Far from being a time of darkness, the Middle Ages was an essential period in the grand narrative of Western history. But what was it like to actually live in those extraordinary times? Now you can find out.
These 36 lectures provide a different perspective on the society and culture of the Middle Ages - one that entrenches you in the daily human experience of living during this underappreciated era. Drawing on history, literature, the arts, technology, and science, these lectures will deepen the way you understand not only the Middle Ages but everything that came afterward: From the Renaissance, to the Enlightenment, to your own world.
Filled with amazing insights, this series brings you closer than ever before to life as it was lived and felt. You'll meet the likes of William Caxton, England's first printer who not only printed and distributed a variety of works but also often had to translate them himself; learn about Hugh of Payns and the role of his Knights Templar - organized for the protection of pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem - in the creation of the first modern bank; see how communities dealt with marriage in a time when the church had not yet drawn this institution into its orbit; and much more.
Rich with information and period detail (including revealing examples of medieval literature from the English, French, Norse, Icelandic, and Italian worlds), these lectures will dramatically increase your understanding of how lives in the Middle Ages were really lived.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses
This lecture series is an excellent introduction to the nuances of the Medieval World. The series is well detailed and interesting - enticing the listener to continue on to learn more about the progression of the Medieval World.
The lecturer was easy to listen to. She made Medieval History, which could have been rather dry, come alive, allowing the listener to actually see, hear, smell, and feel the lives and environments of those living in Medieval times.
I would have loved to have been able to listen to this lecture series in one sitting, but the length prevented this. I certainly would not have wanted the lecture to be shorter, and listening in more than one sitting allowed for better absorption of the material.
Professor Armstrong is a lecturer I will be looking for in future lecture series, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her bring the Medieval World come alive.
Its a University course, so no print version - and the audio version is awesome.
Many great moments, especially the various debunkings of myths everybody holds about the middle ages. I loved the chapter on the Plague, and how its consequences are explained both in a socio-cultural way and an economic way.
Clear, compelling, energetic. If I could go back to school, I'd love to learn from her.
Its a bit long for one sitting, but I've listened to it for hours in a row.
If you like Prof. Drout's courses from the Modern Scholar, you will love this course.
The way the Professor presented each of the lectures make listening to "lectures" very easy and enjoyable.
In my opinion, you can tell she enjoys her subject matter. She paraphrases easily and with enough substance you don't feel like your missing anything. And where she thought you actually would be missing something, she told you so.
I thoroughly enjoyed this set of lectures and from that I will order more. Hopefully they are all as well presented as this one.
Christian, middle-school teacher, horse lover and rider, grandmother, love America, hate getting old, pretty good cook.
Yes, each lecture is only 30 minutes in length and they can all stand alone.
It covers all of the topics that I teach in 7th grade, so it provides accurate and interesting tidbits for my class.
Good voice and pace.
Not that kind of book.
Sure wish the Great Courses people would get rid of the annoying music and applause at the beginning of each lecture.
As Dorsey Armstrong says, "most people think of the middle ages as a dark period between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance". So did I. But, in this gem of a series, she shows that the Middle Ages is a very interesting and period, full of colorful characters (King Arthur, for example), adventures (the crusades), achievements (the gothic cathedrals) and much, much more.
Prof Armstrong's narration is very appealing. She is articulate, warm, funny at times, and her pronunciation is easy to follow.
This is an awesome course. She is a wonderful teacher, and makes the lectures so interesting you don't want them to end.
NA. It is a history book. There are not "characters".
NA. It is a history book. There are not "scenes".
NA. It would be a documentary.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
I enjoyed this audio lecture more than others. The first few chapters are a bit difficult to keep up with since there are so many family relationships. However, once past that, the rest of the lectures are presented in an easy to follow format and well presented by Professor Armstrong. A great series. I listened to it twice!
Very informative, and organized. Professor Armstrong made it very interesting, and was easy to listen too. I'm looking forward to her other books on this topic.
The lecturer has a pleasant, informal style that makes listening to this broad overview a pleasure.
I find the "Great Courses" to be of uneven quality in general, but this particular lecture has been really satisfying in substance, organization, and presentation.
I do wish the producers would leave out the Masterpiece theatre music and canned applause, they condescend to the listener and cheapen the experience.
I would not recommend this to a friend who has a university degree. As it can be at some times insultingly informal and sensationalist in its delivery.
The relevance of the Arthurian Saga to the early and high middle ages.
Buy focusing more on the historical events and their connection. It seems to target a annoyingly low level of academic fluency. The very interesting facts largely loose their appeal due to the way in which they are emphasised, e.g. the Ms. Armstrong quite often uses phrases like 'unimaginable to today's Americans' and 'my students are quite shocked when I tell them'.Furthermore there is a massive deal of repetition. In one instance during one of the later chapters on peasant life the Ms. Armstrong makes several repetitions from the chapter right before it. This should be the case in a special needs classroom, not in a "college level course".
Very interesting time in history that deserves a better piece of work. Ms. Armstrong shows a high degree of knowledge and understanding in the field, however the structure and delivery make it a painful listen.
"Good story, but annoying narrotor`s voice"
The lecture course presents good overview of the Medieval World. It is well structured, focusing rather on daily life in that period and major events having the influence, rather than just retelling of historic facts.
However, from my personal experience - check if you can cope with the narrator`s voice and way of narrating before buying the book. Sometimes the tone of voice can get very annoying, which almost forced me so stop listening for several times along the story.
"The Past is another country"
It was genuinely enlightening and interesting. A short guided tour into a world with so much different but so many similarities.
"Good after a slow start"
This gets off to a slow start if you're at all familiar with medieval history; I nearly gave up on it at the 30 minutes stage because it seemed to be covering really basic stuff. As with all the Great Courses though the lecturer really knows her stuff and the opening section is presumably intended to get all types of reader up to speed before she starts a series of lectures that have a really ambitious scope. For example, I knew about the peasants revolt in England but I didn't know about contemporary revolts in Italy. She's also interesting on the subject of the Arthurian legends, what they can tell us about England in the dark ages, the archeological evidence that aligns with them and the reasons they were re-written afterwards. As an approach this worked well for me because European society and institutions such as the church and various noble houses were strongly interconnected so a history which tries to paint a holistic picture feels like worthwhile if challenging approach to take. She's good on the details of day to day life as well giving us a picture that spans diets to underwear for ordinary folks.
The Medieval World is informed and enjoyable. It goes for big picture and description rather than detail or rigorous analysis but it made for an enteraining listen and provided some new perspectives on a familiar period.
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