
This lecturer has improved through the series and this one is the best. The story is very interesting, genuinely interesting tangents and explores the reason behind the different changes. I particularly like the fact he does not focus on any particular country, just to where the most change is at the time. Easy to listen to and enjoyable.
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