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The Late Middle Ages Lecture
The Late Middle Ages
Written by: 
The Great Courses
Narrated by: 
Professor Philip Daileader
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The Late Middle Ages Lecture

The Late Middle Ages

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Publisher's Summary

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2007 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2007 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Mike 07-04-14
    Mike 07-04-14
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    "An Excellent Overview of the Late Middle Ages"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    Happy Reading!!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deep Reader 04-27-14
    Deep Reader 04-27-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent finale for the course trilogy"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jose diaz 04-12-15
    jose diaz 04-12-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Enjoyable and informative."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hellocat Centurion, South Africa 01-23-15
    Hellocat Centurion, South Africa 01-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating as always, but not his best work"

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. R. James 11-29-14
    M. R. James 11-29-14 Member Since 2011
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    "All 3 of Professor Daileader's courses are great!"
    Where does The Late Middle Ages rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top tier. His other courses are equal standouts. I have listened to quite a few Great Courses and he is among the very best


    What about Professor Philip Daileader’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No it woul be impossible as there is too material and too much content to absorb in one sitting


    Any additional comments?

    I want more of his courses!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Golden, CO, United States 09-10-14
    Michele Golden, CO, United States 09-10-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Middle Ages that you won't forget"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juliana 05-31-16
    Juliana 05-31-16
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    "Wonderfully entertaining and informative"
    What did you love best about The Late Middle Ages?

    Firstly the content. I love history in general and the lectures (combined with the Early and High Middle Ages lectures by the Great Courses and also by Professor Daileader) provided an excellent background in European Medieval History. Professor Daileader's enthusiasm and humor (I often literally laugh out loud at his witty comments and subtle jokes) make it an absolute pleasure to listen to these lectures.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Philip Daileader’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes - The Early Middle Ages, The High Middle Ages and How the Crusads Changed History. Professor Daileader is brilliant in all of them; my only complaint is that there are not more lectures by him!


    Any additional comments?

    A minor point - I sense that Professor Daileader is a bit more sympathetic to the early Church than I would like and sometimes has drifted ever so slightly into apologetics. However Professor Daileader more than makes up for this by his delivery, his humor and obvious knowledge and enthusiasm, and even though I sensed this in the very first lecture series of his which I listen to, I nevertheless bought all the subsequent ones.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yasutomo 04-19-16
    Yasutomo 04-19-16
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    "Engaging"

    I have heard the Early, High and the Late Middle Ages by Professor Daileader. Excellent construction and beautiful performance. Gripping till the end, and I get bored easily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Libby B. Eastern U.S. 12-17-15
    Libby B. Eastern U.S. 12-17-15 Member Since 2014

    Glass blower and audiobook junkie. Books are my schoolroom and my entertainment!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Broad and Deep"

    I listened to all 3 in Prof. Daileader's series of courses on the Middle Ages, and though I enjoyed them all this was my favorite. (You don't have to listen to all 3 to enjoy this one, it works as a standalone course). As with the other courses, here the professor highlights different themes and areas of history (as in not just political but also cultural, scientific, theological, etc.). However I felt that in this one he did a better job of tying the themes and areas together and seeing how they relate to one another. I think this kind of connection-drawing makes for a much deeper understanding of history as well as better retention after the course is over. This way you don't come out of it feeling like the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the papal schism, for example, all happened completely separately in their own respective vacuums, but instead you get a feel for the whole time period.

    Prof. Daileader is clear, insightful, and funny. His enthusiasm for the subject is infectious and turns what could be a daunting time period into a fun and fascinating course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Salma 12-09-15
    Salma 12-09-15 Member Since 2016
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    "professor Daileader is wonderful"

    truly excellent course and brilliant professor. highly recommended. Looking forward to more courses in the series

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Eliel Cohen
    4/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent trilogy"

    this trilogy of middle ages is so informative and thorough and fascinating. one of the most rewarding ive listened to and I intend to relisten to all some day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Florentino Quintero
    Monterrey, Mexico
    3/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great!"

    An easy way to learn from our history. It is a complete set. I recommend to listen to the three courses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. Kelly
    London
    5/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting"

    Highly recommended - I really enjoyed these lectures which illuminate a period of time not immediately attractive to our present day

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    west sussex, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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